7.3/10
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48 user 10 critic

You Were Never Lovelier (1942)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical, Romance | 19 November 1942 (USA)
In Buenos Aires, a man who has decreed that his daughters must marry in order of age allows an American dancer to perform at his club under the condition that he play suitor to his second-oldest daughter.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Nominated for 3 Oscars. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Isobel Elsom ...
Mrs. Maria Castro
...
...
Gus Schilling ...
Fernando
Barbara Brown ...
...
Juan Castro
...
Xavier Cugat and His Orchestra
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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 »
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Details

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Release Date:

19 November 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tuesday's Orchids  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The dance to "You Were Never Lovelier" was cut from the film after the previews. See more »

Goofs

Before he leaves Mr. Acuña's room, Cugat takes a sheet of paper from him and holds it unfolded. When he goes out the door the paper is folded. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Delfina Acuña: I wish you wouldn't speak while I'm interrupting.
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Soundtracks

Dearly Beloved
(1942) (uncredited)
Music by Jerome Kern
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Played by Xavier Cugat and His Orchestra and sung by Fred Astaire at the wedding
Reprised by Rita Hayworth dancing and singing (singing dubbed by Nan Wynn)
Played as background music often
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User Reviews

 
Rita Hayworth, YOU were never lovelier...
12 June 2006 | by See all my reviews

...and Fred Astaire was never as boyishly charming as he is here. This is a lovely, escapist, feel-good musical made in the early 40's to appease WW2-weary audiences. This is Rita and Fred's second (and final) outing after the surprise success of 'You'll Never Get Rich', and, while the first film was very enjoyable, this is an improvement on it's predecessor.

Hayworth shines as the girl who's not very interested in marriage until a 'secret admirer' and Fred Astaire come into the picture. She's very beautiful and glamorous in the role; the 'Cansino-to-Hayworth' transformation was going along nicely at the film's time of release. Astaire is always very appealing, and he does light comedy quite well. This hs a far sharper script than 'You'll Never Get Rich' and benefits from the non-wartime backdrop. Yes, the war was going on when Rita and Fred were making dancing magic, but you'd never know it from the happy little self-contained vacuum that Columbia creates for the pair in a story meant to be set in exotic South America.

I guess Rita, with her Latin roots, was the perfect choice for Maria, and she manages to outdo the master Astaire in the Latino-inspired dance routines. Her singing is dubbed, but Rita's dancing is sublime and her acting is very effective.

This film also has more memorable songs than the 1941 Astaire-Hayworth outing (I don't particularly like to compare, but it's hard not to), with 'You Were Never Lovelier', 'Shorty George' and 'I'm Old Fashioned' being great tunes. 'Shorty George' entranced me so much that I re-played the sequence on DVD three times before I moved forward in the film!

It doesn't have much of a plot, but we know that Astaire's musicals were always light on this factor so we can be forgiving. What it does have is a perfect, innocent sweetness that cannot possibly be recaptured today. From early scenes with Astaire trying to make conservation with a haughty Rita, to the final scene where the awkward yet lovable Fred arrives as Rita's 'knight in shining armor' on a white horse, 'You Were Never Lovelier' is just...well, lovely.

8/10.


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