FANTASMAS EN BUENOS AIRES (1942)
aka Ghosts of Buenos Aires
Article 4089 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Enrique Santos Discepelo
Featuring Pepe Arias, Maria Esther Buschiazzo, Chelo Cordero
What it is: Ghost comedy
After a clerk has an encounter with a woman who has been dead for 25 years, he finds himself becoming something of a celebrity… and is hired by a couple who believes he may be a natural medium.
This Argentine movie is in unsubtitled Spanish, but I was armed with a short synopsis to give me an idea of the general direction of the story. I do admire one thing about it; the basic premise involves a well-known urban legend (basically the same story that inspired ORSON WELLES’ GHOST STORY) but rather than using the story for the entire length of the movie, it makes it the opening act in an extended series of events involving the repercussions of the experience. Nevertheless, the synopsis I was given was only intermittently helpful; most of the comedy in this one is verbal, and the few visual gags depend on the verbal context for them to make sense. Still, I was able to figure out enough from the ending scenes to be able to say whether there were some true supernatural events going on or whether there was another explanation. Still, this is one of those movies where the plot is secondary to the comic situations, and the latter could not be appreciated by me due to the language barrier. Therefore, I will refrain from making any sort of evaluation on the effectiveness of this one.