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Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Ricardo, son of a mexican bandit, becomes against his will a bandit. He falls in love with Theresa, the daughter of the governor, who is expecting tax collectors from spain. Ricardo sees a good chance there. Written by
Stephan Eichenberg <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Frank Sinatra did not want to make this movie, feeling that he was not right for the part. The studio, anxious to build him up as a leading man, forced him to be in it. He stated later that he never watched the film since he was embarrassed by the whole thing. Kathryn Grayson likewise disliked the film saying that it was her least favorite of all her films. See more »
The Kissing Bandit was the third and final film that Frank Sinatra and Kathryn Grayson co-starred at MGM with. The first two were Anchors Aweigh and It Happened in Brooklyn. And in both Sinatra wooed and lost Grayson. I guess the third time's the charm.
For romance maybe, but definitely not for screen image. Sinatra in his forty's films once again plays the nice little schnook only this time in toreador pants. Poaching on Tyrone Power's territory laid out in The Mark of Zorro, Sinatra plays the son of a man who was a hotel owner by day and The Kissing Bandit by night. He's gone and left California for an education and has come back ready to take Dad's place, but in the hotel business only. And where does he learn the hotel business, Boston.
Of course some of Dad's former gang members, grown a little old and paunchy led by J. Carrol Naish, want him to lead the gang again. But Frank's just not cut out for the outlaw life. But he does make a good impression on the Governor's daughter, Kathryn Grayson.
Somebody must have had it in for Sinatra at MGM to cast him in this after the bad reviews he got in Miracle of the Bells. Frank's in a part that was more suitable for Red Skelton. But since this was a musical, I guess the brain trust at MGM figured Kathryn Grayson had to have a singing co-star.
In fact the best number in the film are for her, Love Is Where You Find It. Also Ricardo Montalban, Ann Miller, and Cyd Charisse do a dance specialty that is nice. Frank's songs are nice, but nothing spectacular.
In later years, Sinatra would wince at the mention of The Kissing Bandit and with good reason.
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