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Holiday in Mexico (1946)

The U.S. Ambassador's (Walter Pidgeon) daughter falls for a Mexican pianist (Jose Iturbi) old enough to be her grandfather.


George Sidney, Joseph Barbera (uncredited) | 1 more credit »


William Kozlenko (story), Isobel Lennart




Cast overview:
Walter Pidgeon ... Jeffrey Evans
José Iturbi ... José Iturbi
Roddy McDowall ... Stanley Owen
Ilona Massey ... Countess Toni Karpathy
Xavier Cugat ... Xavier Cugat
Jane Powell ... Christine Evans
Hugo Haas ... Angus, Evans' butler
Mikhail Rasumny ... Baranga
Helene Stanley ... Yvette Baranga
William 'Bill' Phillips ... Sam, Evans' chauffeur
Amparo Iturbi Amparo Iturbi ... Self
Tonia Hero Tonia Hero ... Mouse (Iturbi Grandchild)
Teresa Hero Teresa Hero ... Mouse (Iturbi Grandchild)


The U.S. Ambassador's (Walter Pidgeon) daughter falls for a Mexican pianist (Jose Iturbi) old enough to be her grandfather.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


M-G-M presents its Gayest Musical Romance in Carnival TECHNICOLOR


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Did You Know?


One of two films in which a young Fidel Castro appears as an extra, mostly in crowd scenes. See more »


At around the 53-minute mark, a shot shows a badly cracked floor tile. When an extra walks across the adjoining tile, it lifts up on one end and makes a SPLUNK sound when it falls back into place. See more »


Stanley Owen: Christine, what happened to your face? Why you look so horrible ?
Christine Evans: What ? Oh that's because I'm not dressed yet that's all. All girls look like this before they're dressed.
Stanley Owen: They do? Christine, I think that's deceitful
Yvette Baranga: Bon soir Stanley.
Stanley Owen: Yvette, before you are dressed, do you look horrible?
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Alternate Versions

"Why So Gloomy?", a musical number featuring Jane Powell and a Chinese boy, was cut from the film. It is included in the "Musical Jukebox" feature of the 2004 That's Entertainment! DVD box set. See more »


Referenced in Forecast (1945) See more »


Polonaise in A Flat, Opus 53
Music by Frédéric Chopin
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User Reviews

Not much Mexico here, but lots of fun and charm
11 February 2017 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

'Holiday in Mexico' may not be a great film, but it is good at what it set out to do, doesn't try to be any more than it is and knows exactly what it wants to be.

Its weak link is the thin and insipid story, the first half being almost plot less, which also suffers from draggy pacing that is especially uninteresting in the scenes between Roddy McDowell and Jane Powell that dominate too much of the second half. The overlong length, not unusual in George Sidney's 1940s films. McDowell has an annoying caricature character, and not only does he do little with it but he does grate somewhat.

There is so much to enjoy about 'Holiday in Mexico' on the other hand. Even with not much authentic Mexico in sight, being on the most part more Culver City soundstage than Mexico, it is a lovely looking film, being beautifully shot in rich colour and handsomely produced. The music is similarly great, with a mix of pleasant songs and the divine piano music of Chopin and Rachmaninov masterfully played by Jose Iturbi, in every film he appeared in his piano playing was some of the finest on film.

Scripting is not exceptional, but sweet and amusing and nowhere near as trite as the story. The bittersweet romance between Ilona Massey and Walter Pidgeon has been criticised, to me it had a lot of affecting charm. Other great things are the knockout piano choreography and the clever animated title sequence, courtesy of Hanna-Barbera, that is the most evocative of Mexico that 'Holiday in Mexico' gets.

Powell is very charming and sings beautifully, and while Massey is not as natural an actress she is still likable enough. Iturbi and Xavier Cugat add enormously to the film and Pidgeon is similarly likable. Sidney directs with competence.

All in all, lots of fun and charm though not without its flaws. 7/10 Bethany Cox

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English | Spanish

Release Date:

September 1946 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ball in der Botschaft See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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