Here's a little curiosity. It was directed in 1934 by the man who I know from a decade later as Boston Blackie's millionaire friend Arthur, based on a story he co-wrote with Carly Wharton. It was made in glorious two strip Technicolor and has an entirely Hispanic cast and theme. It starts out clumsily and without much promise, beyond the colour, but gets rapidly better until I couldn't keep my eyes off the screen. It's certainly not great but it's a fascinating little film.
We're outside El Oso, a cafe cantate somewhere in Mexico, where theater impresario Señor Martinez has travelled to see the great dancer Pancho. If he's truly as great as he's been drummed up to be then Martinez will hire him and whisk him away to work in his theatre. Overhearing these plans is Chatita, Pancho's young lady, who fierily decides to find a way to spoil them and torments Señor Martinez wonderfully. Of course nothing turns out the way anyone expects.
While there didn't look like there would be any redeeming features at the outset, there are more than a few. Steffi Duna is Chatita and she warms into the part wonderfully. She's as fiery as she ought to be, as is both her singing and dancing, and I never realised that the song La Cucaracha that I first heard in junior school really has a refrain that goes on about marijuana. Pancho has a fiery temperament too and Don Alvarado makes the most out of what is really a small part. That of Martinez is much bigger and Paul Porcasi has great fun with it. He's really Italian but seemed to play characters of almost any nationality.
|I'm climbing the stairway to Cinematic Heaven to review everything in the IMDb Top 250 List, supposedly the greatest motion pictures of all time. Are they really? Find out here.|
|I'm also driving the highway to Cinematic Hell for the awesome folks at Cinema Head Cheese to post a review a week of the very worst films of all time. These are so bad that they make Uwe Boll look good.|
|I'm reviewing everything shown at the International Horror & Sci-Fi Film Festival, now in its 9th year. Here's an index to my reviews of 2013 films and to my reviews of 2012 films.|
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|I'm reviewing all films shown at the independent horror film festival, Phoenix FearCon, now in its 5th year. Here's an index to my 2012 festival reviews.|