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Rio Rita (1942)

Passed  -  Comedy | Music | Musical  -  April 1942 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 769 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 1 critic

Doc and Wishey run into some Nazi-agents, who want to smuggle bombs into the USA from a Mexican border hotel.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Complete credited cast:
Rita Winslow
John Carroll ...
Ricardo Montera
Patricia Dane ...
Lucette Brunswick
Tom Conway ...
Maurice Craindall
Peter Whitney ...
Harry Gantley
Arthur Space ...
Dick Rich ...
Eva Puig ...
Joan Valerie ...
Mitchell Lewis ...
Eros Volusia ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Eros Volusia Brazilian Dancers ...


After being fired from their jobs as clerks in a pet store, Doc and Wishey, a couple of bumpkins, hide in the trunk of a car that they think will take them to New York. Somehow, however, they end up in Texas where they help to facilitate the romance of a popular Latin singer and the owner of a resort hotel while exposing a gang of Fifth-Columnists. Written by

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


"SENORITA...I'M CRAZY with LOVE FOR YOU" -- BUD "HE'S CRAZY ALRIGHT...BUT I'm your DAISY" -- LOU (original print ad - mostly caps) See more »


Passed | See all certifications »




| |

Release Date:

April 1942 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Bud Abbott and Lou Costello were under contract to Universal Pictures, and their films were so successful that MGM signed a three-film contract with them to take advantage of a clause in their Universal contract that allowed them to do one film a year for another company. This was the first one; Lost in a Harem (1944) and Bud Abbott and Lou Costello in Hollywood (1945) were the others. However, each of the films was less successful than the previous one, and MGM canceled its agreement with Universal after the third film. See more »


In the scene where Lou is on top of the car garage roof, a seam in the sky cyclorama can clearly be seen, even in long shot, and shadows of trees are also reflected on the "sky." See more »


'Wishy': I want to be like the Rangers when I die. I want to die with my boots on.
'Doc': Why?
'Wishy': I got holes in my socks.
See more »


Featured in 100 Years of Comedy (1997) See more »


Ora O Conga
Written by Lacerdo
Supposedly in the movie
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User Reviews

MGM ruins yet another comedy team!!
14 August 2009 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

During the 1920-1940s, MGM made a ton of wonderful films. However, when it came to comedies (especially comedy teams), they really were inept. Here is the track record: With Laurel and Hardy, Hal Roach Studios released films through MGM and MGM didn't touch the productions. When they did a MGM films without Roach, it resulted in THE AIR RAID WARDENS and NOTHING BUT TROUBLE--two of their worst films.

With Buster Keaton, he was a genius during the silent era. His first MGM film, the CAMERAMAN, was pretty good. But, then they soon began making sound films, they got the brilliant idea of pairing Keaton (a brilliant physical comedian) with Jimmy Durante (a loud and brash comedian). This mix naturally didn't work and they all but abandoned physical comedy. This effectively ruined Keaton's solo career.

With the Three Stooges, the studio didn't know what to do. So, they let them go after making a few bizarre films, like DANCING LADY, where the Stooges played solo acts in a Clark Gable and Joan Crawford film.

With the Marx Brothers, although A NIGHT AT THE OPERA and A DAY AT THE RACES were classics, soon the studio put them in insipid formulaic films like THE BIG STORE and AT THE CIRCUS. Gone were their wild and crazy earlier style of films and many believe their films with Paramount (DUCK SOUP, HORSE FEATHERS and others) were their best and most consistent films.

With Abbott and Costello, after a long string of very successful films with Universal, they were "loaned out" (i.e., bought for several films) to MGM. This resulted in three rather bland films. MGM decided the team was a flash in the pan and returned them to Universal--after which, the team went on to make many very successful films.

So, the fact that I wasn't impressed with RIO RITA is no big surprise--the MGM folks simply had no idea how to make this type of film and spent very little making it. This is very surprising that with the success of Abbott and Costello in their previous films. That MGM (a very high-class studio) would make such a cheap looking film was amazing and it was much cheaper than the films the team did with a much smaller Universal Studios. For example, in the bad segment at the garage near the beginning of the film, you can see the seam in the "sky" and the sound is terrible--like they are filming in a warehouse--which is what they seemed to be doing throughout the film. To make things worse, they used very cheap background paintings. Why, oh why, didn't they do any location shooting? The total effect is pretty claustrophobia-inducing though still watchable.

Aside from bad sets, the film features a lot of singing--and awful lot of singing. I guess the studio saw it more as a Kathryn Grayson and John Carroll film instead of an Abbott and Costello one. MGM can't completely blamed for this, as all but one of their previous films at Universal had too much music as well. As to the humor, while Bud and Lou seem game, the routines aren't particularly good or inspired. Having them in a very contrived plot involving Nazi agents in Mexico(!) also didn't help.

Overall, watchable but that's all. A definite comedown from their prior films.

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