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The Kissing Bandit (1948)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Musical, Western | January 1949 (USA)
Ricardo, the milquetoast son of a Mexican bandit, would rather lead a quiet life in Boston. But the family would rather that he follow in his father's footsteps and become "The Kissing Bandit".

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Teresa
...
Chico
...
Isabella
Mikhail Rasumny ...
Don Jose
...
General Felipe Toro
Sono Osato ...
Bianca
Clinton Sundberg ...
Colonel Gomez
Carleton G. Young ...
Count Ricardo Belmonte
...
Fiesta Specialty Dancer
...
Fiesta Specialty Dancer
...
Dancer
...
Juanita
Vicente Gómez ...
Mexican Guitarist
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Storyline

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 <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

bandit | governor | old california | See All (3) »

Taglines:

THE SINGING STARS OF "ANCHORS AWAY" TOGETHER AGAIN ! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

January 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A csókos bandita  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Connections

Featured in MGM Parade: Episode #1.17 (1956) See more »

Soundtracks

If I Steal a Kiss
Frank Sinatra, reprised by Kathryn Grayson
See more »

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User Reviews

The film would have been stronger had they paired Frank with someone whose singing style wasn't as vastly different.
11 April 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Kissing Bandit was an attempt by MGM to build up Frank Sinatra as a leading man. This is a lively, bright, and goofy comedy musical. Sinatra plays Ricardo, a California born, Boston-bred young man who returns to California to take over the family business, not knowing that his father was the infamous Kissing Bandit. So named because he kissed all the women after he was done with his thievery. Ricardo is the last possible candidate to take up his father's mask. He is a proper and uncoordinated, and in his funny entrance he literally crashes through the inn that his father owned, having fallen off of his horse. J. Carroll Naish plays the comic relief on the male side as Chico, who was Ricardo's father's right hand man. Frank Sinatra is fine, but stiff at times in his role.

Sinatra's leading lady is operatic coloratura singer Kathryn Grayson, and this is a strange pairing. When they are doing songs by themselves, both actors shine, but their lone duet in the film (and thank goodness there is only one!) just doesn't work. Sinatra's smooth, jazz crooning is an odd, almost jarring pairing with Grayson's operatic arias. The film would have been stronger had they paired Frank with someone whose singing style wasn't as vastly different. The songs in the film are all good and memorable, including the Grayson solo "Tomorrow Means Romance", the Sinatra solo "Siesta", and my favorite song in the film "What's Wrong With Me?", which both Grayson and Sinatra sing. The songs were written by Nacio Herb Brown and Earl K. Brent. Brown had been paired frequently with Arthur Freed in the '20's and '30's and their songs were later used as the basis for possibly the best known movie musical of all time, Singin' in the Rain. "What's Wrong With Me", in fact, was used in the stage version of Singin'.

In addition to Naish, the film has a fine supporting cast of character actors, including Mildred Natwick as Grayson's man hungry aunt, and Clinton Sundberg as the bumbling Colonel Gomez, who keeps getting demoted. The plot line is thin and pure silliness, and Sinatra and Grayson have a flimsy chemistry, but it is held up by several strong musical performances and two cool dance sequences, one that includes Ricardo Montalban, Cyd Charisse, and Ann Miller. The comedy is not lacking though, and I had a smile on my face throughout. Overall, The Kissing Bandit, provides a fun time-filler for a late night or rainy day.


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