Tuesday, September 28, 2010

You can enjoy both Week-End In Havana (1941) with Alice Faye and Springtime in The Rockies (1942) with Betty Grable

Two of my favorite musicals that are pretty similar in style and music. The main exception is the leading lady. Alice Faye headlines Week-End In Havana while my girl Betty Grable tops Springtime in The Rockies. Both films feature several of the same actors, including John Payne, Carmen Miranda and Cesar Romero.

In Week-End In Havana, a cruise ship bound for Cuba crashes off the Florida coast, ship executive Jay Williams (John Payne) asks each passenger to sign a waiver that clears the liner of all responsibility. But when New York City shop girl Nan Spencer (Alice Faye) says no, it sets off a chain reaction of romance and rejection. Cesar Romero and Carmen Miranda co-star in this 1941 musical featuring the songs "Romance and Rhumba" and "Tropical Magic." Faye is quite good in her role as Nan, as she will not yield to Payne's continued pursuit. Romero and Miranda are also quite good. Should be noted that Faye was pregnant while filming this movie. What a trooper.

In Springtime In The Rockies, Broadway partners Vicky Lane and Dan Christy have a tiff over Christy's womanizing. Jealous Vicky takes up with her old flame and former dance partner, Victor Price, and Dan's career takes a nosedive. In hopes of rekindling their romance and getting Vicky back on the boards with him, Dan follows her to a ritzy resort in the Canadian Rockies, where she and Victor are about to open their new act. But things get complicated when Dan wakes after a bender to find that he's hired an outlandish Latin secretary, Rosita Murphy, which makes Vicky think he's just up to his old tricks again. Betty is definitely the star as she gets to shine in several musical numbers. But Carmen Miranda is a riot as Rosita Murphy. You will be busting a gut everytime she appears onscreen. And actress Charlotte Greenwood adds a touch of grace. Springtime was a huge hit for studio 20th Century Fox as it was a top ten money earner in 1942 and solidfying Betty Grable as a major box office attraction. I love both films equally and I don't know if I could choose between them. So instead of making that decision, I just say watch them both and have a great time.