Ann Sothern closed out her MGM contract with the Technicolor musical Nancy Goes to Rio. As Frances Elliot, Sothern is billed second to Jane Powell, who plays Nancy Barklay. A popular Broadway star, Frances heads to Rio for R&R before starting her next production. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Frances, her daughter Nancy is hired to appear in her mother's starring vehicle. This would seem to be enough to sustain a plot, but the screenwriters contrive to have Frances mistakenly believe that Nancy is about to become an out-of-wedlock mother. In addition, both ladies vie for the romantic attentions of leading man Paul Berten (Barry Sullivan). Also appearing is Carmen Miranda, just to remind us that the film takes place in Brazil. Producer Joe Pasternak handles the material with the same tastefulness that he'd applied to his Deanna Durbin pictures at Universal: in fact, Nancy Goes to Rio is a remake of Durbin's 1940 vehicle It's a Date.
by Hal Erickson synopsis