Carlos Estrada, a busboy in a Cuban hotel who wants to become a composer, is rebuffed by Mama Valdez when he tries to get her daughter, singer-dancer Lolita Veldez, to use one of his songs.... See full summary »



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Complete credited cast:
Mary Hatcher ...
Marge Henley
Mama Valdez
Ray Walker ...
Sam Keegan
Police Sergeant


Carlos Estrada, a busboy in a Cuban hotel who wants to become a composer, is rebuffed by Mama Valdez when he tries to get her daughter, singer-dancer Lolita Veldez, to use one of his songs. Carlos thinks Lolita, who he has not met, is the one who turned him down. He unexpectedly becomes the leader of the hotel band, and they set out for Havana by bus to find a singer and dancer to join them in the grand rumba contest at the annual carnival. Lolita, who has her heart set on winning the contest, slips out of her hotel and heads for Havana in a car driven by an American agent, Marge Henley, who is trying to sign her up. With the police, called by her mother, in pursuit she abandons the car and catches the band bus and, under an assumed name, persuades Carlos to take her to Havana with the band. Later, learning her true identity, Carlos cools toward her. Will they clear up the misunderstanding? Will they win the big contest? Will romance conquer all? Written by Les Adams <>

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IT'S CARNIVAL TIME IN CUBA... and loving time all the time! See more »


Comedy | Musical





Release Date:

15 October 1949 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Carlos Estrada: Then, you are just another woman. What makes you think you're so perfect? Or, something?
Lolita Valdez - aka Dolores: Oh, I didn't say I was.
Carlos Estrada: Well, you're not! Look at you. Your hair...
Lolita Valdez - aka Dolores: What's wrong with my hair?
Carlos Estrada: Nothing. Your nose!
Lolita Valdez - aka Dolores: You don't like it?
Carlos Estrada: Well, it's alright by itself. Then you put it together with your eyes and your lips.
Lolita Valdez - aka Dolores: Yes...
Carlos Estrada: Turn off the light.
Lolita Valdez - aka Dolores: Huh?
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Referenced in Les maîtres fous (1955) See more »


I'll Take Romance
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Music by Ben Oakland
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User Reviews

Great Music Enlivens Average Show
17 October 2014 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

With a title like "Holiday in Havana", you might expect one of those overlit Fox Technicolor spectacles with Carmen Miranda mugging it up in the numbers. What you have is a black-and-white Universal Studios type of effort which looks like it requires a central comic. Instead, you have a bunch of decent supporting comics like Sig Arno, Minerva Urecal and Leon Belasco. Director Jean Yarborough was fine when directing cut-glass farce with Abbott & Costello. However, dealing with people like Ann Doran, who could do well with a line, the comedy timing limps.

What pulls this movie up is the music. The music is lively, mostly Latin and just the sort of thing I grew up with: not only the sort of thing that Desi Arnaz would later use on "I Love Lucy" but the Wall-of-Sound dizzy drive that Tito Puente would command. Desi Arnaz gives a surprisingly nuanced performance and Mary Hatcher as the ingénue is very charming, even if she is made up to look like a juvenile Rita Hayworth.

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