Monday, May 16, 2011

The "Mexican Spitfire"

Mexican-born actress Lupe Velez is nearly forgotten these days. She's best known now not for her films but for her tragic suicide in 1944 shortly after she learned she was pregnant and that the baby's father, bit actor Harald Raymond, wouldn't marry her. The good news is that Warner Archive is reintroducing this beautiful, talented actress with the release of several of her films. Highlights include the 1932 thriller "Kongo," the 1934 comedy "Strictly Dynamite" and a set of the eight low-budget "Mexican Spitfire" comedies she made at RKO from 1939 to 1943. Audiences couldn't get enough of Velez as the hot-tempered singer Carmelita Lindsay, who is married to an uptight New York ad executive.

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