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Weekend in Havana

1941 1h 20m Musical Comedy List
Reviews 63% Audience Score 50+ Ratings In order to get stubborn salesclerk Nan Spencer (Alice Faye) to sign a claim waiver when the company cruise ship that she's on runs aground, Jay Williams (John Payne) agrees to allow her to continue on her long-planned vacation to Havana. Jay accompanies her, but Nan finds his stuffy manner boring, and is charmed by slick Monte Blanca (Cesar Romero). To keep Nan happy, Jay pays off Monte's gambling debt and also agrees to manage his fiery and jealous singer girlfriend (Carmen Miranda). Read More Read Less

Critics Reviews

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Dave Kehr Chicago Reader Walter Lang directed this 1941 feature, with occasional disconcerting seizures of good taste. Dec 13, 2007 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

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HitchcockBlonde X "You Can't Be Too Careful of These Big Corporations!" Alice Faye was a real-life working-class Hell's Kitchen girl who became an A-list star in Hollywood, and "Week-End in Havana" is the perfect vehicle for her no-nonsense persona. As Nan, a hosiery salesgirl at Macy's, Faye gives privileged John Payne hell when he insists she sign a waiver absolving his cruise line after her ship gets stranded off the Florida coast. Distrustful of big corporations, she refuses to sign until they pay for her vacation in Cuba, and the fun ensues. This romantic comedy musical – released scarcely two months before the bombing of Pearl Harbor which brought America into WWII – is drenched in gorgeous Twentieth Century-Fox Technicolor, and is a delight to watch eight decades later. Yes, it stereotypes the Latin American characters, giving Cesar Romero a hokey Cuban accent (although his character was supposedly born in Brooklyn) and depicting Carmen Miranda as a "hot-blooded" lady from south of the border, etc. Yet the film's glamorous, escapist charms cannot be denied. Fox could have shot the whole thing on the backlot, but they ponied up the dough to send a second unit crew down to Havana to capture color footage of the harbor, the beach, Havana Cathedral, Oriental Racetrack, Sloppy Joe's Bar, the sugarcane fields, and other eye-dazzling attractions. Most of the scenes were still shot on soundstages, but an effort toward authenticity was made, and it shines through in the tropical vacation vibes in scenes where Nan and Jay are falling in love by the light of a Havana moon and dancing to Latin-infused rhythms. And of course in the fabulous Carmen Miranda's colorful performances. The catchy songs "Tropical Magic" and "Romance and Rhumba" by Mack Gordon and Harry Warren serve as refrains through the entire story, and the comic relief by stalwart character actors Leonid Kinsky, Chris-Pin Martin, Billy Gilbert, and Sheldon Leonard adds fun to the proceedings. Mix up a Cuba Libre or mojito and have yourself a week-end in Havana. Spend your hard-won holiday in a simpler, sweeter time. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 03/07/24 Full Review Audience Member Another Technicolor Fox travelogue, not as giddy as its predecessors but still a lot of fun; Faye sings "Tropical Magic" and Miranda warbles "When I Love, I Love." Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 02/27/23 Full Review Audience Member I really enjoyed this musical. Carmen Miranda and Cesar Romero are especially charming and at the top of their game. The songs and dancing routines are first class, a little "Hermes Pan" influence. I am also a fan of John Payne. His understated and often over looked skills as an actor are on display as be brings a light touch to this enjoyable romp. I thought Alice Faye was wonderful but would like to have seen her do a couple of more musical numbers like she has done in her other projects. No one can introduce a song during the era of the 30s and 40s like Alice. The colors are big, bright and beautiful and makes for a wonderful watch. I may be old fashioned but this is a film i could watch with the grand children and laugh out loud with them. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/22/23 Full Review Audience Member tropic isla back lot style Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/21/23 Full Review Audience Member Velvety costumes and sets. Alicia Faye offers sultry vocals. Rated 0.5 out of 5 stars 02/20/23 Full Review Audience Member A fun romp through Cuba with some singing and dancing. Not much substance, though. Why does anyone love one another? Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/26/23 Full Review Read all reviews
Weekend in Havana

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Movie Info

Synopsis In order to get stubborn salesclerk Nan Spencer (Alice Faye) to sign a claim waiver when the company cruise ship that she's on runs aground, Jay Williams (John Payne) agrees to allow her to continue on her long-planned vacation to Havana. Jay accompanies her, but Nan finds his stuffy manner boring, and is charmed by slick Monte Blanca (Cesar Romero). To keep Nan happy, Jay pays off Monte's gambling debt and also agrees to manage his fiery and jealous singer girlfriend (Carmen Miranda).
Director
Walter Lang
Genre
Musical, Comedy
Original Language
English
Release Date (DVD)
Feb 21, 2006
Runtime
1h 20m