Friday, April 13, 2012


Boring, forgettable, half-baked musical comedy produced at a time when Hollywood was into promoting "good neighbor" policies between North and South America. James Ellison, in Buenos Aries on a job for his oil company boss, meets Maureen O'Hara, an heiress who is collecting money at a race track for the Pan-American Goodwill Fund. His boss wants him to buy a prize race horse owned by O'Hara’s father (Robert Barrat), but when Ellison and his sidekick (Buddy Ebsen) pretend to be interested in his cattle rather than his horses, Barratt sees through their subterfuge and plays games with them, tricking them into bidding on a bull even though they're only authorized to buy horses. In the meantime, Ellison and O'Hara embark on an on-again, off-again flirtation. In the end, Barrat steps in to play matchmaker for the two. Though there was a brief trend in these Pan-American musicals in the 1940s, they were almost always drab and uninspired (unless they featured Carmen Miranda). Ellison is a fine leading man in B-movies, and he and O'Hara might have been a decent team in a non-musical, but here they're wasted along with the minor talents of a mostly unknown supporting cast and a bland musical score (by Rodgers and Hart). The one interesting sequence shows gauchos playing El Pato, a roughneck polo-type game played on the pampas. Skip this one unless you're a die-hard Maureen O'Hara fan. [TCM]

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