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The Acunas, a rich Argentine family, have the tradition that the daughters have to get married in order, oldest first. When sister #1 gets married, sisters #3 and #4 put pressure on Maria, sister #2, because they have their husbands picked out already. But Maria hasn't yet met a man she likes. Eduardo Acuna, believing that men aren't romantic enough these days, sends his daughter flowers and anonymous love letters, creating a "mystery man" for her to fall in love with. He intends to pick out an appropriate beau for her later, to fill the role. But Robert Davis, an American dancer looking for work, stumbles into the picture. Maria falls for him, but the father does not approve. Written by
John Oswalt <email@example.com>
Pop quiz: Who was Fred Astaire's favorite female dancing partner? If your answer is the obvious one, Ginger Rogers, guess again. Cyd Charisse, Vera-Ellen, Judy Garland, Joan Leslie, Eleanor Powell? Still wrong. Surprisingly, Astaire long maintained that his favorite was none other than Rita Hayworth. Rita, he once said, could be taught a complicated piece of choreography in the morning and have it down pat after lunch! The two made a pair of films together, "You'll Never Get Rich" in 1941 and "You Were Never Lovelier" in '42. A look at Hayworth's work in the latter film will demonstrate what a remarkable learner she apparently was. She and Fred share several musical numbers here, including the moonlit garden waltz to "I'm Old Fashioned" and the remarkably high-spirited and dynamic "Shorty George," and the two do make a marvelous pair. As for the rest of the film, it is a typical Astaire comedy, replete with mistaken identities, concerning Rita's father, Adolphe Menjou, convincing Fred to impersonate the fictitious lover that he has devised for her. The viewer must wait almost 40 full minutes to see Fred dance in this one, but that wait is well repaid when Astaire explodes in a brash and frenetic audition number for ol' Adolphe. The film's script is bright and amusing, Xavier Cugat's orchestra adds colorful support, and Rita is at least as beautiful, if not more so, than in 1946's overrated "Gilda." Bottom line: This is no Fred & Ginger picture, but it sure does have its compensations...Rita Hayworth surely being one of them.
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