Nan Spencer is on a boat bound for Havana which runs aground. The man sent to rescue her is engaged and she doesn't understand his disinterest. Gambler is interested, to the annoyance of his girlfriend.
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A ship company employee, Jay Williams, is sent to Florida where one of the company cruise ships is stuck on a reef off of the coast. He obtains waivers from all of the passengers with the exception of Nan Spencer, a department store salesgirl who wants her vacation NOW, not later. Jay is instructed to take Nan to Havana and set her up in the best hotel and keep her entertained. She visits a night club where the star attraction is Rosita Rivas, and meets Rosita's worthless manager, Monte Blanca, who makes a play for her. Trouble also comes in the form of Jay's fiancée, Terry McCracken, when a romance develops between Nan and Jay. Written by
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Chris-Pin Martin was billed ninth despite the fact that his role consisted of a thirty second wordless bit. The billing may be explained by Hollywood's new reliance on the Latin-American market with the outbreak of WWII. See more »
The production team behind this film would have benefited if they had done research for the movie by taking a real weekend in Havana. It appears the studio executives flew down to Rio instead. How else did they come up with music and costumes that are more Brazilian than Cuban?
Maybe the studio thought of this as a vehicle for Carmen Miranda, the charismatic Brazilian star. Otherwise, it doesn't make sense at all to have turned everything into a samba flavored musical that is completely out of character with its setting of the romantic allure Havana of the 40s.
The music is mildly entertaining. We know what will happen and how it will end, yet, we stay with a movie that has been done better before. Walter Lang directed on auto pilot because there is nothing in the film that shows anything new that we haven't seen before.
Alice Faye plays a Macy's sales lady on a Caribbean cruise. Ms. Faye is a charming presence in the film. John Payne is the man who is sent to deal with the possible problem caused by the accident of the ship and ends up falling madly in love with the sales woman. Cesar Romero is suave as the gambler that tries to endear himself to the woman he thinks is an heiress. Carmen Miranda is the singing sensation at the Casino Madrileno.
"Weekend in Havana" is an inoffensive way to spend a little more than an hour and a half with these characters.
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