7.3/10
2,420
46 user 10 critic

You Were Never Lovelier (1942)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical, Romance | 19 November 1942 (USA)
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, ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Nominated for 3 Oscars. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

After his wife discovers a telltale diamond bracelet, impresario Martin Cortland tries to show he's not chasing after showgirl Sheila Winthrop. Choreographer Robert Curtis gets caught in ... See full summary »

Director: Sidney Lanfield
Stars: Fred Astaire, Rita Hayworth, Robert Benchley
Carefree (1938)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A psychiatrist agrees to hypnotize his friend's girlfriend in order to convince her to accept his proposals of marriage, but she ends up falling for the psychiatrist instead.

Director: Mark Sandrich
Stars: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Ralph Bellamy
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A successful but constantly-feuding husband and wife musical comedy team threatens to break up when the wife entertains an offer to become a serious actress.

Director: Charles Walters
Stars: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Oscar Levant
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Flying Tiger Fred Atwell sneaks away from his famous squadron's personal appearance tour and goes incognito for several days of leave. He quickly falls for photographer Joan Manion, ... See full summary »

Director: Edward H. Griffith
Stars: Fred Astaire, Joan Leslie, Robert Benchley
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A Navy sailor tries to rekindle a romance with the woman he loves while on liberty in San Francisco.

Director: Mark Sandrich
Stars: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Randolph Scott
Cover Girl (1944)
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Rusty Parker wins a contest and becomes a celebrated cover girl; this endangers her romance with dancing mentor Danny.

Director: Charles Vidor
Stars: Rita Hayworth, Gene Kelly, Lee Bowman
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An aviator and band leader who is always getting his group fired for his flirtatious behavior with the female guests soon finds himself falling for an engaged woman.

Director: Thornton Freeland
Stars: Dolores del Rio, Gene Raymond, Raul Roulien
Biography | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The story of married couple Irene Castle and Vernon Castle, sensational ballroom dancers prior to World War I.

Director: H.C. Potter
Stars: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Edna May Oliver
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A budding romance between a ballet master and a tap dancer becomes complicated when rumors surface that they're already married.

Director: Mark Sandrich
Stars: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Edward Everett Horton
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Lady Alyce Marshmorton must marry soon, and the staff of Tottney Castle have laid bets on who she'll choose, with young Albert wagering on "Mr. X." After Alyce goes to London to meet a beau... See full summary »

Director: George Stevens
Stars: Fred Astaire, George Burns, Gracie Allen
Blue Skies (1946)
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Jed Potter looks back on a love triangle conducted over the course of years and between musical numbers. Dancer Jed loves showgirl Mary, who loves compulsive nightclub-opener Johnny, who ... See full summary »

Directors: Stuart Heisler, Mark Sandrich
Stars: Fred Astaire, Bing Crosby, Joan Caulfield
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An American woman travels to England to seek a divorce from her absentee husband, where she meets - and falls for - a dashing performer.

Director: Mark Sandrich
Stars: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Alice Brady
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Robert Davis
...
Maria Acuña
...
Eduardo Acuña
Isobel Elsom ...
Mrs. Maria Castro
...
Cecy Acuña
...
Lita Acuña
Gus Schilling ...
Fernando
Barbara Brown ...
Mrs. Delfina Acuña
...
Juan Castro
Xavier Cugat and His Orchestra ...
Themselves
Edit

Storyline

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 <jao@jao.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

HAYWORTH--never lovelier! ASTAIRE--never more exciting! KERN'S MUSIC--never more inspired! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 November 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tuesday's Orchids  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Rita Hayworth was Fred Astaire favorite dance partner. See more »

Goofs

Four boys enter Mr. Acuña's house with flowers and notes from Robert to Maria. The second to enter has his left arm hanging. In the next shot, when they are seen side by side, all of them are holding the flowers with their both hands. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Delfina Acuña: I wish you wouldn't speak while I'm interrupting.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Stars of the Silver Screen: Rita Hayworth (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Chiu, Chiu
(uncredited)
Written by Nicanor Molinare
Played by Xavier Cugat and His Orchestra and sung and danced by Lina Romay,
Miguelito Valdés and chorus
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Grace and motion
8 October 2002 | by (Deming, New Mexico, USA) – See all my reviews

Okay, it's not Tosca. But holy smoke, what an efflorescence of talented song writers and lyricists the American stage produced in the thirty years between 1925 and 1955! Irving Berlin, George and Ira Gershwin, Yip Harburg, Johnny Mercer, Jerome Kern, Cole Porter, the list goes on. And the songs! From Astaire's films alone, we have Orchids in the Moonlight, The Carioca, Let's Face the Music and Dance, Yesterdays, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, Cheek to Cheek, The Way You Look Tonight, A Fine Romance, They All Laughed, Let's Call the Whole Thing off ("You say tomato, I say tomahto..."), They Can't Take That Away From Me. That's a handful of the more familiar numbers from the first films Astaire made with Ginger Rogers.

"You Were Never Lovelier" has melodies by Jerome Kern and lyrics by Johnny Mercer. Ginger isn't here, but Rita Hayworth is. Her beauty is undeniable. She'd undergone hair removal and Hollywood glamorization by this time and in a few years a pin-up pic of her was to be pasted onto a famous bomb. I missed Astaire's earlier movies. By the time I was old enough, Gene Kelly dominated the screen. I saw Astaire in his later films and didn't like him nearly as much as Kelly. Kelly's background was in athletics. He was masculine and muscular and working class. Astaire's background was in ballroom dancing. How can an adolescent identify with a skinny balding narrow-shouldered dancer in a tuxedo who doesn't swing from ropes? But there's no longer much doubt in most peoples' minds, including mine, that Astaire was by far the better dancer, Kelly's charm notwithstanding. Astaire was elegant and precise and his dance steps were varied; Kelly seemed to repeat his leg-over-leg jumps over and over in each number.

At any rate, the plot of "You Were Never Lovelier" is rather original for an Astaire musical. I don't think it goes farther back in history than Aristophanes. It's a complicated business involving mistaken identities, an interfering father, and whatnot. But it doesn't matter, because the numbers are what counts. Kern and Mercer provide two songs that have become standards: "Dearly Beloved" and "I'm Old Fashioned." Anyone who wants to see the Hollywood musical at its best would be advised to listen to either song and to watch the dancing during "I'm Old Fashioned." "Dearly Beloved" occurs throughout the film as a kind of theme, and is sung once by Astaire and once by Hayworth, but is never accompanied by a dance. There are other songs too, of course, although none enchants the way these two ballads do. One of the numbers is "The Shorty George." Astaire's movies often had references to a new popular dance craze -- The Carioca, The Yam, the Sluefoot -- and this is an instance of that tendency. It was named after a real dancer, George Snowden, a dancer at the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem, known as "Shorty." If "I'm Old Fashioned" has a swooping grace, "The Shorty George" includes sections set at a blistering tempo and demonstrates Rita Hayworth's energy and range as a dancer.

Speaking of energy, how do they do it? "I'm Old Fashioned", like most of Astaire's numbers, consists of very long takes in medium distance that depend on both precision and physical stamina. (If you want to see an example of the opposite, watch Travolta do his final number in "Staying Alive.") I counted three cuts during the entire dance, which lasts four minutes and thirty-seven seconds. I'd have a heart attack after the first thirty-seven seconds.

Well, okay. It's not Fred and Ginger. It's not even Tosca. But if you want to watch two people engaged in the unpretentious exercise of a physical skill acquired only with the utmost difficulty, this one shouldn't be missed.


28 of 30 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?