Copacabana (1947)

Copacabana (1947) Front Cover DVD

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Copacabana (1947) Back Cover DVD

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Lionel Q. Devereaux and his alluring girlfriend, Brazilian singer Carmen Navarro, have been engaged for ten years. They are highly unsuccessful nightclub performers, due to Lionel's total lack of talent. They stay at an upscale hotel in New York. One day they get a twenty-four-hour notice to pay their bill, but needless to say they lack the funds to oblige. They hurriedly try to convince the big shot producer Steve Hunt to give Carmen a job at the Club Copacabana, and with the help of the easily convinced, gullible singer Andy Russell, posing as an agent, they achieve their goal to get her an audition.

When the producer asks Lionel and Russell whom else they represent, they invent out of thin air a veiled mysterious beauty from Paris and call her Fifi. They persuade Carmen to play the part of Fifi. The producer hires both ladies for the job, but Fifi is the new big sensation who gets mentioned in the press. Steve is very attracted to the girls, and to protect Carmen from the producer, Lionel tells him that he is engaged to be married to Carmen. Steve then turns to Fifi and asks her out instead. Desperate to solve the troublesome situation, Lionel asks Andy to play Fifi and go on a date with the producer, veiled as usual. Another complication to add to the plot is that Anne, Steve's secretary, is in love with the producer, and not very keen on him going on a date with Fifi.

Andy tries to fix up Steve and Anne, to save both himself and Carmen from discovery. He gets Anne to sing her feelings towards Steve, in an attempt to make him more attracted to and aware of her. The plan doesn't work, as Steve shows no interest in Anne.

A Hollywood movie producer, Anatole Murphy, takes an interest in Fifi, and makes a generous offer to Steve, to take over Lionel's contract for the sum of $100,000, which he refuses. At the same time an agent named Liggett persuades Lionel to sell Fifi's contract to him for the lesser sum of $5,000. Murphy in turn pays $100,000 to Liggett.

But Liggett becomes suspicious, since he sees how the veiled Fifi get into a taxi, and then Carmen comes out of it. Anne reveals to Carmen that the mysterious Fifi has made it impossible for her to get Steve's attention. To help Anne out, Lionel and Carmen stage a fight between Carmen and Fifi in Carmen's dressing room. The fight ends with Fifi disappearing. Lionel reports back to Steve that Fifi has been found dead in the river, but he also expresses his feeling of joy over "killing" her. The conversation is overheard, and he is blamed and arrested for Fifi's murder. Lionel tries to explain to the police during the investigation that he only made Fifi up.

In the meantime, Steve confesses to Anne that he only expressed an interest in Fifi because of his business, and that he is in love with Anne. Carmen enters the scene, dressed as Fifi, but removes her veil in front of everybody, showing that Carmen and Fifi are one and the same. The film producer Murphy offers to sign a contract with Carmen, to use her as an actor in his productions, and also wants to buy the story for a film. Lionel becomes involved in the following film productions, and gets credit for almost everything, from casting to storyline. The picture opens with a song about the Club Copacabana.


Carmen Miranda as Carmen Navarro / Mademoiselle Fifi
Groucho Marx as Lionel Q. Devereaux
Steve Cochran as Steve Hunt
Andy Russell as himself
Gloria Jean as Anne Stuart
Abel Green as himself (editor of Variety magazine)
Louis Sobol as himself, columnist
Earl Wilson as himself
Ralph Sanford as Liggett
Kay Mavis, Groucho's then-wife, has a small role as a clerk from whom Groucho tries to mooch a cigar.

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