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Foreign Comedy - Mexico - My Dear Tom Mix / Mi querido Tom Mix

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My Dear Tom Mix / Mi Querido Tom Mix
Ana Ofelia Murguia, Eduardo Palomo
Directed by Carlos Garcia Agraz
Spanish with English Subtitles
Mexico 1991
90 minutes
Facets Multimedia 2007

My Dear Tom Mix / Mi querido Tom Mix is a quirky Mexican cowboy comedy on DVD based on a short story by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Perhaps it is because I am not familiar with Mexican movies it took a while to get used to its style but I find there is enough in it to keep a viewer interested. This is a first film for director Carlos Garcia Agraz and he gets solid performances from his actors. Fans of the cowboy serials from the early days of cinema will also enjoy this sort of salute to the Tom Mix story.

Set in 1920 Mexico, My Dear Tom Mix tells the story of a little old lady (Ana Ofelia Murguia) who is a big fan of the movies, especially the Tom Mix cowboy serial. She is a couple of bullets short of a six-shooter and rather charming. Her nephew has come to visit her for the summer and she regales him with stories of her favorite hero. There is also a band of banditos roaming the countryside and though they have not visited the little old lady's village of Ocotito just yet she regularly writes to legendary but imaginary Tom Mix to comment on his latest serial and ask him to come and redress the wrongs.

Felipe, the nephew, meets an old cowboy who wears white and rides a white horse. Is he the man who will rid the countryside of the bad guys? The first answer to that question is one of the funny moments here. There is also the scene where this George Romero look-alike does DeNiro's "Are you talking to me?" bit Others include the running gag of Felipe's uncle always receiving payment in animals, even from the rich local store owner.

Carlos Garcia Agraz is very good at mixing images to achieve the magic realism Marquez is famous for. He sometimes cleverly uses what seems to be old Tom Mix footage that blends into the scenery the old lady sees out her window. He also has fun playing with the standard western chase scene. I especially enjoyed his take on the runaway stagecoach.

My Dear Tom Mix / Mi querido Tom Mix is an unusual little movie, a bit violent and comedy of errors funny at the same time. It is perhaps a bit slow paced but it is kind of fun to watch.



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