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Saturday, June 7, 2008

WEEK-END IN HAVANA (1941)


Typically inane, but colorful (make that Techni-Colorful), Fox musical could have used some memorable tunes, but the plot mechanics work out better than usual (at 80 minutes there’s no time for dawdling), and the brief establishing shots of Cuba are a plus. Alice Faye is a Macy’s salesgirl whose busted holiday cruise leaves her in the unromantic (if athletic) arms of ship exec John Payne. The leading roles seem designed for Betty Hutton & Eddie Bracken, but this is Fox not Paramount. Still, they’re game and charming while supporting couple Carmen Miranda & Cesar Romero are in excellent form. Thanks to Hermes Pan, Cesar’s ballroom dance number with Faye makes for a tasty surprise. The big lug can really move around a dance floor!

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