La Fiesta de Santa Barbara (1935)

Approved   |    |  Short, Comedy, Music

La Fiesta de Santa Barbara (1935) Poster

Hollywood stars participate in a Mexican-themed revue and festival in Santa Barbara. Andy Devine, the "World's Greatest Matador", engages in a bullfight with a dubious bovine supplied by ... See full summary »

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22 August 2009 | tavm
| La fiesta de Santa Barbara is worth a look for anyone curious about an early Judy Garland appearance with her sisters
One of the most pleasant surprises of this early 3-strip Technicolor short was that a ballet dancer that appears here was named Maria Gambarelli! I half wondered if Blake Edwards was naming the character played by Elke Sommer in A Shot in the Dark after this now-forgotten performer (though the spelling of the Sommer character's surname was actually Gambrelli). I watched this on YouTube mainly to see an early Judy Garland appearance as we watch her in profile with her two older sisters singing "La Cucaracha". That was the highlight for me which otherwise showed some dances (like that of Ms. Gambarelli) that were enjoyable and some lame comedy between Andy Devine as a great bull-fighter (yeah, right!) and Buster Keaton as a bull owner who provides one that is obviously a man in animal costume. Only funny part of those two is when they cry-with Buster providing handkerchief to "bull"-during the sad part of "La Cucaracha". Also lame was seeing Ted Healy without his stooges dealing with a crasher who keeps mistaking Healy for other movie stars. (Healy himself didn't know Zeppo had left The Marx Brothers since he puts "Four" between "The" and "Marx"!) Speaking of a Marx, it was interesting seeing Harpo without his wig though he is wearing a hat to hide his bald head. Also interesting was seeing Ida Lupino among the cowgirls in the beginning though I also recognized Toby Wing from her part in Murder at the Vanities last year (at least when announcer Pete Smith identified her). Oh, and Smith himself wasn't funny with his wise-guy narration. Other famous stars you may or may not recognize are also in cameos and not all are M-G-M contract players either! So with all that said, La fiesta de Santa Barbara is worth a look for anyone curious about Judy Garland's early film appearances or the early use of 3-strip Technicolor.

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