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Fred M. Wilcox
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As a fan of musicals and who gets great enjoyment out of seeing Jane Powell and Carmen Miranda, 'Nancy Goes to Rio' didn't disappoint at all, actually getting more or less what was expected.
Only the story in 'Nancy Goes to Rio' isn't so good. It does go overboard on the silliness and is both thin and too busy at times, with narrative surprises next to none. The ending is also rather abrupt and strange and the romance is bland somewhat and feels like an afterthought.
However, as to be expected, 'Nancy Goes to Rio' is a glorious-looking film. The sets and costumes are suitably opulent and complemented beautifully by the radiant cinematography and the big, bold and rich colours.
The music is always a pleasant listen and infectiously upbeat. "Magic is the Moonlight" and especially "Shine on Harvest Moon" stand out, as does Carmen Miranda's colourful and to-be-seen-to-be-believed second production number. Nice use of "Quando M'En Vo" too from Puccini's 'La Boheme'. The choreography is cleverly done, especially in Miranda's second production number.
Furthermore the script is filled with snappy lines that crackle in energy and wit, the whole film is breezily directed and the whole film is just full of fun and charm, just perfect for 100 minutes escapist entertainment.
Jane Powell is her usual pert and charming self and is in wonderful voice. Ann Southern more than matches her as her mother. Meanwhile Carmen Miranda is a riot in material that shows off her talent splendidly, Louis Culhern is sparkling comedic support and Barry Sullivan is effectively subdued without being bland.
On the whole, a Technicolor and musical treat, as long as you don't demand too much. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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