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The Kid from Spain

(1932 b 96')

En: 5 Ed: 4

Busby Berkeley did the choreography for this musical comedy about a fugitive who mascarades as a bullfighter in Mexico.

Bathing beauties in a college dormitory are told by the matron they are naughty girls. When Eddie Williams (Eddie Cantor) is found sleeping there, he and his friend Ricardo (Robert Young), who carried him there asleep, both get expelled from college. Ricardo wants to go to Mexico to find his sweetheart. Eddie borrows the dean's car and is car-jacked by bank-robbers. Eddie tries to talk himself into getting arrested by a policeman; but the robbers put him on a train to Mexico, where Eddie irritates the border guard by telling jokes and finds a detective (Robert Emmett O'Connor) after him. Ricardo returns to Anita Gomez (Ruth Hall), but her father (Noah Beery) sends him away. Eddie adopts a Spanish disguise, and Ricardo says he is a famous bullfighter. Anita wants Ricardo and cries. Eddie sings about what goes on "In the Moonlight."

Gomez welcomes the bullfighter as his late friend's son and gives Eddie his matador suit. Ricardo is going to take Anita away and fights her fiancé Pancho. Ricardo and Eddie are put in jail. Eddie changes clothes with another prisoner and is put before a firing squad; but he is saved by Gomez. Anita tells Pancho she does not love him. Eddie kidnaps Rosalie (Lyda Roberti) thinking she is Anita. Rosalie loves Eddie, and they kiss and sing, "Look What You've Done." Jealous Pedro grabs Eddie and sends him to the bandit Jose to be shot; but Eddie escapes by appealing to Jose's machismo about being able to shoot him from a distance. The detective gives Eddie a glove that fits and is looking forward to the bull fight. Eddie wants a "contented bull;" there are contented cows, aren't there? But Pancho and Pedro plan to get the killer bull Diablo instead. Eddie is under the table as they quarrel and kick each other. He puts on black face and performs, "What a perfect combination! No wonder we're in love." In the bull ring Eddie runs from the bull and bites its tail. The bull chases him out of the ring and back in again. Finally he uses chloroform to overcome the bull. The detective clears Eddie of wrongdoing, and he proposes to marry Rosalie.

Eddie is funny with clever lines; but some stereotypes are exploited, such as Mexican firing squads and bandits. The white men out-compete the Mexican men for the Mexican women, who look rather white.

Copyright © 1999 by Sanderson Beck

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