De Broncho Billy’s Mexican Wife (1912), Emilio García Riera anota lo siguiente en México visto por el cine extranjero (vol. 1, p. 24):
Pero esos mexicanos de las películas de Broncho Billy, los buenos y los malos, eran prerrevolucionarios. Pocos años después, algo debió contar la revolución para que Broncho Billy and the Greaser (1914) y Broncho Billy’s Greaser’s Deputy (1915) indicaron desde sus títulos un antimexicanismo sin matices. En Broncho Billy’s Mexican Wife (1912), Anderson propuso un caso ambivalente: si una esposa mexicana traicionaba al héroe norteamericano, éste acababa bendiciendo la unión en la muerte de la traidora y su también mexicano amante, como si la pasión amorosa justificara todo.
Más adelante, García Riera en la misma obra (p. 55) remata:
Las mexicanas «de moral dudosa» – bailarinas, cabareteras, prostitutas – no fueron todavía abundantes, por lo visto; proliferarían en el cine futuro y, sobre todo, en el sonoro, que les permitiría lucir habilidades musicales. Hubo de cualquier modo bailarinas mexicanas virtuosas como la de Mexican Crime (1909), y aun la de Broncho Billy’s Mexican Wife (1912), que traicionaba a su marido norteamericano, era capaz del amor verdadero.
The Cinema News and Property Gazette del 22 de enero de 1913 (Vol. II, No. 15, p. 63) publicó una breve sinopsis de la cinta:
«BRONCHO BILLY’S MEXICAN WIFE.» (Essanay.)
Broncho marries a Mexican girl at the earnest entreaty of her dying father. Later a Mexican singer wins her love, and, to get Broncho out of the way, she has him arrested and gaoled on the charge of having assaulted her. In a frenzy of rage, Broncho secures the sheriff’s revolver, escapes from gaol, and tracks the pair to his shack. Meanwhile, the Mexican singer’s sweetheart, jealous of his attentions to Broncho’s wife, reaches the shack first, and when Broncho bursts in, gun in hand, he finds the pair dead on the floor, her knife having found both their false hearts.
Released February 9th. Length 990 feet.
Por su parte, The Moving Picture World del 30 de noviembre de 1912 (Vol. XIV, No. 9, p. 867) publicó una reseña de Jas. S. McQuade:
«Broncho Billy’s Mexican Wife» (Essanay)
Reviewed by Jas. S. McQuade
BRONCHO Billy is still to the fore among Essanay’s releases, as «Broncho Billy’s Mexican Wife” will prove. This tale of life on the Southwestern border, as told in pictures, affords some fine touches in character drawing, several strong situations that border on, but just avoid, the shedding of gore in view of the spectator, and settings about as appropriate as one could wish to represent the section in which the scenes are laid.
G. M. Anderson should please his multitude of followers in this exciting episode, in the life of Billy, for it reveals the latter as be appears under the -tress of injustice, in addition to his well-known resourcefulness and daring. A faithless woman is more than a match for the wisest man in cunning and, in this case. Billy’s Mexican wife makes him appear like a deuce spot, when he measures his craftiness against hers. By the way, the role of the wife is capitally played, and the young woman, whoever she may be, deserves praise for keen imaginative acting. The mocking, malignant sneer on the wife’s face, as she tantalizes her imprisoned husband by kissing her Mexican lover, while her maddened mate looks on through prison bars, expresses the lowest depths of woman’s self-abandonment and fiendish cruelty.
It would be impossible to enact this story, when men of red blood or women who have been betrayed are included, without a tragedy. The closing scene shows the reward of the unfaithful wife and her companion, but the act of punishment has been skillfully avoided in the pictures.
The photography deserves more than usual commendation. It is really a delight to view the pictures from this standpoint.
Broncho Billy is a great favorite of old Mexican Pietro, who has an only daughter Lolito. The latter is a beautiful girl, who loves a strolling musician, one of her own race. Pietro knows nothing of this attachment, and, on his deathbed, gets Lolito’s promise that she will marry Billy.
On the day of the marriage ceremony, a band of Mexican musician-, visits the small town Manuel, the lover of Lolito, is with them, ignorant of her marriage, he calls on her and is received with a show of great affection. They are interrupted by the appearance of Billy on the scene, and the Mexican slinks off after some sharp words from the man of broncho fame.
Later on, they are again discovered together by the sharpeyed husband, and Manuel is led to the wooden bridge leading from the town and warned never t» return on pain of death. While Billy is thus engaged, his unfaithful wife resorts to cunning to thwart his plan-. She inflicts a wound on her shoulder with a large knife, and hurrying to the Sheriff’s office, charges her husband with the (rime of attempted murder. Billy is arrested and imprisoned.
But Billy is not the only one in the story who has been betrayed. Anita, the sweetheart of Manuel and the dancer of the wandering troupe, has watched every movement of her lover, and is mad with jealousy. When Manuel and Lolito, free from the intervention of the imprisoned Billy, enjoy each other’s society without restraint, Anita is a silent and vindictive witness. She bides her time until the opportunity arrives, and both are discovered dying by the Sheriff and his posse. With her last breath Lolito declares Billy innocent of the charge made against her, and denounces Anita as the slayer of herself and companion.
Ficha filmográfica de Broncho Billy’s Mexican Wife (1912) Essanay, American. B & N: un rollo. Producción: Essanay Film Manufacturing Company. Distribución: The General Film Company, Incorporated. / Productor: Gilbert M. Anderson. Director: Gilbert M. Anderson. Guión: Gilbert M. ‘Broncho Billy’ Anderson. Elenco: Gilbert M. ‘Broncho Billy’ Anderson (Broncho Billy), Bessie Sankey (Lolita, la joven mexicana), Arthur Mackley (Pietro), Harry Todd (Perkins, el Sheriff), Fred Church (Manuel, el mexicano con la guitarra), Evelyn Selbie (novia de Manue)l, Victor Potel, Willis Elder, Texas George Briggs, Frank Pementel, Pat Rooney, True Boardman, Jay Hanna. Estrenada el 30 de noviembre de 1912. Existe una copia en el archivo fílmico de The International Museum of Photography and Film at George Eastman House. Según una nota suelta se menciona a Reina Valdéz en el reparto, pero no aparece en las fichas filmográficas del IMDb y de Silent Era.