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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
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A Week-End in Havana
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Mack Gordon
Sung by Carmen Miranda in the opening number with chorus and band
Reprised by an offscreen chorus during the montage in Havana
Played as background music often See more »
Although none of the principal players set foot in Havana, Cuba for the production of Weekend in Havana, Darryl F. Zanuck sent a second unit crew down there to get enough background shots and longshots with doubles of the players to make one feel they were having a Weekend in Havana. Usually the studios just relied on newsreel footage so 20th Century Fox was spending more than most studios would at this time.
There are certain plot similarities to Paramount's Waikiki Wedding that starred Bing Crosby and Shirley Ross four years earlier. In fact George Barbier has the same kind of part in both, a business executive who wants to make sure a young woman has the time of her life on vacation be it Hawaii or Cuba.
In this case it's Alice Faye, a shopgirl who saved her money for a cruise and in this case the cruise ship ran aground on a reef on the Cuban coast. She just doesn't want to sign a waiver to get the company off the hook for a lawsuit. So John Payne who is about to become Barbier's son-in-law is sent to get that waiver by hook or crook.
What he ends up doing is trying to make sure Faye has a good time in Havana under his personal management. He even calls in a broke Cesar Romero in for a bit of romance when Faye doesn't take to him. Payne offers to pay Romero's debts to casino owner Sheldon Leonard and that doesn't sit too well with Carmen Miranda, Romero's girlfriend. And the whole business ain't sitting too well with Cobina Wright who is Payne's fiancé.
I'm sure you can figure out where this is going plot wise. In addition to those mentioned look for nice performances from Billy Gilbert as a club owner and Leonid Kinskey as an ever helpful bellhop.
Seeing Payne and Faye sing together once again confirms my thesis in that 20th Century Fox hired him to take the musical leads opposite their stars like Faye, Betty Grable, etc. He shows himself once again to be a singing Tyrone Power. Alice and he make lovely music, but of course the hit of the film is Carmen Miranda. As it was in any film she was in.
Another Latin American good will film. Interesting how we got our ideas about Latin America from films like these. Nice entertainment, but bad sociopolitics.
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