User Reviews (11)

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  • Warning: Spoilers
    There's intrigue in the area surrounding Mexico City when an American singer (Jacqueline White) arrives to try to find her missing brother. She's unaware that the friendly masher (William Lundigan) sitting next to her is an American detective, and after her ice melts, sparks fly. But she gets more than she bargained for and ends up singing in the very same club where her own brother was working undercover.

    A complex plot is helped by the direction of a former film editor (Robert Wise) who would rise to greater things after an inauspicious beginning. The normally overly enthusiastic characterization of the Mexicans usually seen in American films is replaced by a more realistic approach, and the film is fraught with tension. The problem is occasional slow pacing that takes an already short film down to a frequent snail's pace but is effective in its darker sequences. Jacqueline Dalva adds some spice to a typical Mexican Spitefire character who brings her fiery persona a bit more down to earth. Ricardo Cortrez is wasted as a nightclub promoter.
  • William Lundigan complained about always being given and accepting lousy parts;it was not always true : "follow me quietly" by Richard Fleischer he made the following year is a really good thriller and he had a truly great director.

    In "mystery in Mexico " he 's got Robert Wise !Wise retained flair for film noir ("the captive city" "odds against tomorrow" and "the set -up");it shows in the very first sequence and in the Mexican family's house in the final scenes;the rest of the movie ,unfortunately,fluctuates between comedy (Lundigan and the supporting cast do not seem to take the story seriously;Jacqueline White has different ways to give "short cuts" );and we don't care about the necklace (probably bought in a dime store).

    All in all,this is pretty entertaining stuff if you do not ask too much and the actors have a certain spontaneity,particularly the lead himself.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Beautifully photographed on many actual Mexican locations by Jack Draper, this is a fascinating, fast-moving little noir mystery thriller from director Robert Wise. The stars, William Lundigan and Jacqueline White, are excellent. In a difficult role, Lundigan never gave a more personable, skillful performance, while Jacqueline White is so charming and so delightfully animated, it's hard to believe that she was nearing the end of her movie career. The villain here is played by Ricardo Cortez with nothing like the same subtlety as Lundigan and White lend to their characters. Outstanding support players it was also good to see include sexy Jacqueline Dalya in a suitably flashy role as Dolores, and burly Eduardo Casado, who contributes a nice bit of business to his part as the police commandant. In her only movie appearance, Thalia Draper, the daughter of ace Mexican-based photographer, Jack Draper, can be glimpsed as Floracita.
  • An early film from Robert Wise, the much acclaimed director of different science fiction and musical films, this is quite different stuff to what he would later be best known for, and in all honestly it is noticeably inferior too. It is far from being a poor film, but the production is far off being great too, with a quite lifeless, underdeveloped central romance and not too much to get excited over in terms of the mystery plot and technical credits. To fans of its director, the film will certainly be of some interest, but to other viewers it might well sit as mediocre: neither really good nor really bad.
  • There's not much of one -- a mystery, that is -- but that's S.O.P for these programmers that run a longish hour. But Robert Wise keeps things brisk and watchable, which isn't to be sneezed at. It's about an insurance investigator (William Lundigan) who follows a suspect (Jacqueline White) south of the border while trying to solve a jewelry theft. The whole shebang was filmed in the studios in Mexico City, with a largely native cast; among them is Ricardo Cortez, a big Latin heart-throb from the earliest talkies (when he was often paired with Bebe Daniels).

    This seems a bit of a comedown for Wise, who the previous year had helmed the excellent noir Born to Kill, starring Clare Trevor and Lawrence Tierney, and for that film we can almost forgive him for The Sound of Music, many years later.
  • ksf-225 October 2020
    William Lundigan had been in hollywood for ten years by the time this rolled around. he's Steve, who has been hired to track down what happened to his co-worker and the missing jewels down in mexico. on the plane, he bumps into Victoria (Jacqueline White), and makes a terrible first impression. and now the story line has switched, and now we're following Victoria as she enters what seems to be a haunted house. the script moves rather slowly and linearly. and.. .all of a sudden, its over, very abruptly. directed by Robert Wise. won Oscars for Sound of Music and West Side Story! according to the opening credits, parts of the film were actually filmed at a studio in mexico city. it's ok. a shortie from RKO studios.
  • Insurance investigator Steve Hastings is sent to track down missing agent Glen Ames in Mexico and a $200k neckless. He follows Ames' sister Victoria to Mexico City and insinuates into her life.

    Lundigan is playing the lead with an off-putting amount of cheese. It's so deliberate that it doesn't make sense. He's more likely to drive Victoria away and that seems to be what's going on. Normally, she would be avoiding him like the plague. Quite frankly, she should call the cops on him. The character actually requires him to be charming. This is charm in the cheesy movie way. In addition, Carlos makes no sense. He's just a driver who comes in to help Steve whenever it's needed. He just shows up. It's obvious that he's hiding something. A better way to situate the character is for Steve to hire him right off the bat as his driver. Or else he's just always hanging around Steve who is too clueless to notice. What I do like is the noir style and the exoticism of Mexico. I really like that the two leads hardly speak a word of Spanish. They are fish out of water. The story is functional as noir crime mystery except I really hated Lundigan's opening performance. It's so cheesy that it destroyed the noir feel. It took awhile to reclaim the style.
  • MYSTERY IN MEXICO is a unique film from 1948. The unique points are as follows: 1. It was shot in Mexico with great locations. 2. An earlier directing effort from two time Academy Award winning director Robert Wise. 3.I liked how the Mexican Police were portrayed as helpful and saving the day instead of always the usual stigma of being corrupt. The movie begins with an Insurance Investigator given the assignment of finding a missing investigator in Mexico who may or may not have stolen a valuable necklace. On a collision course, the missing investigators sister played by Jacqueline White is followed by Steve Hastings the insurance investigator played by William Lundigan. They team up to find the brother and necklace and they have many adventures and encounters leading up to the climax of the film. This film would be perfect for a remake because so few have seen this original film. It could be improved by taking out the obnoxious behavior of the Steve Hastings character at the beginning of the movie. His banter at Jacqueline White on the plane headed for Mexico made me want to have him maced or tazed. He calms down into a normal person after that and gives a good performance.
  • "Mystery in Mexico" is a pretty good crime film. However, it does suffer from a few writing difficulties....the worst of which occurs near the beginning of the film. An insurance investigator (William Lundigan) is looking for another insurance investigator who has gone missing...and possibly with a $200,000 necklace! The only possible lead is the missing man's sister--who is suddenly bound for Mexico. So he heads to Mexico as well and 'just happens to meet her' on the way to the plane. Now here is a serious problem with the film...he behaves like a boorish pig...sexually harassing the heck out of her during the trip. It's supposed to be some sort of 'meet cute'...but it comes off in 2019 as a guy who needs a sock in the nose. And, later in the film, she inexplicably falls for him!!

    So how do I still give the film a 6? Well, the mystery is pretty good and it has a few nice twists. Plus, it's really neat that RKO actually filmed the movie in Mexico...and seeing the countryside and Mexico City was very nice and made it all seem real. Worth seeing....but some folks might really be annoyed by Lundigan's style! My, how times have changed...and in this case, for the better.

    By the way, this film also features Ricardo Cortez as a Mexican guy. Well, truth be told, Cortez was really about as Mexican as Chow Mein! He was actually Jacob Krantz, born to Jewish Parents in New York City. Back in the 1920s, there was a Latino leading man craze--with Valentino the biggest star in the world. The studios wanted to capitalize on this and re-christened Krantz 'Ricardo Cortez'...and for many years fans thought he was Mexican. In fact, he didn't even speak Spanish and I was surprised to hear him speaking a bit in the film...though it also didn't sound all that authentic.
  • bkoganbing12 September 2020
    Some nice location cinematography in Mexico City and Cuernavaca are themain characteridstic of Mystery In Mexico. Too bad RKO didn't spring for color.

    William Lundigan is an insurance investigator and he's trailing Jacqueline White the sister of fellow investigator Walter Reed. It's thought Reed might have absconded with some jewelry he was keeping an eye. In any event Lundigan's mission is to get the jewels and find out what's what.

    I'll say no more because it will be real easy to figure out who the chief bad guy is as you watch the film. No Mystery In Mexico as far as I cold see.
  • I would not call this movie Film Noir at all, the period is right, but that's about all that's right about Mystery in Mexico. The soundtrack is nothing but maracas that set the mood for a Mexican vacation, nothing to emphasis the criminal aspect. Most of the reviews here are impressed by the director's later work, which to me is irrelevant. It is only what you see in this film that matters, what a viewer experiences who never heard of the director, or anyone else involved in this pitiful production. The only good performances were by two children, playing a brother and sister, in the last moments of the picture. They were the only actors who took the picture seriously. They were thoroughly believable.