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You Were Never Lovelier (1942)

2:05 | Trailer
In Buenos Aires, a man who has decreed that his daughters must marry in order of age allows an American dancer to perform at his club under the condition that he play suitor to his second-oldest daughter.


William A. Seiter


Michael Fessier (screenplay), Ernest Pagano (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
Nominated for 3 Oscars. See more awards »





Complete credited cast:
Fred Astaire ... Robert Davis
Rita Hayworth ... Maria Acuña
Adolphe Menjou ... Eduardo Acuña
Isobel Elsom ... Mrs. Maria Castro
Leslie Brooks ... Cecy Acuña
Adele Mara ... Lita Acuña
Gus Schilling ... Fernando
Barbara Brown Barbara Brown ... Mrs. Delfina Acuña
Douglas Leavitt ... Juan Castro
Xavier Cugat and His Orchestra ... Xavier Cugat and His Orchestra


The Acunas, a rich Argentine family, have the tradition that the daughters have to get married in order, oldest first. When sister #1 gets married, sisters #3 and #4 put pressure on Maria, sister #2, because they have their husbands picked out already. But Maria hasn't yet met a man she likes. Eduardo Acuna, believing that men aren't romantic enough these days, sends his daughter flowers and anonymous love letters, creating a "mystery man" for her to fall in love with. He intends to pick out an appropriate beau for her later, to fill the role. But Robert Davis, an American dancer looking for work, stumbles into the picture. Maria falls for him, but the father does not approve. Written by John Oswalt <jao@jao.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


HAYWORTH--never lovelier! ASTAIRE--never more exciting! KERN'S MUSIC--never more inspired! See more »


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The dance to "You Were Never Lovelier" was cut from the film after the previews. See more »


During Davis's big dance number in Acuna's office, he tap dances over part of a throw rug. The sound of his taps are the same as when he taps on the hardwood floor of the room, revealing that the taps are dubbed onto the soundtrack. See more »


[first lines]
Robert Davis: [hailing a taxi from the racetrack] Hotel Acuna please.
[upon arrival, a sign reads - Xavier Cugat In The Sky Room]
Robert Davis: Eh, what's his name?
Hotel Acuña Bellboy: Uh, Eduardo Ecuna. He's the big boss, here's his office.
Robert Davis: Oh, thanks. Oh, boy...
[reaches in his pocket for a tip but doesn't have any money]
Robert Davis: ... huh, I'll get ya later. Thanks.
[pats him on the back and enters Mr. Scuna's office for a dancing position business proposition]
See more »


Featured in The Lady with the Torch (1999) See more »


Los Hijos de Buda
Written by Rafael Hernández
Excerpts played for the Audition Dance
Played by Xavier Cugat and His Orchestra and danced by Fred Astaire
See more »

User Reviews

Ravishing Rita is a Match for Astaire
13 December 2007 | by dglinkSee all my reviews

Set in Hollywood's fanciful concept of Buenos Aires during the early 1940's, "You Were Never Lovelier" is pure escapist fluff that has been filmed with class. Of course, Fred Astaire adds class to any film in which he appears, and the ravishing Rita Hayworth is eye candy with talent. Astaire always refused to say who was his favorite dancing partner, but, based on the rapport and coordination between the two, Hayworth must have been high on his list. She is a beautiful trained dancer, and the sight of Rita tossing her long red mane while gracefully keeping step with Astaire makes one wish that Astaire-Hayworth musicals had been as numerous as those with Astaire-Rogers.

The film's flimsy plot revolves around a wealthy Argentine patriarch's refusal to let his daughters marry out of age order, and Hayworth's disinterest in marriage is delaying the weddings of her two younger sisters. Adolphe Menjou, who plays the father of four daughters, dreams up a mystery suitor, and eventually Rita confuses Astaire with this imaginary beau. But, never mind the lack of Latin flavor or the transparent silliness of the script. The plot has no surprises, but enough Jerome Kern songs and elegant dance routines, either solo by Astaire or Astaire and Hayworth together, punctuate the proceedings to keep viewers entertained.

Of course, audiences have to suspend disbelief and accept that a love goddess like Rita would fall for a skinny, somewhat older, and ordinary looking Fred, when dozens of tall, dark, and handsome Latin men were panting for her attention. But, like the sound-stage Argentine sets, this is fantasy, and Fred always wins the gorgeous girl, be she Ginger Rogers, Audrey Hepburn, or Judy Garland. Of his dancing partners, only Gene Kelly got away. Women must be won over by Fred's moves, and what great moves they are. "You Were Never Lovelier" boasts some excellent dance routines, and Astaire's work with Hayworth ranks with his best. If the nonsensical plot fails to engage you, hold on, because the dancing will carry you away.

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Release Date:

19 November 1942 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tuesday's Orchids See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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