For Reel

Mexican Spitfire at Sea (1942)
June 20, 2016, 3:17 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Leslie Goodwins
3 Stars
Mexican Spitfire at SeaAs the Mexican Spitfire series goes on, they become so interchangeable that to judge their quality one not only looks at their differences but at what was learned from the last endeavor. In Mexican Spitfire at Sea, the filmmakers took notice of ZaSu Pitts’ terrific role in the predecessor by amplifying her screen time and giving her more to do than the occasional reaction shot. As amusing as Leon Errol’s schtick as Lord Epping can be, the character becomes most successful depending on who he is sharing the screen with—if Lupe Velez strangely often feels left out of her own series, her scenes with Errol consistently elevate his performance by allowing him to play within their warm, familiar repartee. His chemistry with Pitts is similarly fantastic, with this film’s highpoint involving Pitts’ own impersonation of a British socialite (including a bad accent and a monocle that she can’t keep on her face without an absurd grimace). Marion Martin, another standout from the previous film, also reprises her role as Fifi, the “war orphan” who in this installment becomes a pawn in the increasingly complicated games of disguise and misunderstandings. The comedic talents are what keeps the series enjoyable, although the writers do seem more in their element the more chaotic the events become.

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