Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, June 15, 2017


Carmen does her thing!
THAT NIGHT IN RIO (1941). Director: Irving Cummings.

"If I can't be happy with another man's wife, how can I be happy with my own?" -- Pierre.

Larry Martin (Don Ameche) is an entertainer with a jealous and tempestuous girlfriend, Carmen (Carmen Miranda of Copacabana). Larry puts on an act in which he impersonates the wealthy Baron Duarte (also played by Ameche), who has a rather cold marriage to his wife, the baroness (Alice Faye). Due to a business foul-up, the baron has to leave town, and his advisers (S. Z. Sakall and Curt Bois) importune Larry to impersonate the baron -- which causes numerous complications but may save a marriage as well as Larry's relationship with Carmen. That Night in Rio is a big, kitschy, Technicolor musical with spirited performances and fun songs (by Gordon and Warren), including Miranda's "Chicki Chicki Boom" and "Ai Yi Yi." The three lead performers are all terrific, and there's excellent support from J. Carrol Naish [The Kissing Bandit] as rival businessman Machado and Frank Puglia [20 Million Miles to Earth] as manservant, Pedro. Maria Montez plays one of the young ladies but hasn't any lines that I recall. Leonid Kinskey plays Pierre, who is hopelessly in love with the baroness. A similar plot was used for a Maurice Chevalier starrer, as well as for On the Rivera with Danny Kaye.

Verdict: It's hard not to like this amiable nonsense. ***.


angelman66 said...

Have not seen this one, worth the price of admission to see Ameche as twins and the those famous Miranda numbers. Will look for it!

William said...

It's fun!