6.7/10
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The Girl from Mexico (1939)

Passed | | Comedy, Music, Romance | 2 June 1939 (USA)
In the first entry of an unintended-series that turned into a long-running series for RKO, Carmelita Fuentes is a fiery-Latin singer/dancer in Mexico City who has designs on Dennis Lindsay,... See full summary »

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(story), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Donald MacBride ...
Edward Raquello ...
Tony Romano (as Eduardo Raquello)
Elisabeth Risdon ...
...
Mexican Pete - the Wrestler
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Storyline

In the first entry of an unintended-series that turned into a long-running series for RKO, Carmelita Fuentes is a fiery-Latin singer/dancer in Mexico City who has designs on Dennis Lindsay, an American publicity agent, for unclear reasons, while Lindsay's shiftless uncle, Matthew Lindsay, aids and abets her every step of the way to the marriage altar. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Oh, how she loves! She's dynamite! He lights the fuse! (original ad) See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Music | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

2 June 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

De Cabelinho nas Ventas  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

RKO wasn't planning a series while this film was being made, but the series developed after it was such a big hit. See more »

Quotes

Uncle Matthew 'Matt' Lindsay: Marriage is like a mousetrap - easy to get in but hard to get out. And the husband is the piece of cheese.
See more »

Connections

Followed by Mexican Spitfire (1940) See more »

Soundtracks

She'll be Coming 'Round the Mountain
Traditional
Played on a player piano and sung by Leon Errol
Danced to by Leon Errol and Lupe Velez
Reprised a cappella by Lupe Velez
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User Reviews

 
"If you only could understand in English what I think of you in Spanish..."
7 August 2016 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

Wooden American publicity agent Dennis Lindsay (Donald Woods) meets loud and feisty Mexican singer Carmelita Fuentes (Lupe Velez) and brings her to the States. Carmelita quickly falls for Dennis but he only seems to have business on his mind. Plus he's engaged to a snobby socialite (Linda Hayes). So Carmelita conspires with Dennis' uncle (Leon Errol) to make Dennis jealous and win his affections. The first movie in the Mexican Spitfire series, although it wasn't intended as such. This was a surprise hit which led to the sequels. It's not a series I particularly love but I think this is my favorite of the bunch, primarily because it feels less formulaic and it's the only one where Lupe Velez actually feels like the star. In the subsequent movies Leon Errol's role would increase where he would basically become the real star, often playing more than one role in each film. Velez would just go through the motions in the subplot, which was usually a variation of the same thing: Carmelita gets angry and leaves Dennis but eventually the two reunite.

Velez is an acquired taste for sure. She's basically a combination of Ricky and Lucy Ricardo (predating I Love Lucy, of course). I like her in this movie, though. Maybe it's because in the sequels she seemed to be repeating lines and routines in every movie but here she hadn't perfected her persona yet so it feels a bit more natural. She also sings and dances in this one, which is a nice plus. For his part Donald Woods plays to his strengths (?) as a stiff wooden leading man. It somehow works contrasted with Velez screaming half her lines. Leon Errol's Uncle Matt is fun and easily the most likable person in the movie. Linda Hayes and Elisabeth Risdon round out the main cast. Hayes is OK playing a villainess but Risdon is a tough pill to swallow. Her character is just the worst. Ward Bond has a small role as a wrestler named Mexican Pete.

It's an enjoyable lightweight B comedy. I can see why they thought it would make a good series but it really didn't. They had no ideas and basically repeated plots and relied heavily on vaudevillian Errol to provide laughs. This first one is the best because it feels the most fresh. Still nothing exceptional.


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