28 April 2014 | EdgarST
The Mambo King Acts
«Al son del mambo» is not a very good musical comedy. Its script is too sketchy and the action is often slowed down every time Resortes, Borolas and Harapos have to perform their comic routines. The action supposedly takes place in Cuba, but it was almost entirely shot in Mexican sound stages. Don Chonito Godínez (Resortes), the rich owner of an enchilada business, runs away from Mexico, to escape from fast modern life, and tries to find solace (of all places!) in La Habana. After a long and not-too-funny flashback of a routine with Nacho Contla (as Chonito's father), added to explain his present state of mind, Don Chonito is led by a restaurateur called Maria La O (Amparo Arozamena), to a resort in the countryside, along with his pretty sister (Esther Luquín), a depressed American woman (Joan Page), a handsome composer (Roberto Romaña) and two detectives (Borolas, Harapos) who must give him very important information. Under the administration of Cuban singer Rita Montaner and with singing and dancing provided by her daughter Reyna (Cuban vedette Amalia Aguilar), the hacienda that houses the resort is something of a cabaret all day long. So with the owners and all their friends (including "Mambo King", Pérez Prado with his complete orchestra), Don Chonito decides to enjoy himself, doing nothing but dancing mambo. The real assets of this rather long comedy are the musical number performed along the action, and in the final 30 minutes as a review: it is a highly valuable document of the rhythms of those days, featuring numbers by great artists as Montaner and Pérez Prado, as well as singer Pedro Galindo with mariachis, pianist Juan Bruno Tarraza and many others. Besides Pérez Prado's music, one also has the chance to see him as an actor; and see Resortes, Aguilar, Page, the voluptuous Dolly Sisters, and young rising star Anabelle Gutiérrez, enjoy their mambo dancing to a hilt.