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The Mexican Spitfire Collection [4 Discs] [DVD]

Release Date:05/03/2011

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    Mexican Spitfire Sees a Ghost
    Mexican Spitfire Sees a Ghost looks more like a Columbia two-reel comedy than an RKO feature film. Star Lupe Velez, her conservative ad-man husband (Charles "Buddy" Rogers) and good old Uncle Matt (Leon Errol) find themselves in a supposedly haunted house. Actually the "ghosts" are enemy spies, who try to scare off the visitors so they can develop their nitroglycerin bombs in peace. All the standard Old Dark House gags are trotted out, right down to the anticipated "explosive" finale. The sixth film in the "Mexican Spitfire" series, Mexican Spitfire Sees a Ghost achieved a negative fame when it formed half of a double bill with the premiere showing of Orson Welles' The Magnificent Ambersons (42). ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Mexican Spitfire Out West
    In this third of RKO's "Mexican Spitfire" series, star Lupe Velez doesn't get any further west than Reno, Nevada. Lupe feels that her straightlaced husband (Donald Woods) is neglecting her, and thus seeks a divorce. Reliable old Uncle Matt (Leon Errol) shows up to straighten things out, which means that for the umpteenth time in this series he'll disguise himself as the veddy British Lord Epping. Before everything straightens itself out, Uncle Matt finds himself in dutch with his own wife. We all know that Lupe and her hubby will get together: otherwise there wouldn't be a fourth "Mexican Spitfire" picture. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Mexican Spitfire at Sea
    The first "Mexican Spitfire" entry of 1942, Mexican Spitfire at Sea is set mainly on a Hawaii-bound ocean liner. Combining business with pleasure, vacationing advertsing man Dennis (Charles "Buddy" Rogers) hopes to sign a contract with a wealthy client. Alas, these plans are scotched by the well-meaning idiocies of Dennis' peppery spouse Carmelita (Lupe Velez), and by a whole flock of Dennis' relatives who have invited themselves along for the voyage. Once again, it's up to Dennis' Uncle Matt (Leon Errol) to save the day-which inevitably requires old Matt to disguise himself as his British lookalike Lord Epping. Marion Martin, the blonde bombshell who'd caused so much trouble in the previous series entry Mexican Spitfire's Baby (1941), is seen in a minor role. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    The Girl from Mexico
    The titular girl is Lupe Velez, a tempestuous cabaret entertainer. Donald Woods plays a staid American ad man who hires her for a New York nightclub. Woods is engaged to be married, but secretly harbors affection for Velez. The volatile Ms. Velez is less subtle, and actively campaigns for the affections of Woods, with the help of Donald's lovably larcenous Uncle Matt (Leon Errol). Though not intended as such, Girl From Mexico was the first of RKO's eight-film "Mexican Spitfire" series. The role of the Spitfire's husband was played by several different actors, but Lupe Velez and Leon Errol remained with the series throughout its four-year run. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Mexican Spitfire's Elephant
    This raucous series entry reunites Lupe Velez as Carmelita (aka "The Mexican Spitfire") and Leon Errol as Uncle Matt, with Walter Reed taking over from Charles "Buddy" Rogers as Carmelita's staid American husband Dennis Lindsay. The titular elephant is a tiny glass figurine, brought back from a trip abroad by Uncle Matt. On board a luxury liner heading to New York, jewel smugglers Ready (Lyle Talbot) and Diana (Marion Martin) hide a valuable gem in the miniature elephant, for the purpose of avoiding the customs inspectors. Upon arriving home, Uncle Matt misplaces the pint-sized pachyderm, causing no end of headaches for Carmelita and Dennis. The ensuing confusion requires Carmelita to march a live, regulation-sized elephant into a nightclub, and obliges Uncle Matt to once again disguise himself as his British lookalike Lord Epping. One could never confuse the "Mexican Spitfire" series with True Art, but the films were admittedly a lot of harmless fun. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Mexican Spitfire
    The excellent response to RKO Radio's The Girl from Mexico prompted the studio to fashion an entire series based on the misadventures of fiery Latin American entertainer Carmelita (Lupe Velez). The series proper began with 1939's Mexican Spitfire, in which the recent marriage between Carmelita and stuffy-but-likeable American businessman Dennis (Donald Woods) is threatened by the interference of Dennis' wealthy, snobbish Aunt Della (Elizabeth Risdon). Fortunately, Carmelita finds an ally in the form of Dennis' easygoing Uncle Matt (Leon Errol). The plot hinges on an important business deal between Dennis and the veddy British Lord Epping, top man of a major whiskey firm. Luck of luck, Lord Epping is an exact double for Uncle Matt, leading to a series of gut-busting complications. Somehow it seems logical that Mexican Spitfire should end with a Keystone-style pie fight. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Mexican Spitfire's Blessed Event
    RKO brought its "Mexican Spitfire" saga to a close with the eighth film in the series, Mexican Spitfire's Blessed Event. Lupe Velez is back again in the leading role, as is Leon Errol as disguise-happy Uncle Matt, but Velez's husband is now played by Walter Reed. When Lupe purchases a baby ocelot while on vacation, she sends a fractured-English telegram that leads everyone to believe that she's become a mother. Somehow this is tied in with her husband's big business deal with whisky manufacturer Lord Epping, who for the purposes of the plot twists is a dead ringer for Uncle Matt. 63 minutes later, it's all over. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Mexican Spitfire's Baby
    Even non-fans of RKO Radio's "Mexican Spitfire" series will garner a few healthy laughs from Mexican Spitfire's Baby. This time around, tempetuous Carmelita (Lupe Velez) and her staid American husband Dennis (Charles "Buddy" Rogers) adopt a French war orphan. Imagine Dennis' surprise and Carmelita's dismay when their adopted "little girl" turns out to be voluptuous blonde Fifi (Marion Martin). As if Carmelita's jealous rages weren't bad enough, Fifi's equally jealous fiance Pierre (Fritz Feld) shows up, demanding satisfaction from Dennis in the form of a duel. As always, it's up to Dennis' Uncle Matt (Leon Errol) to straighten out the mess -- and also as always, Uncle Matt is required to disguise himself as his British lookalike Lord Epping. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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