Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Friday, September 20, 2013


A typical day in the life of Lord Epping

MEXICAN SPITFIRE'S ELEPHANT (1942). Director: Leslie Goodwins.

This is the 7th out of 8 "Mexican Spitfire" movies starring Lupe Velez and Leon Errol. Diana (Marion Martin) and Reddy (Lyle Talbot) want to get an onyx figurine of an elephant with a valuable gem hidden inside it into the country, so they give it to the venerable Lord Epping (Errol), then have a hell of a time getting it back. Carmelita (Velez) fights with hubby Dennis (Walter Reed) and runs off to a restaurant to do a dance act with Jose (Arnold Kent); Lord Epping and the jewel thieves like the place, too. Lady Epping (Lydia Bilbrook) and Aunt Della (Elisabeth Risdon) do their bit for the war effort, while Uncle Matt (Errol again), as usual, winds up impersonating Lord Epping, even as Della thinks the real Epping is her husband in disguise and treats him accordingly [see photo]. What does it matter? -- the cast is game, there are some funny scenes, and it's all easy to take if formulaic to the extreme. A bit with a bartender consistently confusing Matt with Epping is quite funny. Reed later starred in Flying Disc Man from Mars.

Verdict: Amiable nonsense. **1/2.

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