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Casa Manana (1951)

Approved | | Music, Romance | 10 June 1951 (USA)
Linda Mason, secretary to advertising executive Horace Fairchild III, has theatrical aspirations, and unknown to her boss, she enters a radio talent contest. The contest is the brainchild ... See full summary »

Director:

Jean Yarbrough

Writer:

William Raynor (screenplay) (as Bill Raynor)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Virginia Welles ... Linda Mason
Robert Clarke ... Larry Sawyer
Robert Karnes ... Horace Fairchild III
Tony Roux Tony Roux ... Pedro Gonzales
Carol Brewster Carol Brewster ... 'Honey' La Verne
Paul Maxey Paul Maxey ... Maury Sanford
Jean Richey Jean Richey ... 'Rusty'
Jim Rio Jim Rio ... Jake
Frank Rio Frank Rio ... Jock
Larry Rio Larry Rio ... Jack
Eddie Le Baron Eddie Le Baron ... Orchestra Leader (as Eddie LeBaron)
Spade Cooley ... Bandleader
Yadira Jiménez ... Dancer
Zarco Zarco ... Specialty Act (as Zarco & D'Lores)
D'Lores D'Lores ... Specialty Act (as Zarco & D'Lores)
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Storyline

Linda Mason, secretary to advertising executive Horace Fairchild III, has theatrical aspirations, and unknown to her boss, she enters a radio talent contest. The contest is the brainchild of Larry Sawyer, press agent for Horace's company, but Horace takes undeserving credit for its success. Horace is in love with Linda as is Larry. The latter is opening a nightclub in partnership with Pedro Gonzales. Linda reaches the finals of the contest and gets the most applause. But Horace announces another contestant has won, as he doesn't want Linda to have a career. Larry gives Linda a two-week contract performing at his Casa Manana night club. Horace hires Maury Sanford, a booking agent, to double-cross Larry and fail to deliver the promised acts. But wait, Larry's hired help and waiters, are the Rio Brothers, Spade Cooley, Yadira Jiminez, Armando & Lita, and other out-of-work performers on Sunset Strip, and they just might save the day. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

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Genres:

Music | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 June 1951 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

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Written by Otis Bigelow and Harold Cooke
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User Reviews

 
Robert Clarke tries to open a Mexican-themed nightclub in this minor Monogram musical
18 February 2005 | by django-1See all my reviews

Actress-singer Virginia Welles and director Jean Yarbrough, from the 1950 Monogram musical SQUARE DANCE KATY, are reunited in this 1951 Monogram musical which stars the reliable Robert Clarke as a junior advertising man who saves his money to open a Mexican-themed club called CASA MANANA (presumably no relation to the famous Billy Rose nightclub of the same name in Fort Worth)in Los Angeles. He plans to have the firm's secretary, Virginia Welles, do some musical numbers as she is very talented, but her boss (Robert Karnes) wants her to marry HIM, not to get into show business, so he thwarts Clarke's plans in various ways and with various surrogates. Clarke has a partner in the club named Pedro (played by Hispanic actor Tony Roux), who provides some comic relief in the Pedro Gonzales-Gonzales vein. Comedy, dancing, and novelty songs are provided throughout the film by the Three Rio Brothers. Except for their first scene, when they meet Robert Clarke, most of their routines are performed separate from others, leading me to wonder if they are not just doing their nightclub act in the film? One routine where they seem to be moving in slow motion is clever, but that is counteracted by a VERY politically incorrect "Mexican" sequence in the Frito Bandito-vein that will cause most viewers to wince and hit the fast forward button as I did. As in SQUARE DANCE KATY, Ms. Welles is a charming presence, but her songs are stilted and the arrangements syrupy like the worst "Mickey Mouse" outfits of the Big Band era. One wishes she had been given more swinging material. It's a surprise to see the Livingston-Evans writing team responsible for some of the material in this film--I wouldn't include these songs on their credits if I were them. Oh, Spade Cooley performs a song for no good reason at all (well, probably because he was a TV star at the time and a hot name, and he always was anxious to "make it" in films, so he appeared in various Monogram and Lippert films in this period) at the beginning of the film, which is probably the best performance in the film except for Yadira Jimenez's act. It's great to see Robert Clarke in a lead role--he is probably the only three-dimensional character in the film--but except for Mr. Clarke's presence, this is a weaker film than SQUARE DANCE KATY, which was no masterpiece itself, but at least it had the occasional sarcastic humor of Vera Vague. I can't really recommend this film except to Clarke fans and people who want EVERY screen performance of Spade Cooley. Still, I'll watch the worst Monogram film before I'd sit through the "best" episode of FRIENDS or WILL & GRACE!


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