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You Were Never Lovelier

(1942 b 97')

En: 6 Ed: 5

A dancer wants a job but gets entangled in a family that wants to marry off an older daughter so that her sisters can wed.

Dancer Robert Davis (Fred Astaire) waits to see unfriendly Eduardo Acuña (Adolph Menjou), and Xavier Cugat (himself) says he will help him. Maria Acuña (Rita Hayworth) has sisters Cecy Acuña (Leslie Brooks) and Lita Acuña (Adele Mara), who want to marry; but their father Eduardo says Maria must marry first. At Julia Acuña's wedding Cugat has Robert sing "Dearly Beloved." Maria says she doesn't want to marry and is cold to Robert. Eduardo asks Maria Castro (Isobel Elsom) about Maria and plans to make her think she has a lover. Maria gets orchids. Eduardo researches love letters, and Maria gets more flowers every day. Maria sings "Dearly Beloved."

After Eduardo is away for a week when Maria got no flowers, Robert takes the note from Eduardo to Maria with orchids. Robert returns to Eduardo's office and dances for him; but Eduardo dislikes him and fires his secretary Fernando (Gus Schilling). Maria tells her father that Robert sent her the orchids and asks him to give Robert work. Eduardo tells Robert that he wrote the notes, invites him to his house, and offers him a contract if he will leave South America. Robert arrives and says he starts dancing tomorrow. Robert tells Maria why he would not fit with her; but she sings "I'm Old Fashioned," and they dance. Cecy and Lita tell Robert that Maria would be a good wife. Robert tells Eduardo he is flying to New York. Eduardo tells him to stay but not see Maria so she will loathe him for using her to get a job. Eduardo invites men to his anniversary ball but not Robert. Maria and her mother Delfina Acuña (Barbara Brown) invite Robert at his rehearsal. He sings "Shorty George" and dances with Maria.

Eduardo is surprised to see Robert at the ball and says he is leaving for another job in New York. The "Wedding in the Spring" is sung. Fernando as a fool tries to make Robert jealous and is pushed into a fountain. Maria says that Robert and she are not in love; but in the garden Robert sings "You Were Never Lovelier" to Maria, who tells him she loves him too. Robert tells Eduardo that Maria is going with him; but Eduardo threatens to disillusion Maria, and Robert agrees not to see her again. Delfina Acuña hears Eduardo's goodbye note and suspects him with Maria Castro. Robert explains that Eduardo wrote the notes. Maria feels cheated and blames Robert. Eduardo is grateful to Robert and says he can court Maria, who gets more orchids. Robert arrives in armor on a horse for Maria, and she dances with him.

Dancing highlights this romantic musical comedy that offers escape entertainment in far away Argentina.

Copyright © 2004 by Sanderson Beck

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