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Six Lessons from Madame La Zonga (1941)

The brash, opinionated owner of a nightclub manages to drive everybody crazy on a boat trip to Havana.



(screenplay), (story) | 4 more credits »


Cast overview:
Mike Clancy / Papa Alvarez
Chauncey Beheegan
Rosie Clancy / Rosita Alvarez
Steve Morrison
Danny Beck ...
Frank Mitchell ...
Pony (as John Bond)
Richard Reinhart ...
Wade Boteler ...


Steve, Skat and other members of a high-ridin', rug-cuttin' musical combo from Oklahoma set off to conquer Broadway, only to find that rhumba-rhythm is all the rage. They decide to sail for Havana to learn the rhythm and pick up the accent, and, on board the ship, Steve meets Rosita Alvarez who is Cuba-bound with her father, Pop Alvarez, a merry confidence man. All have problems they expect to be solved by Madame La Zonga, but they arrive and find that the exotic queen of the rhumba's night club has gone broke. Another confidence man, Beheegan, who has sold a few city halls in his day, provides the answer to everything; using a satchel filled with ill-gotten gains and under the watchful eyes of Alvin, Gabby and Maxwell, he purchases several mythical plantations in South America from Pop. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

17 January 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Madame La Zonga  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

If they had waited they could have had "Pistol Packin' Mama."

Once a song made it onto the Lucky Strike Hit Parade listing, the odds were high that Universal or Republic would buy the title and try to find a screenplay to fit. As a song, "Six Lessons From Madame La Zonga" made the Hit Parade only once---at the mumber seven position in the week of August 17, 1940---and then promptly fell out, but that was either enough for Universal or they bought it on the assumption that it would go even higher and be a hot commodity when the film was released. The wonder is that it even made the Hit Parade in any position, and it was a non-evergreen memory from the past by the time Universal released this film in January of 1941. But the top-billed and above-the-title names of Lupe Velez and Leon Errol was a nice move on their part to cash in on the popularity of RKO's "Mexican Spitfire" series starring Velez and Errol, and some people most likely bought their tickets expecting just that. Other than missing the insufferable Dennis character from the RKO films, there wasn't all that much difference to be seen anyway. Al Capp ran a parody episode in his "Li'l Abner" comic strip, based on the song title, stretching into several weeks in 1941 called Six Lessons From Adam LaZonga, featuring a sawed-off little shrimp that looked like George Bernard Shaw who gave lessons in making love. The Capp work holds up better than the original song or the film.

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