Manolito Montoya

The Cannon family runs the High Chaparral Ranch in the Arizona Territory in the 1870s. Check out another western by David Dortort.
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Manolito Montoya

Post by A Ponderosa Pine » Thu Apr 03, 2008 5:36 pm

Image
(Henry Darrow as "good" Manolito)


Henry Darrow portrayed Manolito Montoya, the only son of a wealthy Sonoran, Don Sebastian Montoya. His sister, Victoria, marries John Cannon as part of a mutual protection agreement between Cannon and his father, and Manolito accompanies them back to the High Chaparral to assure that she is treated properly.

Although he is part of the family, Manolito gets along well with the "bunkhouse boys" and does his share of the work as though he were one of them. Never one to miss a chance to enjoy himself, he could be counted on for trips to Tucson for some rest and relaxation. An acknowledged "ladies' man", Manolito usually finds himself an accommodating señorita to help while away his leisure-time hours. His father despairs of him ever truly growing up, but beneath the happy-go-lucky attitude and behind the laughing eyes, there dwells a man of fierce honor, loyalty and bravery. He never hesitates to come to the aid of a friend or stick to his convictions, and often endangers his own life to save someone else's.

Much of what he is, he inherited from his father ~ his independent thinking, his stubbornness, his love of trickery and his excessive charm. What he does not inherit, much to the chagrin of Don Sebastian, is his father's passion for his land. Instead of living at the Rancho Montoya and preparing to assume his place as the future patron, Manolito runs free, seemingly desperate to do anything but assume that place that his father wishes for him.

It is this wild roaming that makes Manolito such a compelling character. The son of landed gentry, he chooses instead to accompany his sister when she marries the rancher John Cannon. In Cannon he sees a strength and far-sightedness, a larger than life quality, that he cannot find in his proposed life in Sonora. Manolito is looking for something, something that he cannot put into words, but something that he knows he'll recognize when he sees it.

His restlessness of soul manifests itself in many ways, but most often in his pursuit of women. Manolito has the personal charm and good looks to turn the head of most any woman he meets, and he knows it. His charm and confidence ensure that he is never lacking for female companionship, whether of a respectable or disreputable kind. This appetite for the ladies has made the rift between himself and Don Sebastian even wider, for his reputation is such that no respectable marriageable woman would ally herself with him.

Yet Manolito is not a one-dimensional man. He is intensely loyal to his family and his friends, and has demonstrated this loyalty more than once risking death. He is courageous; not in the devil-may-care way, but in a measured, thoughtful way. When he rides into a life and death situation, he knows it, because he has chosen to do so. He is also a compromiser, a peacemaker, and this is best demonstrated by his attitude and treatment toward the Apache people. He understands their desire to be free on their own land, and he respects them. He is a tireless translator between John and the neighboring tribes, and advocates their fair treatment at every turn.

He also enjoys the dubious pleasure of being reasonably friendly with the very worst sort of men in Sonora. All the comancheros seem to know him and greet him as a long lost brother. There are allusions to his even having ridden with some of them, which renders details about his past unclear and alarming. Manolito is not a cruel man, but he is capable of killing, whether with a knife or a gun. He is not a man to betray lightly, despite his seemingly nonchalant attitude.

Whether playing poker in a saloon, wooing a potential conquest, breaking a political prisoner out of jail, cradling a lost child in his arms, or waxing philosophical beneath the stars, there is nothing simple about Manolito Montoya. He stands tall with the Cannons; formidable, discerning and loyal, yet restless, self-indulgent and ever searching--a collection of contradictions hidden by a pair of warm brown eyes and a roguish smile.


~ (Thanks in part to Lisa McKenzie for this description)


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(Henry Darrow as "bad" Manolito)
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Re: Manolito Montoya

Post by A Ponderosa Pine » Thu Apr 03, 2008 5:38 pm

What is your opinion of Manolito, and his relationship with the others in the series (especially his father)? Does Manolito remind you of anyone on Bonanza?
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Re: Manolito Montoya

Post by patina » Fri Apr 04, 2008 10:34 pm

Manolito is the spoiled son of a rich rancher, sort of like Little Joe. Mano certainly knows how to have a good time, whether it's with a lady or in a saloon brawl (like Joe). Like Adam, he's intensely loyal and can be a sucker for a hard-luck story. Like Hoss, he's sympathetic to the Apache and the way they're treated by whites (I'm thinking of Hoss in The Honor of Cochise).

Mano seems to become both a brother and an uncle to Blue. Even though Blue is his sister's step-son, Mano is very protective of him. Blue looks to Uncle Buck for advice and help first and Mano second (sometimes both of them together).

Big John gets very annoyed with his brother-in-law at times, but knows how valuable his knowledge of the area and relationship with the Apache is. Mano is usually called upon to interpret between John and the Apache. Also, Mano is usually John's ally against Don Sebastian.
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Re: Manolito Montoya

Post by barb » Sun Apr 06, 2008 10:31 am

Like Joe, Manolito was a volatile personality. He had a way with the ladies, and too much charm for his own good. :laughing He was adventurous and reckless at times, but had a tender heart , and was a loyal friend. He loved his family deeply, even when there were disagreements. He sometimes struggled with issues, but usually made the right decisions.



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Re: Manolito Montoya

Post by MayRoberts » Fri Nov 14, 2008 6:19 pm

I like Manolito very much!!! He's a good man. I saw an episode today, I was very surprised to see him very relaxed and smiling when he was under the Apaches' attack. Doesn't he know he could die???? - I thought...It was a very tough situation, it was only two (Manolito and another guy, Johnny Ringo or Lingo???) and a bunch of Apaches going toward them and shooting to them,.... and Manolito???????? ...smiling!!! :laughing I love Manolito!

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Re: Manolito Montoya

Post by Victoria » Mon Mar 16, 2009 9:11 pm

He was sexy. I always thought he acted like he was just putting up with his sister's family for her sake.

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Re: Manolito Montoya

Post by Joe'sGal » Wed Sep 23, 2009 7:23 pm

Manolito has always made me swoon! :thud

I had never thought of comparing him with Joe, but you're probably right Patina... I go for the fun-loving sort, and Mano is certainly fun-loving! (I'd certainly love to have fun with him-those dimples are gorgeous!) :ashamed

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