21 August 2002 | mark.waltz
Cute little comedy.
Leon Errol and Elisabeth Risdon were associated as a film couple in the "Mexican Spitfire" series of the early 1940's which starred the late Lupe Velez who had committed suicide the year before. Now without their "Carmelita", Errol and Risdon were given this innocuous little film about a happily married couple tossed into society and not knowing how to handle it. In the "Mexican Spitfire" series, Risdon was the social climbing and inferfering wife of rubber-legged Errol, but she has been greatly softened here to add appeal to her character. The basic storyline has easy-going Errol as a clerk in a furniture company who looses his job and ends up as safety commisioner thanks to a flirtatious socialite's influence on her husband. Errol and Risdon attend a party to welcome them to society, and the non-drinking Errol ends up finding himself drunk, impressing an important businessman who thinks Errol's drunken antics are all a comic act. There are the usual amount of slapstick gags, and all of course ends up working out for everyone's benefit. While Errol's two-reelers pretty much told the same plot in a third of the running time, this 60-minute comedy is pretty entertaining, and a fun reminder of life before TV sitcoms. Risdon is good, too; Instead of displaying her usual furor over Errol's antics, she displays more confusion than worry, and more support than her usual nagging. In the "Mexican Spitfire" films, you wanted to slap her down a peg or two; In this film, you want to see her get everything her aunt Delia from the "MS" series wanted. The supporting cast, basically unknown character players, are alright; Paul Harvey gives a fine account of the money hungry businesman; Charlotte Wynters gets some good moments as his flirtatious spouse. Ruth Lee is a Margaret Dumont like party guest who sings badly and is the brunt of a few of the jokes. It is Errol who gets the majority of the laughs here, with Risdon in fine "straight man" support; They are an older and reversed Lucy and Ricky, with Errol doing the Lucy gags, and Risdon getting the Ricky frustrations.