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J. Farrell MacDonald
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Do not be misled by the title "Machine Gun Mama." This is NOT a thriller dealing with the exploits of a small gang like Ma Barker's, as suggested in the "Big Book of B Movies" by Robin Cross (who clearly had not seen the film). If this movie had been made by Paramount they would have called it "The Road to Mexico" and cast Hope, Crosby, and Lamour. Unfortunately the recipe never quite worked when other studios tried it, and it does not work here.
Much of the blame in this instance lies with the miscasting of Wallace Ford, who gives us stolid worthiness in a part which calls for debonair insouciance. His sidekick, played by El Brendel, is the sort of comical Swede already out-dated by 1944. Armida makes a delightful female lead, out-spitfiring Lupe Velez in a tempestuous sequence which gives the film its title, and astonishingly reminiscent of Kathryn Grayson both visually and vocally in her two musical numbers. All three are often upstaged by Luis Alberni as an excitable Latin type, and occasionally even by an elephant and an unseen flea of outstanding beauty (which may give you an inkling of the credibility level of the plot).
Even so, the film remains a decent light-hearted frolic, suitable for a wet afternoon when something intellectually undemanding is called for.
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