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Talent agent Lionel Devereaux sells his girlfriend/client Carmen Novarro to New York City's famous Copacabana nightclub as a Latin-American singer/dancer and, pressed for another act, he sells her again, this time with a blonde wig and Moroccan veil, as a French singer...for the same presentation. The wear and tear on Carmen, changing back-and-forth between numbers, leaves to a heated exchange of words between the performer and her fiancé agent. This leads to the disappearance of Carmen's alter ego, which arouses suspicions by the management...and the police. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Meet Me at the Copa, with your Clark Kent disguise
Copacabana marked Groucho Marx's attempt to go it alone without his brothers and it had mixed results.
He co-stars here with Carmen Miranda of the tutti-frutti hat. They are a duo act, but decide they'd be better as a solo with he her agent. Through a comedy of errors, inspired by Groucho's eagerness to show he has more than one client. He convinces Steve Cochran at the Copacabana to sign Carmen and one Madamoiselle Fifi. Fifi is French Moroccan and per her religion and nationality, keeps her face covered with a scarf. And Carmen in her Fifi incarnation speaks with a French accent that's a cheap imitation of Ann Codee.
Even though this is only one Marx Brother, it's still an exercise in the absurd. But I find it hard pressed to believe that no one realized that there was only one woman involved. Carmen Miranda is kind of distinctive even with a false accent. Well if everyone could get fooled by Clark Kent putting on a pair of glasses, who am I to question.
Groucho gets a comedy number himself, written by Harry Ruby and Bert Kalmar called Go West Young Man. It's strictly comedy patter for Groucho, but Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters made a record of it in 1947 as a straighter version. Groucho guested on Crosby's show several times over the years and I'd be willing to bet Crosby recorded it as a favor to Groucho to plug the film.
Carmen Miranda is nothing less than Carmen Miranda. With the way she mangles the English language, Groucho must have thought she was Chico with breasts. But Carmen is always entertaining in any situation.
Crooner Andy Russell and a grown up Gloria Jean also contribute musically and to lend authenticity to the proceedings, Louis Sobol and Earl Wilson columnists, and Abel Green of Variety make appearances.
Copacabana is dated simply because the era of the nightclub is just a memory. But at least the Copa got immortalized by Barry Manilow and they still have them in the tinsel world of Las Vegas.
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