Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.
USA, 1942. Columbia Pictures. Story by Carlos A. Olivari, Sixto Pondal Rios, Screenplay by Michael Fessier, Ernest Pagano, Delmer Daves. Cinematography by Ted Tetzlaff. Produced by Louis F. Edelman. Music by Leigh Harline. Production Design by Lionel Banks. Costume Design by Irene. Film Editing by William A. Lyon. Academy Awards 1942.
The second of the films paired Rita Hayworth and Fred Astaire is the better of the two. He plays a famous Manhattan dancer with a gambling problem who is in Argentina enjoying the horse races. When he runs out of dough and needs his passage home, he asks the owner of a ritzy Buenos Aires club to let him perform there but finds his name has no cache in the antipodes. The club owner, however, has three gorgeous daughters and will only allow them to get married in order of birth; the fact that eldest daughter Hayworth has no desire to wed means bad news for her two younger sisters, who already have their suitors lined up. Their father convinces Astaire to be Hayworth’s pretend lover in order to get her in the marital mood and, to sweeten the pot, lets him perform at his establishment, but things go awry (of course) when our purchased hero actually does fall in love with his impossibly beautiful assignment. As silly a manipulation of plot as ever there was (one that asks us to believe that a man needs financial inducement to fall in love Rita Bloody Hayworth), this one is worth watching for the lovely cinematography, the beautiful settings and, of course, the dancing, including some impressively athletic numbers that show our leading lady keeping up perfectly with the legendary hoofer (who later said she was his favourite dancing partner).