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Machine Gun Mama (1944)

Approved | | Adventure, Comedy, Romance | 18 August 1944 (USA)
Ollie and John are stuck with car trouble. Luckily they have Bunny the elephant. They try to sell him to a fair in financial trouble.


(as Harold M. Young)


(original screenplay)


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Complete credited cast:
Armida ...
Ollie Swenson
John O'Reilly
Luis Alberni ...
Ariel Heath ...
The Blonde
Julian Rivero ...
Alberto Cordoba
Eumenio Blanco ...
First Detective


Ollie and John are a long way from their home in Brooklyn when their truck breaks down. When they run into a fair, they decide to sell their only valuable possession. It's an elephant with the name Bunny, and Ollie has grown really attached to him. At the fair the 'ferocious' Nita Cordoba works and John falls in love with her, the feeling is mutual. Most employees of the fair are willing to buy Bunny, as the fair is in great commercial trouble and an elephant might just be the injection so barely needed. Owner Jose, however, has different ideas. He'd rather see the fair go down as that will be more benificial to him. Written by Arnoud Tiele (zelva@tiele.nl)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis









Release Date:

18 August 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mexican Fiesta  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Moonlight Fiesta
Written by Sam Neuman and Michael Breen
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User Reviews

"No Dolores! That Sounds Like Too Much Lipstick!"
13 March 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

MACHINE GUN MAMA is a badly titled but sweet little "C" comedy from Poverty Row's PRC PICTURES with a talented cast all about a decade past the peak of their careers. Wallace Ford and El Brendel star as Americans in Mexico trying to return an elephant to it's rightful owner (just what these guys do for a living and just how they got the elephant is never quite clear). The fortysomething guys end up bumping into a small Mexican carnival that is deeply in debt, the perfect prospective buyers for the elephant. The fact the owner's daughter is a beautiful young woman doesn't hurt either. Alas, the villainous loan shark the carnival owners are in debt to also has designs on the girl and aims to get rid of these gringos - and their not so little elephant, too.

Wallace Ford is always good but at 46 he looks more than a decade his age, making it somewhat incredible that he could be the man of the gorgeous Armida's dreams (Miss Armida is no kid herself at 33 although she looks far younger, to the point one of the reviewers here presumes she is playing a teenager). El Brendel is an acquired taste as a comedian but I have to say I have never seen him give a more appealing and likable performance than here as the gentler of the duo, who is sentimentally attached to his beloved pachyderm named "Bunny". Rounding out the quartet of familiar faces from 1930's films is Jack LaRue as the villain. Luis Alberni is terrific as the leader of a flea circus whose star attraction Dolores has disappeared and now has transferred his affections to the elephant Bunny whom he now insists on renaming Dolores after his missing flea much to El Brendel's furor ("No Dolores! That sounds like too much lipstick!" he snaps.) Alberni and El Brendel work terrific together and it's a shame they didn't become a comedy team in some low-budget films.

Today people presume this is a war film with a trailblazing female hero but back in the 1940's I'm sure the public realized this was going to be the Mexican Spitfire knockoff that it is. Armida is for the most part much gentler than Lupe Velez and she's a more romantic, less comical actress. The print used for the Alpha DVD release is slightly above average for most of their public domain releases.

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