10 December 2018 | gbill-74877
Nice showcase for Dolores del Río
What a nice little surprise this was, and great showcase for Dolores del Río. The premise of a magazine critic (Pat O'Brien) being taken to Mexico while drunk by his business partner (Edward Everett Horton) to avoid being married (to Glenda Farrell) is a little silly, not unlike other screwball comedies. It's made interesting by Horton trying to set O'Brien up with del Río in order that he forget Farrell, not remembering that O'Brien once panned del Río in a review and she'd like to get even with him. The little cat and mouse game she plays, assisted by her shrewd manager (Leo Carrillo) who regularly takes advantage of foreigners, is entertaining, and director Michael Curtiz moves things along well.
We also get the incomparable Busby Berkeley and a couple of entertaining musical numbers in the second half of the film. The first of these, 'The Lady in Red' includes wonderful vocals from Wini Shaw, sexy shimmying from the chorus, and an extended ballroom dance routine by Tony De Marco and Sally Craven (later his third wife), who were nearly as good as Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, if not on a par with them. It's definitely one to watch. The second, "Muchacha' is also pretty wild, with horses prancing up a staircase in addition to del Río singing and dancing.
del Río is charming throughout the film, and it's refreshing that her character is intelligent, erudite, and elegant. She's a beauty in her evening gowns and the two-piece bathing suit that she helped pioneer, which we see plenty of in a long scene at the pool. She was on her way out of Hollywood a few years later which is a shame, though it really makes me want to check out her Mexican films from the 1940's. I may be rounding up a bit because of her and Berkeley, but they made the film for me.