Stars: 4.5 / 5
Recommendation: Every bit hilarious, unexpected twists around the corner, unknown bends at every turn, the film series is truly entertaining.
Mexican Spitfire Series are a set of American movies released between 1939 and 1943. They are a satirical comedy and culture shock of Mexican people in America and how they fare their day to day lives in this world.
The characters in this film series were first introduced in the 1939 film The Girl from Mexico and subsequently they appeared in the rest of the seven films that followed this. Carmelita Lindsey - a Mexican temperamental singer - meets handsome American businessman Dennis Lindsey, marries him and comes to America.
The series of films portray the American world from Carmelita's point of view and the many troubles and situations that she lands herself in - albeit all shown with a huge comic factor.
Lupe Velez portrayed as Carmelita Lindsey, Charles "Buddy" Rogers as Dennis Lindsey and Leon Errol as Uncle Matt Lindsey in the series along with a string of other characters who reprised their roles. Carmelita finds a kindred spirit in Uncle Matt and together they create sometimes and land sometimes in troubles and situations filled with humor and fun. The chemistry between the three primary characters is impeccable which they carry it all through the series.
Unfortunately I didn’t get to watch the first four films when they were being aired on Turner Classic Movies. However, here is my take on the last four movies that I watched.
Mexican Spitfire at Sea is the fifth film in the Mexican Spitfire Series directed by Leslie Goodwins and released in March of 1942. The movie starred Lupe Vélez, Leon Errol and Charles 'Buddy' Rogers in the lead roles.
In this particular episode, Carmelita and Dennis set on an ocean voyage - Carmelita thinking it as her second honeymoon while Dennis using it to bag a rich client. Knowing the truth Carmelita fights with Dennis and throws him out of the cabin. What follows is a string of misunderstandings that both Carmelita and Dennis use to their best advantage, of course with the able help of Uncle Matt.
Next up is Mexican Spitfire Sees A Ghost, the sixth film in the series that released in June of 1942 again directed by Leslie Goodwins. Needless to say Lupe Veles, Charles "Buddy" Rogers and Leon Errol reprise their roles along with a string of other repeat cast.
In this particular episode, Carmelita, Dennis, Uncle Matt and Aunt Della end up entertaining some guests of Lord Basil Epping at his mansion only to find it haunted. Or so it seemed until more truths unearth and more confusions add to the humor. A lengthy scene of poker game entertains the viewers along with the misunderstandings and missteps it causes.
Mantan Moreland portrays the role of Lightnin', the butler of the Epping manor. I had seen Mantan Moreland in similar kind of roles in other movies and he is such a treasure on screen with this comic timing.
The seventh film in the series was Mexican Spitfire's Elephant which was released in September of 1942 again directed by Leslie Goodwins. Needless to say Lupe Veles and Leon Errol reprise their roles along with a string of other repeat cast. However Dennis Lindsey is portrayed by Walter Reed instead of Charles "Buddy" Rogers this time around.
In this particular episode, Lord Basil Epping gets involved with smugglers inadvertently when one of his miniature elephant holds a gem that the smugglers hide to avoid customs. What follows is a fun-filled journey by Carmelita, Dennis and Uncle Matt who try to save Lord Basil as well as the gem from the smugglers.
The eighth and last film in the series was Mexican Spitfire's Blessed Event released in July of 1943 and again directed by Leslie Goodwins. Needless to say Lupe Veles and Leon Errol reprise their roles along with a string of other repeat cast. In this installment too Dennis Lindsey was portrayed by Walter Reed instead of Charles "Buddy" Rogers.
In this episode, Carmelita pretends to be pregnant so she can help her husband Dennis Lindsey get a business deal with Lord Basil Epping. And definitely includes the different obstacles and troubles both Carmelita and Uncle Matt land into in the process.
Although the lead actors were Lupe Velez and Charles "Buddy" Rogers, more than often it felt that it was Leon Errol as Uncle Matt Lindsey as well as Lord Basil Epping who stole the show. A certain chemistry is seen between Velez and Errol which carries through all the movies.
Most of the movies in the series also showcased Lupe Velez's flair with Mexican dances and songs. Each one equally better than the before. No wonder Velez went on to become the first famous Latin American star in Hollywood.
Every bit hilarious, unexpected twists around the corner, unknown bends at every turn, the film series is truly entertaining. I only wish I could have seen all the movies.
1) The eighth film Mexican Spitfire's Blessed Event had Barbara Hale's second movie appearance. She was uncredited in the movie. Her role was a girl at the airport. Despite being uncredited she had two lines in the scene which I must say were delivered well. Of course, we all remember her for her famous role Della Street - legal secretary to the famous defense lawyer Perry Mason.