An escapist movie from the first fade-in, this has everything you might want in a picture if you were trying to forget the travails of the day. Turner is a wealthy heiress who can't decide whether men love her for herself or for her lucre. She has some funny scenes with her analyst, Franz,
and his wife, Neumann, who makes some cogent comments on psychiatry. The quandary is bogus because her boy friend, Lund, is richer than she is ($48 million, to be exact). Lund flies off to Brazil and she follows him, thinking that the new location might spice up their waning love life. Lund, it
seems, is more interested in being a businessman than a swain. Once in Brazil, Turner meets Montalban, who is also wealthy but nowhere in the class of Lund or Turner. (Montalban replaced Fernando Lamas at the last minute because Turner and Lamas were making divorce noises at the time and the
studio chiefs didn't want to jeopardize the film.) He sweeps Turner off her feet. Lund reacts mildly and Turner responds by handing all of her money over to Montalban because the cash has brought her nothing but self-doubt. Lund winds up with Hagen, Turner's secretary, and no loose end is left
There are any number of snappy song-and-dance numbers, one of which sees Montalban and Turner high-stepping with a great deal of finesse. And this is not easy for Montalban, who had a bout with polio (before the vaccine was discovered) and has managed to keep that slight disability under wraps.
Turner is gorgeous and looks even better whenever Helen Rose does her costumes, which she did for this film. The Lennart dialog is as flowery as the background flora but not out of place for the situation and the settings. Lots of sidebar humor in the script, all well handled by the participants.
The studio wanted to capitalize on Turner's popularity in THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL so they even used that as the key line in the advertising for LATIN LOVERS. She was billed as "The Bad And Beautiful" girl, just in case anyone missed that. LeRoy did a competent directorial job and all supporting
roles were well cast. The original choice for the Lund role was Michael Wilding, but he balked at being cast as a "second male lead" and stepped out just prior to shooting. The music is good and tinged with a Latin flavor, thanks to Stoll's musical direction and his treatment of the Brodszky-Robin
tunes which included: "Night and You," "Carlotta, You Gotta Be Mine," "A Little More of Your Amor," "Come to My Arms," "I Had to Kiss You." Even with those songs, LATIN LOVERS doesn't really qualify as one of MGM's super musicals. Instead, this is a romantic comedy with music and might have been
just as successful without the songs. Look for Rita Moreno in a small role, before she catapulted to success in Broadway's "West Side Story."
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- Rating: NR
- Review: An escapist movie from the first fade-in, this has everything you might want in a picture if you were trying to forget the travails of the day. Turner is a wealthy heiress who can't decide whether men love her for herself or for her lucre. She has some fun… (more)