MEXICAN SPITFIRE AT SEA
(director: Leslie Goodwins; screenwriters: Jerome Cady/Charles E. Roberts; cinematographer: Jack MacKenzie; editor: Theron Warth; cast: Lupe Velez (Carmelita Lindsey), Charles “Buddy” Rogers (Dennis Lindsey), Leon Errol (Uncle Matt Lindsey/Lord Basil Epping), Elisabeth Risdon (Aunt Della Lindsey), Florence Bates (Mrs. Baldwin), ZaSu Pitts (Miss Emily Pepper), Marion Martin (Fifi), Lydia Bilbrook (Lady Ada Epping), Eddie Dunn (George Skinner), Harry Holman (Joshua Baldwin), Marten Lamont (Purser), Ferris Taylor (Captain Nelson), John Maguire (First Officer Reynolds), Mary Field (Agnes, the Epping Maid); Runtime: 72; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Cliff Reid; RKO; 1942)
“Pathetic lamebrain comedy revolving around mistaken identities.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Veteran English-born TV director Leslie Goodwins (“Gold Fever”/”Too Many Wives”) helms this pathetic lamebrain comedy revolving around mistaken identities. Goodwins directed all the films, made as second features, in the RKO series. It features the rubber-legged Ziegfeld comic Leon Errol in a dual role, as he lampoons the doddering old English Lord Epping. The inane plot made no sense, as the film’s main aim exploits the hectic situations created by mistaken identities to draw laughter.
Advertising executive Dennis Lindsey (Charles “Buddy” Rogers) and his temperamental Mexican spitfire wife Carmelita (Lupe Velez) sail to Hawaii for supposedly their second honeymoon, but Dennis gets Carmelita angry when it’s learned that the real reason for the ocean voyage was to get a client, Joshua Baldwin (Harry Holman), to sign an advertising account contract with him instead of with his persistent rival George Skinner (Eddie Dunn). Dennis schemes with his uncle Matt (Leon Errol) and aunt Della (Elisabeth Risdon), who have also booked passage on the cruise, to convince anyway they can the social climbing Baldwins to sign with them. The bait used is that Dennis promised to introduce the Baldwins to Lord (Leon Errol, played with a wig and a mustache) and Lady Epping (Lydia Bilbrook) at a party in their honor. The big yuk is over Matt impersonating Lord Epping.
It results in protracted shipboard antics that cause confusion, and follows along the same formulaic lines as the other films in the Spitfire series.
REVIEWED ON 11/22/2007 GRADE: C-