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Johnny Riggs, a con man on the lam, finds himself in a Latin-American country named Patria. There, he overhears a convent-bred rich girl praying to her guardian angel for help in managing her tangled business affairs. Riggs decides to materialize as the girl's "angel", gains her unquestioning confidence, and helps himself to the deluded girl's millions. Just as he and his partner are about to flee Patria with their booty, Riggs realizes he has fallen in love with the girl and returns the money, together with a note that is part confession and part love letter. But the larcenous duo's escape from Patria turns out to be more difficult than they could ever have imagined. Written by
Dan Navarro <email@example.com>
Lovely Lucille Bremer is Yolanda and Fred Astaire is the thief in "Yolanda and the Thief," a 1945 musical directed by Vincente Minnelli and also starring Frank Morgan, Leon Ames, and Mildred Natwick. Astaire and Morgan are con men in a Latin American country called Patria which is practically owned by the Aquaviva family. The heir to the fortune, Yolanda (Bremer) has just left convent school to take over the estate, and Johnny (Astaire) decides to get it away from her. He hears her praying to an angel statue how worried she is about all the money, etc., and decides to pose as an angel. This, of course, is in keeping with one of the major themes of the day during and after World War II - angels, the dead coming back to life, heaven.
This is a beautiful film to look at with some good dance numbers. Minnelli was a brilliant director, even with less than great material. Alas, the stunningly photographed Bremer wasn't much of a presence. She and Astaire are okay together but the whole thing never really gets off the ground. A few nice moments, but one expects more from both Minnelli and Astaire.
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