The Skeleton of Mrs. Morales / El Esqueleto de la senora Morales is an interesting mystery and comedy from Mexico now available from Facets Multimedia on DVD. For an audience unused to Mexican comedy, it is a fun if unusual mix of mystery about a perfect crime and dark comic bits that betray its origins as The Islington Mystery, a story by British horror writer Arthur Machen. The Skeleton of Mrs. Morales / El Esqueleto de la senora Morales stars Arturo de Cordova, a former matinee idol who has managed to make the transition to playing older men, and Amparo Rivelles, who has had a long film career.
De Cordova plays Pablo Morales, a Mexican taxidermist and bon vivant who is saddled with a slightly handicapped, hypochondriac oh woe is me drama queen wife who glorifies in her imagined misery. She not only has a hard time being married to a taxidermist but also to a man who eats meat. The last straw is when she breaks the camera he has been saving up for and then accuses him of beating her.
The last third of The Skeleton of Mrs. Morales / El Esqueleto de la senora Morales certainly gets a little darker. Gonzales, who has slipped in a few early mystery movie style shots here and there in his comedy, including a running gag about a woman with a weak bladder, now slips in a bit of comedy in his mystery. The ending is priceless.
The Skeleton of Mrs. Morales look pretty good for a fifty-year old or so movie. There are no scratches and very few dust particles on the print used for the DVD. The blacks and whites to shift a bit from scene to scene but it is impossible to tell if this is due to the original or the work of time.