Thursday, February 17, 2011

Nancy Goes to Rio (1950).

Nancy Goes to Rio (1950). Directed by Robert Z. Leonard and produced by Joe Pasternak from a screenplay by Sidney Sheldon, based on a story by Ralph Block, Frederick Kohner and Jane Hall. The music was directed and supervised by George Stoll and includes compositions by George and Ira Gershwin, Giacomo Puccini, Jack Norworth and Stoll. Cast: Ann Sothern, Jane Powell, Barry Sullivan, Carmen Miranda, Louis Calhern and Scotty Beckett.

Nancy Goes to Rio is a remake of the 1940 film, It's a Date, also based on the story by Block, Kohner and Hall, starring Deanna Durbin. Kay Francis and Walter Pidgeon.

The story begins when Frances wants the part in Ricardo's play and though she is promised the role, Ricardo asks her not to tell anyone until a final decision is made. Later, Ricardo tells Frances' producer that Frances may not be right for the part and he had another actress in mind. Then, when Ricardo meets Nancy, he instantly knows that he has found the perfect actress for the part.

The next day, Frances sets sail for Rio de Janeiro, to studying her lines and have a little fun. Gregory decides to go with Frances to Rio.

After watching Nancy's performance, Ricardo offers her the part that he promised Frances. Nancy accepts the role, though she does not know that Ricardo has already promised the part to her mother.

Nancy wants to study for the part and decides to meet up with her mother and grandfather to Rio. On board the ship, Paul Berten overhears Nancy rehearsing her lines and mistakenly believes that she is a deserted wife expecting a baby. Paul is worried about Nancy and asks his business partner, Marina Rodrigues, to talk to her. Nancy mistakes his concern for a marriage proposal and says good-by when the ship reaches Rio.

Nancy overhears her mother rehearsing her lines and now knows that they are both studying for the same part. She does not tell her mother that she supposed to star in Ricardo's play, she  decides to tell her mother that she came to Rio to get married.

Nancy visits Paul at his office and tries to accept the marriage proposal she thought he had made. Paul confused, still thinks that Nancy is pregnant. He sends her home to talk to her mother about her problems, but.. Nancy misunderstands him and thinks that he wants her to discuss their marriage plans with her mother.

Things start to make sense when Paul tells Gregory that he had just met Nancy and heard about her problems on the boat. Gregory immediately recognizes the story of the play that Frances was reading and explains it to Frances. Will Frances withdraw from Ricardo's play and suggest Nancy as her replacement?

This is a wonderful musical, comedy and romance. It has many excellent dance numbers. Jane Powell, Ann Sothern, Carmen Miranda and Louis Calhern, all are amazing in their roles and musical performances.

Ann Sothern (January 22, 1909 – March 15, 2001), began her film career as an extra in the film, Broadway Nights(1927) at the age of 18. During 1929 and 1930, she appeared as a chorus girl in such films as: The Show of Shows and Whoopee! She had a trained voice, occasionally singing in films.

MGM cast Sothern in the film, Maisie (1939), as a Brooklyn burlesque dancer Mary Anastasia O'Connor who also goes by the stage name Maisie Ravier. After years of struggling, Sothern had her first major success, and a string of "Maisie" comedy sequels, beginning with, Congo Maisie (1940), and ending with Undercover Maisie (1947) . A review of Swing Shift Maisie (1943) by Time magazine  described her as "one of the smartest comediennes in the business".

On November 24, 1941, Sothern performed in the Lux Radio Theater adaptation of Maisie Was a Lady, and the popularity of the film series led to her own radio program, The Adventures of Maisie.

In 1949, Sothern appeared in the Oscar winning film, A Letter to Three Wives. During the 1950s, she made a few movies, including The Blue Gardenia (1953).

In 1965, she was heard as the voice of Gladys Crabtree (the car) in the series My Mother the Car, which co-starred Jerry Van Dyke.

Her final film role was in, The Whales of August in 1987. Her role as the neighbor of elderly sisters, played by Lillian Gish and Bette Davis, brought Sothern her only, Best Supporting Actress Academy Award nomination.

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