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

Thursday, November 28, 2013


Leon Errol, Lupe Velez, and Walter Reed

MEXICAN SPITFIRE'S BLESSED EVENT (1943). Director: Leslie Goodwins.

"First let me have some other particulars and then we'll discuss sex."

This is the eighth and final entry in the "Mexican Spitfire" films and Dennis (Walter Reed) is still  trying to get Lord Epping (Leon Errol) to sign that contract! It's amazing that while Blessed Event doesn't depart in many ways from the usual formula -- you know that at one point Uncle Matt (Leon Errol  again) will dress up like Lord Epping and confusion will run riot -- it still manages to be pretty hilarious in spite of it. In this installment Dennis and company get the mistaken notion that his wife, Carmelita (Lupe Velez), has somehow given birth to a baby -- without, so far as anybody knows, being pregnant --  but the "blessed event" she refers to is actually her cat having kittens. Since Lord Epping will not sign that ever-demanding contract until he sees the baby, this presents quite a problem for the Lindsays, including the always reliable Uncle Matt. Then there's Dennis' business rival, George Sharp (Hugh Beaumont), who does his level best to prove Carmelita is putting on a diabolical baby act. Velez and Errol are in their usual top form, as are Elisabeth Risdon as Dennis' formidable aunt; Lydia Bilbrook as the deadpan Lady Epping; and Reed as the charming if discombobulated "father," Dennis. Hugh Beaumont is also excellent as the conniving Sharp and has a great scene with Errol in the bar (where else?). There's some inventive business in this, a few risque lines, and amusingly bizarre situations, and the laughs keep coming at a rapid pace.These are fine comic actors at the top of their game.

Verdict: Arguably the best and funniest of the Mexican Spitfire films. ***.

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