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Copacabana Blu-ray Review

Copacabana Blu-ray

Groucho Marx and Carmen Miranda prove to be a fun pair in “Copacabana.”

“Copacabana” begins with a broke former actor (Lionel Devereaux) deciding to become an agent for his talented fiancé (Carmen Novarro). His first order of business is to try and land his lovely lady a gig at the hot Copacabana nightclub. Upon auditioning, Carmen is an instant hit with the nightclub owner Mr. Hunt, but when he asks to see another of Lionel’s clients, the lone client agent Lionel panics and pulls out a horse racing paper. As he begins to read names off, Mr. Hunt shows interest in a fictional French singer named Fifi and demands to see her audition as well. Seeing no other way out of this, Lionel comes up with the idea of having Carmen be both Fifi and Carmen. As you can probably guess, this leads to lots of confusion, conflicts, and misunderstandings. The film also boasts a couple of storylines involving Mr. Hunt and his secretary (Anne) as well as the club singer (Andy).  

While it may seem strange to see a brother less Groucho Marx being paired with Carmen Miranda, the unlikely duo turns out to be a match made in cinematic heaven. Could I do without the “been there done that” duel lives plot and the entirely skippable non-Miranada and Marx songs? Yes. However, the film’s flaws are heavily outweighed by the strong performances.

As per usual, Groucho Marx is a laugh riot here. Between his one-liners and sight gags to his reaction shots and the goofy “Go West, Young Man” song number, his comedic stylings elevate the material plain and simple. My only complaint is that he isn’t in the movie enough for my taste. While I haven’t heard or seen a wealth of Carmen Miranda songs or films, it’s easy to see why she was such a popular performer. She’s very charismatic in her singing and dancing and she makes it all seem so easy. She also convincingly plays two roles here which is no small task for any actress or actor. As for the supporting cast, Steve Cochran, Andy Russell and Gloria Jean are all quite charming in their fleshed out roles. They aren’t treated as mere side characters here, but rather well developed characters that are a part of the plot and main character’s story. That is refreshing to see.

Video/Audio:

The B&W print, which is presented in 1.37:1 1080p, isn’t going to dazzle hi-def aficionados, but it’s still serviceable. Viewers will notice a plethora of dirt specs, but they will also notice far more clarity in everything from the actor’s faces to the Copacabana club itself.

The DTS-HD MA Mono track is surprisingly lively. Yes, there are some audible crackles, but you can tell the audio track has been cleaned up more (which is evident from the crisp sounding song numbers).

No extras have been included.

Summary: If you’re a fan of classic films, Groucho Marx, or Carmen Miranda, you owe it to yourself to check out “Copacabana.”

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May 29, 2013 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , ,

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