A salesgirl (Alice Faye) threatens to cause trouble when cruise ship runs aground and vacation is ruined. As compensation, she soon gets a free first class Havana holiday with the ship owner's future son-in-law (John Payne... more ») as wall as some unexpected attention from a conniving gambler (Cesar Romero) and his girlfriend (Carmen Miranda).« less
"A cruise ship wrecks off the coast of Florida on its way to Havana. Passenger Nan Spencer (Alice Faye), a Macy's Department Store salesgirl from New York City, refuses to sign a waiver which would absolve the steamship company's liability in the accident........This colourful outing provided Faye with two good songs: TROPICAL MAGIC & ROMANCE AND RHUMBA. Her third number, THE MAN WITH THE LOLLIPOP was recorded but cut from the film; however, it is heard briefly when Billy Gilbert sings a part of it at the country inn of which he owns. For tongue-twisting, fruit-laden Carmen Miranda, this film showcased her talents considerably. Hermes Pan choreographed her big production routine THE NANGO; she also sang the title tune, REBOLA A BOLA & WHEN I LOVE, I LOVE. A vintage splashy Technicolor Fox musical complete with the velvety voice of Alice Faye, the devilishly wriggling Miranda and a variety of vintage tunes - with the rather bland but handsome John Payne and latin lover Cesar Romero in support."
It's Just A Fun Film And There's Nothing Wrong With That!
Timothy Kearney | Hull, MA United States | 06/17/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"No WEEKEND IN HAVANA is not one of Hollywood's greatest efforts. And no, this Twentieth Century Fox release can't be compared to the musicals of MGM that were released at the same time. Still, it's one of those time period films that you can't help but enjoy.
John Payne is Jay Williams, a cruise ship executive, soon to be married and engaged to the boss' daughter (Terry McCracken played by Cobina Wright). Days before the wedding one of the company's cruise ships malfunctions and Jay is sent to placate the customers. He's able to make everyone happy except Nan Spencer, the Macy's salesgirl who has saved every last penny for the trip. To make her happy, he arranges for a trip to Havana and surprise: the two fall in love! Of course there are a number of twists and turns but we know they'll get together and we don't feel all that sorry for the boss' daughter. early in the story we know we're not supposed to like her. Viewers meet the hot Cuban singer/dancer Rosita Rivas performed by Carmen Miranda in all her glory and the lovable cad Monte Blanca played by Cesar Romero.
Part of the reason I love this film is it's just fun. The plot line is not complicated and we believe that a story that could easily be tawdry is innocent. The musical numbers may not be as well constructed as rival MGM would have done with the same story, but they still have an irresistible quality. Since most viewers will probably purchase the DVD to enjoy and not to over analyze, a corny story that can at times be a bit zany with musical numbers that are just enjoyable is great entertainment and WEEKEND IN HAVANA will be at home in any such collection. "
Faye, Fast Pacing, and Great Havana Settings
William Hare | Seattle, Washington | 01/21/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Weekend in Havana" might well be the fastest paced musical in the career of Alice Faye, whose films never lacked pacing. Director Walter Lang makes adroit use of a gifted cast. Alice Faye and John Payne ultimately fall in love under the bright stars of a Havana evening sky, but after plenty of resistance from spoiled rich girl Cobina Wright Jr., his fiancee. Before she finds love with Payne, Alice is romanced by Cesar Romero at his comedic best as a gigolo perpetually in trouble. Romero in turn is kept in line by regular girlfriend Carmen Miranda, a local nightclub singer and dancer who thinks nothing of bopping Romero to keep him in line.The comedic highlight of "Weekend in Havana" is a hotel suite scene straight out of Noel Coward's "Private Lines" involving Faye, Payne, Miranda and Romero. When the fiery Miranda calls Faye a "floozy" the blonde erupts with fire of her own.The plot point of the film is that ship executive Payne, slated to marry boss' daughter Cobina Wright Jr., is compelled to obtain Faye's signature at all costs to avoid liability. The Macey's woman's hosiery clerk Faye saw the negligent cause of the shipwreck of the cruise liner which was supposed to take her to Havana for two weeks of romantic enchantment. In addition to clever, fast moving scenes, and some great musical numbers featuring the talents of Faye and Miranda, director Lang is able to utilize the comedic abilities of Romero, seeking to remain one step ahead of the mob and the law, along with tough mob boss Sheldon Leonard, restaurant entrepreneur Billy Gilbert, and hilarious hotel bellboy Leonid Kinsky, who has one of the funniest lines in the film. With Faye being kept in the luxury suite by Payne to put her in a mellow mood prior to seeking her signature to sign off on all claims, the Macey's clerk gives Kinsky a dime tip. Misunderstanding, Kinsky, in a script spoof of the rich, tells opportunistic Romero, "From the size of her tip, she must be very rich!""
A reel treat
P. A. Jorgensen | a cedar forest in Washington State | 04/16/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm an Alice Faye fan so it was great to see this restored print being released. She did some 31 musicals in 12 years at Fox so I hope they reissue more of them. A classy lady with a wonderful singing voice!
The technicolor images are bright and sharp so Carmen Miranda's costumes are spectacular, maybe even scene stealers. I watched this on a DVD player that has HD resolution upscaling capabilities and the picture quality was very detailed for a film of that era (1941).
I played the film first then re-ran it with the voiceover commentary by a film historian, which was excellent. I learned a great deal about the film, its actors, set design, costuming, the studio system, etc., etc. This is a wonderful special feature addition to the DVD.
Costco currently offers the lowest price on this DVD that I have run across. Also, if you live in the LA area and know somone who works at the Fox studio you can get all of the Fox DVDs for even less at the studio store adjacent to the commissary. I load up on them whenever I visit down there. If you can get an invite for lunch at the commissary dining room be sure to go as the food is excellent and the "old Hollywood" decor is fun. One time when I was there Rupert Murdoch happened to be sitting at the next table. (I think that was shortly after Ted Turner challenged him to a boxing match.)"
"Classic! Musical, comical, boy meets girl. This movie makes you feel good and happy. It seems to pull you in and makes you feel as if you are really in Havana! Great costumes, great musical numbers. I would recommend this movie to anyone who enjoys the classic musicals of the 40's."