The Girl of the Golden West: Brief Synopsis

Mary Robbins, owner of the Polka Saloon in Cloudy Mountain, falls in love with a handsome Lieutenant who turns out to be the singing bandit, Ramerez.

The Girl of the Golden West: Full Synopsis

After her parents die, Mary Robbins comes West in a wagon train with her Uncle Davey. At night, when all the pioneers sit around the campfire, Mary entertains them by singing a song she learned from her mother. Unknown to the travelers, a young boy is also listening to her song from behind a tree, enchanted by the haunting melody and the beautiful voice.

Years have passed, Mary is grown, and Uncle Davey has passed away. Now the proud owner of the Polka Saloon in Cloudy Mountain, Mary has a cabin of her own and all the friends she can ask for in the miners that have settled in the area. Soon it is time for her yearly trip to Monterey, where she visits her friend, Father Sienna. En route, the Stage is held up by the terrible bandit, Ramerez, and his gang. He permits the coach to continue, but only after he has made unwelcome advances toward Mary. She is disgusted and slaps him in the face for his efforts, telling him that she would string him up herself, if she only had a rope.

Ramerez follows Mary to Monterey, only to find out that she has been invited to sing Mariache at the Governor's ball the following evening. Ramerez dresses up in a Lieutenant's uniform and poses as Lieutenant Johnson, the escort from the Governor whom Mary is expecting. Mary and "Lt. Johnson" begin to fall in love to the strains of Senorita , but Ramerez is almost caught at the Governor's mansion when the real Johnson turns up.

Back at the Polka Saloon, Sheriff Jack Rance (also in love with Mary) has set a trap for the bandit, Ramerez, by advertising that a large shipment of gold is being stored in the saloon. Ramerez comes to the Polka, not knowing that Mary is the proprietor. Rance is suspicious, but Mary assures him that "Lt. Johnson" is not the man he is looking for. That night, Mary and Ramerez walk together and fall madly in love, as he sings Who Are We to Say. They part, after making arrangements to have Dinner together the next day at Mary's cabin.

The next night, before they have even begun to eat, Rance and some of the miners knock on the door. Ramerez hides in Mary's bedroom. Rance tells Mary that a girl from Ramerez's hideout has brought in a photograph of the bandit, betraying him for the reward money. Mary looks at the picture and realizes that Ramerez is none other than Lt. Johnson!


As soon as Rance leaves, Mary, heartbroken and feeling betrayed, turns Ramerez out. Two shots ring out a few minutes later, and Ramerez stumbles back in, shot in the shoulder by Rance and his men. Frantic that he'll be found and hanged, Mary hides him in the loft. Rance comes back to accuse her of hiding the bandit, but she denies his accusation and demands that he leave her house.

As he's speaking, a drop of blood falls onto his hand. Rance discovers Ramerez and forces him to come down, where Ramerez collapses on the floor. Mary pleads for Ramerez's life, offering to gamble for him. She wins, but only by stacking the deck. Rance is furious to find that she cheated, but she offers to marry him, if he will let Ramerez go free. He agrees and ties the bandit, badly wounded, to his horse.

A few weeks later, Mary and Rance travel to Monterey to be married by Father Sienna. Just before their arrival, Ramerez comes to the chapel to seek council. His near death experience has changed his life, he is no longer a member of the bandit group, but he does not know how to begin a new life. Father Sienna asks him to wait in the courtyard, so that they can talk after the marriage ceremony that the priest has to perform in the chapel. Ramerez waits by a fountain, singing Shadows on the Moon. (He was the young boy that, so many years before, had heard young Mary singing that song at the campfire.)

While Father Sienna and Rance fill out the necessary paperwork, Mary wanders through the chapel. Floating on the breeze are the strains of her song, sung by a voice that means only one thing. She rushes into the courtyard to warn Ramerez that Rance will kill him if he finds him. Rance sees them together and realizes that Mary will never be happy with him, so he leaves them together and goes back to Cloudy Mountain.

Ramerez and Mary travel out to California in a covered wagon, singing as they go, and live happily ever after.