Panama Hattie (1942)

Not Rated   |    |  Comedy, Musical

Panama Hattie (1942) Poster

Hattie Maloney runs a saloon in Panama where assorted characters congregate where they frequently sing and dance Cole Porter numbers. An upper class gentleman arrives and sparks fly between... See full summary »



  • Dan Dailey in Panama Hattie (1942)
  • Panama Hattie (1942)
  • Red Skelton and Ann Sothern in Panama Hattie (1942)
  • Red Skelton and Ann Sothern in Panama Hattie (1942)
  • Norman Z. McLeod and Ann Sothern in Panama Hattie (1942)
  • Virginia O'Brien in Panama Hattie (1942)

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18 July 2016 | MartinHafer
| Not exactly a Red Skelton film.
While the credits list Red Skelton and Ann Sothern as the leads in this film, it certainly is NOT a Skelton film...though he is in it. In fact, he plays a smaller supporting role--one of three lovable dumbbell sailors who help out the title character. So, if you are a big Skelton fan (like me), you'll probably find the film to be a big disappointment.

The film is set in Panama but clearly is a script based on a stage production in style. In other words, the plot seems to be very thin and often nonsensical and the production is stuffed full of songs. The songs, while by Cole Porter, aren't especially memorable but the dance numbers by the uncredited Berry Brothers are awfully good.

The plot is just plain goofy. Hattie (Sothern) has somehow fallen in love with a soldier (Dan Dailey) who comes from a fancy-shmancy family...which is a problem since Hattie is just a dame who sings in nightclubs. The mismatch is obvious when she meets the guy's daughter, a precocious brat if you've ever seen one. Can Hattie, with help from her three idiot friends, somehow win over the child and marry the guy? Along the way, it gets SUPER strange--with spies, big production numbers and none of of makes a lot of sense. On top of that, the writing is occasionally poor...and I found myself guessing the punchlines of most of the jokes. It isn't that I am some genius...the writing was just very weak. Overall, mildly entertaining at best.

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