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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Fox Drops A Bomb Below The Border


A Technicolor-ful Carnival In Costa Rica (1947)

This was yapping dog that cost an exorbitant $3.2 million to breed. Zanuck was unhappy with drafts from a beginning and said it was too much like routine musicals they'd done ten years before, which indeed it is. You could put "1937" beside this and few would be the wiser (outside of color's tip-off). A large second unit, headed by director Otto Brower, went to San Jose, Puerto Rico for two months of background shooting in late '46, after which he died sudden. Brower didn't get a posthumous credit on Carnival In Costa Rica, but should have, as his scenics do dominate, expertise in this area going back to Africa footage he secured for 1939's Stanley and Livingstone. Fox put post-war emphasis on musicals, four out of twenty-two productions for 1947 being cleffed and in Technicolor. This was policy that normally clicked, but Carnival In Costa Rica took a dreadful bath of $1.9 million lost: too much spent on the negative. That scuttled follow-up Christmas In Havana with Vera-Ellen. Now the fabled flop is available from Fox Archive, among nicer color renditions so far delivered. It's an OK enough musical with Latin flavor, the four-corner romance and customary misunderstandings fielded by Vera-Ellen, Dick Haymes, Caesar Romero, and Celeste Holm. I'd endorse Carnival to Fox musical completists and seekers after Technicolor as it glowed most brightly during the mid-to-late 40's.

1 Comments:

Blogger Daniel Kinske said...

Hey John,

Great colorglow photo, interesting seeing Vera Ellen and Lucille Ball together.

Yesterday was the 103rd anniversary of the sinking of the RMS Titanic. I only know of one former actress who was born before then--Lupita Tovar--who is still with us--amazing though.

-Daniel...

5:27 PM  

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