Las Interesedas (1952)

Genres - Comedy, Musical  |   Sub-Genres - Musical Comedy, Showbiz Comedy  |   Run Time - 104 min.  |   Countries - Mexico  |  
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One of the nicest aspects of Mexican films from the 1930's through the 1960's is how much they borrow from Hollywood cinema of the same era. Las Interesadas is a perfect example, a musical-comedy of the type that, with color shooting and a slightly less comedic script, could have been made with June Allyson, Betty Hutton, Doris Day, or Lucille Ball during the late 1940's. Three women (Amalia Aguilar, Lilia Prado, Lilia Del Valle), all aspiring performers who are tired of being abused in their work and private lives, join forces to try and find success together. They are almost distracted from their goal when they accidentally injure a stranger (Manolo-Fabregas) with their car and have to care for him, which means that they have to go out and find regular jobs. In a manner reminiscent of any number of plots on I Love Lucy, as well as numerous movies, it turns out that none of them is suited to the job she's taken and they are close to being evicted; taking in an apparently homeless man (Roberto Font) doesn't help their situation. At the last moment, however, they are rescued when it turns out that the man they thought was homeless was a disillusioned millionaire, who sets the three women up in their own lavish stage review, where they succeed after overcoming the jealousies that have built up during their time together. Cuban-born Amalia Aguilar is the sparkplug of the trio, an enchanting mambo dancer and actress who is something of a cross between Charo in her looks and Lucille Ball or Joan Davis (or Kirstie Alley in modern terms) in her approach to comedy; Lilia Prado and Lilia Del Valle are also engaging in their roles, as well. Some viewers will find some of the audio gags on the soundtrack a bit silly, and the plot simplistic and improbable, but Las Interesadas is also a fascinating homage to Hollywood, ending with some surprisingly elaborate mambo and modern dance numbers featuring each of the three performers. The fact that these numbers, and the score for the movie, were all written by renowned mambo and dance-band leader Perez Prado gives Las Interesadas added interest even for non-Spanish speaking viewers with memories of the Mambo King's musical triumphs in the United States during the 1940's and 1950's. The lushness of the dance numbers may surprise those who only associate the bandleader with numbers like "Cherry Pink And Apple Blossom White." The quality of the music, the comedic talents of the actresses, and the script's attempts at a knowing, self-conscious brand of humor over its plot make one wonder how much a director like, say, Frank Tashlin, with a large budget to work with, might have made out of these same elements.

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Keywords

assumed-identity, car-crash, friendship, injury, job, millionaire, performer, reward