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Some towering titans of screen and pen came together to make a terrific little picture that lauds the little guy. And few guys come less powerful than newly naturalized American Chu-Chu Ramirez (Ricardo Montalban), a Mexican migrant farmer. At least, that is on the outside. On the inside, however, Chu-Chu’s faith in love, hard work and the USA grant him the power to change fate, save the doomed and redeem the fallen. Father of Los Angeles literature John Fante paired the film’s central plot – Chu-Chu’s conflict with a farmer (Wendell Corey) and the farmer’s jilted wife (Claire Trevor) – with a romantic subplot reminiscent of his celebrated classic Ask the Dust that sees Chu-Chu’s love uplift a troubled, “fallen” woman (Winters). With Wellman’s direction bringing the story to vivid life, My Man and I is a romantic fable that delights while remaining thoroughly grounded in the earthiness of its characters.

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WAA39078 My Man and I DVD (1952/Ricardo Montalban) $17.99