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THE IRISH GRINGO (1936) belongs in the same camp category as MANIAC, PLAN NINE and SEXTETTE. It's a movie so awful, it's beautiful. Our hero is a guy dressed as a mexican cowboy who does nothing to help the on-screen situations other than explain "You see, one half of me is Irish, the other half is Mexican!" A treasure map is written on an ugly's girls's shirt, and of course everybody and his pet rattlesnake is after the treasure. The film stops dead in it's tracks mid point to spotlight a one-man-band who actually is quite entertaining. Directed by William Thompson, who photographed MANIAC and PLAN NINE.
I found this movie while searching for movies about the "Lost Dutchman Mine," but beware, there is no treasure hunt here, no gold, & really nothing to connect this film to the Lost Dutchman aside from a map scrawled on a shirt. As customary for westerns released around this time (the copyright is 1935), there's plenty of music, but this film takes its music a few steps further than most! There's an instrumental Mexican music & dance number. Then there's a song performed by "Professor Paul Blackman" (the screen name of the African-American who performs the song), who is a one-man band (& actually, this is the best song in the movie!). Finally, there's a light operatic number sung by a Jeanette MacDonald imitator. The hero of the movie, called "Don" or "The Irish Gringo," is actually an Irish guy who dresses as a Mexican & pretends to have a Mexican accent (played by Pat Carlyle, & be sure to catch him in that other 1930s screen classic, "Marijuana"). Poorly (but not miserably) acted, directed, scripted. Enjoyable in a campy way. I give it 4/10.
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