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Rio Rita (1929)

8.2
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 454 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 4 critic

Capt. James Stewart pursues the bandit "The Kinkajou" over the Mexican border and falls in love with Rita. He suspects, that her brother is the bandit.

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(adapted by), (book), 1 more credit »
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Title: Rio Rita (1929)

Rio Rita (1929) on IMDb 8.2/10

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Rita Ferguson
John Boles ...
Capt. Jim Stewart
Bert Wheeler ...
Chick Bean
Robert Woolsey ...
Ned Lovett
Dorothy Lee ...
Dolly Bean
Don Alvarado ...
Roberto Ferguson
Georges Renavent ...
General Ravinoff
Helen Kaiser ...
Mrs. Katie Bean
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Storyline

Capt. James Stewart pursues the bandit "The Kinkajou" over the Mexican border and falls in love with Rita. He suspects, that her brother is the bandit. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Ziegfeld's fabulous all-talking, all-singing super screen spectacle


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 September 1929 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Rio Rita  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (re-release)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone System)

Color:

| (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Costume designer Walter Plunkett worked uncredited on this early talking film. At the time, Hollywood was going through an extremely difficult transition from silent films to talkies. An incident that occurred during the production of this film was later immortalized in Singin' in the Rain (1952). While Plunkett was designing the costumes for that film, screenwriters Adolph Green and Betty Comden drew on some of Plunkett's recollections as the source for gags about the perils of early sound filming. An example of this is the scene in Singin' in the Rain (1952) in which Lina Lamont (Jean Hagen) taps Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly) on the shoulder with her fan but causes a thunderous noise on the soundtrack by disturbing a microphone hidden in Lockwood's clothing. This was based on a similar incident during the production of "Rio Rita". See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Have You Got Any Castles? (1938) See more »

Soundtracks

The Kinkajou
(1927) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Tierney
Lyrics by Joseph McCarthy
Performed by Dorothy Lee and chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Wheeler & Woolsey - Together Again For The First Time
16 June 2001 | by (Forest Ranch, CA) – See all my reviews

Like a river in the parched desert, so the lovely señorita known as RIO RITA brings joy to all who know her. But with her brother being chased as a bandit, unwelcome attentions from a brutal Russian general & a new lover who refuses to divulge his true identity, pretty Rita has plenty of problems to distract her.

Florenz Ziegfeld's smash Broadway hit was brought to the screen in this very early movie musical. At times it wheezes quite badly and shows its age. The transitions into the songs look very stagy & artificial. Many of the lyrics, especially sung by the female cast, are completely indecipherable.

But it should be remembered that movie musicals were still in their cradle and the studios only had stage traditions to draw upon at first. So the few innovations showcased here are welcome. Some of the dance numbers are pleasingly elaborate, even including a primitive overhead shot. Occasional outdoor photography helps open up the screenplay, and the early Technicolor featured in the last half hour is a big bonus.

Bebe Daniels & John Boles play the romantic leads. She is saddled with a thick accent & ludicrous script. He appears somewhat awkward & ill at ease. Much better film roles would await them both in years to come.

The real highlight of RIO RITA is the film debut of the wonderful comedy team of Wheeler & Woolsey, who had appeared in the Broadway version. Here, although somewhat gynandroid, they cement what will be their screen personas through 26 films together. Bert Wheeler (1895-1968) plays a young, naive romantic. Robert Woolsey (1888-1938) portrays a shiftless, cigar-puffing conniver. Together, they would make a hilarious comedy team, their partnership only being sundered by Woolsey's untimely death. Today they are all but forgotten.

It is only fitting that pert little Dorothy Lee (1911-1999), Wheeler's perennial love interest, should make the first of her 14 film appearances with the Boys here. This Kewpie-doll-cute actress would become an integral part of the Boys' cinematic success, as well as a constant delight for viewers.


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