4 November 2008 | kidboots
Technicolor would have been a real plus
Audrey Long seemed to have everything - blonde elegance and style. She originally studied acting with the same woman that had coached Olivia DeHavilland and Joan Fontaine. She was also in two top film noirs - "Born to Kill" and "Desperate" where she proved she could act but because she played the "good girl" she was not remembered. "Pan Americana", was, I definitely suspect, a part of the South American good neighbour policy that Hollywood instigated in the 1940s, where everything south of the border was suddenly very "cool". Even though Phillip Terry and Audrey Long are the "unknown" leads - you can't go wrong with Eve Arden. Jane Greer also had a small part as Eve Arden's secretary. Even though she is in the background her beauty shines through and she also looks as though she is going to play a bigger part but unfortunately....
Dan Jordan (Phillip Terry) is given a special assignment - filming the most beautiful girls in South America - also with him is Jo Anne Benson (Audrey Long) as his assistant. Dan thinks she is just another conquest but she is really just stringing him along so she can get to Rio and see her real fiancé.
The story is just an excuse to string together some Latin acts ranging from Carmen Miranda "wannabees", guitarists (both male and female) and a pair of dancers performing a pasa doble. There is a rendition of "Baba Lu" (the song that became Desi Arnez's signature tune) - the singer here performs with great drama and an excellent "insect" dance is included (it would have been very dramatic in colour).
Robert Benchley does a comic turn as he explains the mysteries of the Samba. My mother thought Robert Benchley was the funniest man ever but in my opinion he is definitely an acquired taste.