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Mexican Spitfire's Elephant

Mexican Spitfire's Elephant(1942)


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To divert the customs agents, diamond runners Diana Decaro and Reddy Madison decide to use Lord Basil Epping, a fellow passenger on their cruise ship, to smuggle a gem into the country. Pretending to know Epping, Diana presents him with an elephant trinket in which the diamond is hidden. Lord Epping and his wife Ada are traveling to New York to assist in a benefit for Della Lindsey's Women's War Relief organization. Della, who detests her nephew Dennis' wife Carmelita, excludes the hot-tempered Latin from the Eppings' welcoming party. Dennis and Della greet the Eppings at dockside, and when Diana asks Lord Epping to return her elephant, he responds that he has locked it in his trunk. Diana follows them to the Hotel Regal where, to avoid trouble with his wife, Lord Epping introduces her as Dennis' friend. Della's husband Matt and Carmelita are attending a meeting at the hotel, and when Carmelita sees Dennis in the elevator with Diana, she accepts a job dancing at the café Villa Luigi to spite him. The next night, Diana meets Lord Epping at the café and asks him for the elephant. As Reddy Madison then approaches their table and demands the trinket, Carmelita witnesses them threatening Lord Epping convinces Matt to impersonate the lord to discover what Diana and Reddy are plotting. After Epping leaves the table to go to the bar, Matt takes his place, and when Reddy gives him two hours to return the elephant, Matt, taking his threat literally, tells Carmelita to borrow an elephant. Carmelita delivers the elephant to the café, causing a tipsy Lord Epping to think that he is hallucinating. In hopes of reconciling Carmelita and Dennis, Matt convinces Lady Epping to include Luigi's dancers in the charity show. At the club, Carmelita, determined to unravel the mystery of the elephant, instructs Matt to tell Reddy that he has given the trinket to her because he has fallen in love with her. Posing as Epping, Matt meets Reddy and informs him that Carmelita has the elephant. Matt then leaves the table and the real Lord Epping, who has come to audition the dancers, takes his place. Carmelita, thinking that he is Matt, begins to kiss him. Lady Epping and Della then arrive at the café, and when Della spies Matt removing his Lord Epping disguise, she complains to Luigi about him. When Reddy threatens Carmelita, Matt dons a police uniform and chases him away while Della orders the bouncer to eject Epping, who she thinks is Matt. At curbside, Della pushes Epping into a puddle just as Matt and Carmelita walk out the stage door. Lord Epping, furious, refuses to attend the benefit the next evening and Carmelita convinces Matt to impersonate the lord once again. As they walk past the hotel desk, the clerk hands Matt the elephant trinket that the cleaners found in his jacket pocket. At the performance, a mind reader picks Matt as his subject and produces the elephant. After leaving the stage, Matt goes to Carmelita's dressing room, where he finds Reddy and Diana holding her captive. Just as they take the elephant from Matt, the customs agents break in and Reddy slugs Dennis while trying to escape. After the agents seize the smugglers and the diamond, Carmelita takes pity on her injured husband and forgives him. Meanwhile, Matt, still dressed as Lord Epping, chastises Della for her behavior, but when she realizes that he is really her husband in disguise, she chases him into the hotel lobby with an umbrella. There she sees the real Epping and, mistaking him for Matt, whacks him.