Most old films noted as "of historical interest only" are actually very entertaining. "Rio Rita" is not. It is one of the better examples of the "historically interesting" film. It's also helpful if you view it as a extravagantly filmed stage production. The 1927-28 stage musical, produced by Florenz Ziegfeld, was a colossal success. And, the too long film version was voted 1927's fourth "Best Picture", in the annual poll conducted by "Film Daily".
The opportunity to see "Rio Rita" on screen, in partial color, with popular Bebe Daniels (as Rita Ferguson) in her first speaking (and singing) role, proved irresistible at the box office. Ms. Daniels did not equal her 1920s silent successes, but extended her popularity into the early "talkie" era. Check out the debuting comedy team of Wheeler and Woolsey (with Dorothy Lee) in "Hips, Hips, Hooray!" for a better representation of their work.
***** Rio Rita (1929) Luther Reed ~ Bebe Daniels, Bert Wheeler, Robert Woolsey
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