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Stephan Eichenberg <email@example.com>
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 »
This rarely seen musical gets a bad rap probably because its as silly as it gets. It's not what audiences expected or could accept from MGM in 1948 or now. It starts silly and ends silly, and has equal amounts of good and bad in-between. The writers had a basic idea of Sinatra being weak-willed (similar to parts in Anchors Aweigh and On The Town) so it's not totally different than his other early films. The story meanders all over the place with comedy and musical sequences, a bizarre whip dance with Sono Osato (whose character doesn't show up again) and a total dud of a song called "Siesta". Movie rules: never have a musical number where everyone falls asleep on-screen; the audience will follow. Everyone works hard, especially the excellent character actors, and its tough to create the silly atmosphere. What can't be faulted are the outstanding MGM production values, the excellent "Love is Where You Find It" sung by Grayson and the generally good songs. This movie sat on MGM's shelf from 1947 with an eventual release at the end of 1948 due to poor audience previews and attempts to salvage the film. MGM added the "Fiesta" dance with Cyd Charisse, Ricardo Montalban, and Ann Miller after production ended to spice things up and it's probably the best thing in the movie. It's exciting, the music is propulsive, and the dancing and costumes are beautiful. The movie is cute, deluxe and enjoyable and certainly better many musicals of the period.
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