It's...... Groucho! (and Carmen is fun too!)
Matthew G. Sherwin | 03/21/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Just enough gags and zippy one-liners to make it worth the price of admission for Groucho fans. It's only a pity the other brothers are nowhere in sight. I didn't care much for the musical numbers, but that's what the fast-forward button is for.The picture quality is great and the audio is clear. No Marx Bros. collection is complete without it!"
Groucho Marx and Carmen Miranda. The mind boggles...
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 08/09/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Putting Groucho Marx and his cigar in a movie with Carmen Miranda and her fruit basket headdress certainly seems like a good idea, but nobody bothered to write a decent script for this 1947 musical comedy (and you can only think of all the Groucho one-liners that must have ended up on the cutting room floor). The plot, such as it is, has Groucho as Lionel Q. Deveraux, an agent who has one client, Carmen Novarro (Miranda). To make money he has her pose as both a Brazilian bombshell and a French chanteuse to fool nightclub owner Steve Hunt (Steve Cochran). There are some minor subplots involving romance, but they are of tertiary interest at best. Of course for me the only worthwhile moments are when Groucho is on screen and making with the jokes. The musical numbers are okay, but nothing memorable. If all you have seen are parodies of Carmen Miranda in action then this exposure to the real thing has its value as well. She also works well as a foil for Groucho, which is not really that surprising. You can either be totally flustered or joyfully oblivious to Groucho's zingers and Carmen goes with the later strategy to good effect. "Copacabana" is no substitute for a "true" Marx Brothers film, but despite that inherent limitation it is not a bad film. It would rate a 3.5 but we round up because, after all, it is Groucho."
It's enough to make me have a nervous breakup !!!
Matthew G. Sherwin | last seen screaming at Amazon customer service | 07/31/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Groucho Marx and Carmen Miranda star in this rather humorous movie entitled Copacabana. Although Amazon states that not all the material is first rate, I personally liked it very much. The plot moves along at a good pace and the action never stops in this zany, funny story.
Lionel Q. Deveraux (Groucho Marx) and his fiancée of ten years Carmen Novarro (Carmen Miranda) simply can't make it in show business despite years of trying their best. After they get kicked out of the famous Copacabana nightclub they must face the hotel night clerk who threatens to kick them of their hotel as well because they can't pay their bills. Lionel has a brainstorm: he'll become Carmen's manager and book her at The Copa no matter what!
At first, the owner of the nightclub, Steve Hunt (Steve Cochran), doesn't want to even try out Carmen--until she magically appears doing her number. Steve likes her after all; and trouble ensues when Steve asks Lionel if he has other acts to spice up the nightly entertainment at the Copacabana. Lionel gets very flustered but in another moment of good quick thinking he tells Steve Hunt he has another client, Mademoiselle Fifi. Steve orders Mademoiselle Fifi to appear at the club for an audition the next day--and Carmen and Lionel go into a panic.
Lionel and Carmen must figure out a way for Carmen to appear nightly as both Carmen and Fifi. It sure gets rough--and when Steve Hunt falls in love with Mademoiselle Fifi things become REALLY rough! To complicate matters further, Steve's secretary Anne (Gloria Jean) has a crush on Steve and can't get up the nerve to tell Steve. Meanwhile, every so often, singer Andy Russell, playing himself, sings a ballad--that's the only part of this movie that could have been cut. Andy sings wonderfully; but it doesn't really fit into the plot very well.
Many questions arise: Will Carmen be able to keep up the frantic pace, changing costumes every five minutes so that she can be Fifi and Carmen at the nightclub at the same time and not have anyone suspect anything? What if really big time agents hear of the glamorous Fifi--could this complicate matters? What will Steve Hunt and the rest do if big time agents want Fifi to star in a movie? Ultimately, will people come to believe that Fifi and Carmen are truly the same person? Or will Carmen and Lionel pull the whole thing off and never have them find out the truth? No spoilers here, folks--you'll just have to get the movie and watch to find out for yourself!
The choreography works well for the stage show numbers at The Copacabana; and the cinematography never falters either.
The DVD comes with no extra features--but the film is so good I'll ignore this disappointment anyway.
Overall, if you want a good Groucho Marx flick from his later years in movies, you can't go wrong with Copacabana. Carmen Miranda turns in a marvelous performance that would make most Hollywood screen goddesses green with envy! The supporting cast bolsters the antics as the plot moves along; and the film provides plenty of good laughs.
Miranda and Marx save the movie...just!
Robert Badgley | London,Ontario,Canada | 03/24/2010
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Copacabana(May/47)stars the irrepressible Groucho Marx and the beautiful and talented Carmen Miranda.This movie was a first of sorts for both of them.It was Groucho's first film foray since his split with his brothers and this was Carmen's first strut before the cameras since leaving 20th Century Fox.If it wasn't for the talents of these two the film would be completely forgettable.
The story here involves a "talent agent" Lionel Deveraux(Marx) whose sole client is Carmen(Miranda).Desperate for a job for Carmen he goes to the Copacabana club,owned and run by Mr.Cochran(Steve Hunt)with his faithful secretary by his side Anne Stuart(Gloria Jean).He manages to weasel a quick audition for Carmen which seems to go well.However Cochran is not quite satisfied ,as he had more of a singing chanteuse in mind.After a quick change(she has her face partially covered with a veil) Carmen comes back as Mademoiselle Fifi and wows Cochran with a number in French.He tells Devereaux he will take BOTH the girls,which leaves Carmen and her agent trying to figure how to accomplish it without getting caught.As Carmen only has to travel from one floor of the Copa to the next all goes well until Devereaux crazily sells Fifi's contract to a competing agent for $5,000.Trouble is the new agent is going to get Carmen about $100,000 for starring in movies in Hollywood! Devereaux finds out and wants to get his client back but when that doesn't work he comes up with a scheme to get rid of Fifi.This also back fires as the police get involved and Devereaux is now a suspect in Fifi's murder.In the end Carmen and Devereaux fess up and they along with Cochran and his secretary live happily ever after.
The plot here is so threadbare and mundane that if it wasn't for the talents of Marx and Miranda it would be a total wipeout.Marx here is certainly entertaining but he always appears a little antsy and not quite comfortable with his role throughout the film.Though there are a few cute moments,in general the gags and jokes are just not what one would expect from him.However in his defense Groucho was working from a script which was weak to begin with.The glue that really holds this picture together is Carmen Miranda and she actually amazes me at times.She shows just how under appreciated a talent she was.Her acting is marvellous as she holds her own with everyone including a clowning Groucho and she sings not only in English and Portuguese but in French;and beautifully!Her first number is the famous "Tico,Tico" then she does her French number "Je Vous Amour".Her final number is at the end as she sings "Let's Go to the Copacabana".
Groucho even gets in on the singing routine with "Go West Young Man" surrounded by a bevy of beauties from the actual Copacabana club in NYC,who are seen throughout the film.In fact they open the film with a completely lifeless and forgettable "Hollywood Bound" number. Popular singer of the mid to late 40s Andy Russell(a Capitol recording artist of the day)is on hand and does well with the four main numbers he sings.He also does a nice turn with Carmen singing "He hasn't got a thing to Sell".
Technically the film has been transferred well.In fact this print is very good to excellent throughout.It is generally very crisp and clear.The DVD however has no extras of any kind to speak of.
As a trivial aside,you might have noticed,or will notice when you watch the film,that an assistant to the producer is one David Sebastian.David was the producer's brother in law and David was given the task of sussing out Carmen before production began because of rumours she was temperamental and hard to work with.Of course nothing could have been farther from the truth and in fact as circumstances would have it,David and Carmen married before the picture finished shooting! And as a tie in for the NYC premiere of the movie,Carmen appeared at the real Copacabana before its' release singing songs from the movie and performing for appreciative crowds.It certainly boosted attendance and improved what otherwise would have been even more lackluster reviews.
Certainly not a bad movie but far from great.The plot is thin and the gags weak and don't expect Marx to be up to the level he was at with his brothers.Carmen shines throughout and is the glue that holds this entire "model" together.Miranda fans will want to get this DVD for that alone,if for nothing else."