Cast & Crew
After conducting a high-powered meeting with the board of directors of her New York corporation, wealthy, beautiful Nora Taylor rushes to her session with analyst Lionel Y. Newman, to discuss her conflicted feelings about her boyfriend, Paul Chevron. Nora, who became rich when her mailman father struck oil, questions whether the men she dates truly love her, or merely desire her $37 million fortune. Newman points out that Paul has $48 million of his own, and predicts that the assertive businessman will take charge of the situation and insist that Nora marry him. Meanwhile, Paul consults a female analyst for advice on proposing to Nora, and is urged not to be too forceful. That evening, over dinner at a nightclub, Paul brings up the subject of marriage but, acting on his analyst's advice, tells Nora not to give her answer until he returns from a polo trip to Brazil in three weeks. Before she can reply, Nora is asked to dance by a Brazilian man, who tells her that the atmosphere in Brazil makes all men passionate about women. Curious to see what effect the country will have on Paul, Nora secretly flies to Brazil, accompanied by her secretary, Anne Kellwood. They check into the same hotel as Paul, and when Nora goes to her beau's room to surprise him, she finds him laid up with polo injuries. The following day, while Paul is looking at some horses, Nora is taken with their owner, the handsome Roberto Santos. After the horses are shown, Nora strolls back to the stables, and Roberto seizes her without a word and kisses her passionately. That evening, Nora engages Howard G. Hubbell, from the American Embassy, to teach her Portuguese. She then calls Newman, who tells Nora to do exactly what she feels like doing. Nora promptly cancels her dinner date with Paul and, armed only with the Portuguese phrase "You have beautiful horses, darling," returns to Roberto's villa. There she finds a party in progress, and is surprised to discover that Roberto speaks English. Roberto teaches Nora to dance the samba, and when she gets a thorn in her foot, carries her back to the home he shares with his grandfather, Eduardo. Nora returns to her hotel room in a happy daze that night and tells Anne to take a few days off. Meanwhile, Roberto tells his grandfather that he wants to marry Nora. The following morning, Nora informs Paul that she intends to marry Roberto. Paul takes the news calmly, and Nora invites Roberto and Eduardo to dine with them that evening. After their guests leave, Paul observes that a proud man like Roberto probably will not take the news of Nora's fortune well. After again calling Newman for advice, Nora tells Roberto about her money, and he is delighted by the news. Roberto's enthusiasm about her money begins to trouble her, however, and he offers no reassurance, telling Nora she will simply have to trust in his love for her. Nora devises a plan to test Roberto's sincerity, and on the night of their engagement party, she happily tells him that she is giving away all of her money. Roberto is displeased, and Nora ends their engagement and leaves the party with Paul. Back at the hotel, Paul calls his analyst, who instructs him to be masterful and sweep Nora off her feet, then goes back to her patient, who happens to be Newman's frustrated wife. Paul marches into Nora's room and tells her they will marry that night, but Nora sadly admits to Paul that she does not love him. After Paul leaves, Anne reveals that she is in love with Paul, and Nora gives her secretary her blessing. When Anne remarks that Paul's money does not intimidate her, adding that only the person who has money has to worry about it, Nora suddenly sees her own situation in a new light. She goes to Roberto's villa and states her intention to marry him on her own terms--namely, that she be allowed to give all her money to him.
A. Arnold Gillespie
John Mcsweeney Jr.
Edwin B. Willis
'And I hope you'll keep him away from me,' I told Benny.
'Yes' he said, 'we'll take care of that.'
And he did. Fernando received the word that his part in Latin Lovers was canceled, and almost immediately it was announced that the other Latin lover, Ricardo Montalban, would take the role. I found Ricardo a delightful costar. A rigorously devout Catholic, utterly loyal to his wife, he played his role professionally but not privately."
Billed as "MGM's Musical of Tropical Passions!" staring "The Bad and Beautiful Girl" (capitalizing on Turner's recent hit The Bad and the Beautiful, 1952), Latin Lovers was a simple, frothy movie about a rich woman (played by Turner) who wants to be loved for more than just her cash value. She goes to Brazil where she becomes interested in two men one she believes is poor (played by Montalban) and the other she knows to be even wealthier than she (played by John Lund). Filming began on December 2, 1952 and lasted through the Christmas holiday, ending in January 1953. The film was directed by Mervyn LeRoy, an old hand at musicals; the screenplay was by Isobel Lennart, who later wrote Funny Girl, and the costumes were designed by Helen Rose, who chose to put Turner in black and white gowns as a contrast to the lush Technicolor surrounding her.
Other cast members included Jean Hagen (who had made a name for herself earlier that year as silent film actress Lina Lamont in Singin' in the Rain (1952), Louis Calhern, Beulah Bondi, Eduard Franz and Rita Moreno. Montalban was not the only member of the cast to be a last minute replacement. As Montalban's rival, John Lund won the role that had been originally offered to Michael Wilding. The British actor, not willing to take what he considered a secondary role, chose to go on suspension without pay until the studio found him a more suitable part. Paula Kelly and The Modernaires, who had been Glenn Miller's vocalists, sang in the film and even Montalban performed a few musical numbers (although he was dubbed by Carlos Ramirez.)
Cheryl Crane, Turner's daughter, noted that Turner "knew it was not one of her better films. The Bad and the Beautiful was the last of her MGM movies that she really loved, but certain aspects of Latin Lovers made it a pleasant memory. She liked that it involved horseback riding, the South American setting, the samba music, and Ricardo. I was crazy about horses myself, so Mother would take me to the set to watch those scenes."
Reviews of Latin Lovers were generally positive, with Variety writing that "Ricardo Montalban gets his best chance to date opposite Miss Turner, and should win femme favor as the title's Latin Lover. Miss Turner is gorgeously gowned and her blonde charms foil perfectly for the masculine aspects of Montalban's character and delivery. [...] [Producer] Joe Pasternak's production guidance earns him another topnotch credit for escapism entertainment, polished and furbished to a fare-thee-well, to give the paying customers plenty for their ticket coin." The New York Times, however, criticized the screenplay, "It is, as might be noted, a presumably airy, tongue-in-check thesis with which the principals are asked to toy. But sadly enough, it lacks the lighthearted subtlety or wit one might expect in such an adventure. Except for some badinage between the bumbling Eduard Franz, one of the psychiatrists, and his sharp-tongued wife, as well as some oblique kidding of psychiatrists, the script of Latin Lovers is short on originality."
by Lorraine LoBianco
Crane, Cheryl with De La Hoz, Cindy Lana: The Memories, The Myths, The Movies
"The Screen in Review: Latin Lovers has Lana Turner Struggling with Problem of $37,000,000 at State" The New York Times 13 Aug 1953
Reid, John Films Famous, Fanciful, Frolicsome and Fantastic
Turner, Lana Lana: The Lady, The Legend, The Truth
Valentino, Lou The Films of Lana Turner
"Latin Lovers (Songs-Color)" Variety 22 Jul 1953
Fernando Lamas was originally cast in the role that Ricardo Montalban played. Lamas and Lana Turner were lovers and when they broke up, she insisted he be replaced.
According to contemporary sources, Fernando Lamas and Michael Wilding were originally cast as the rivals for Lana Turner's character. However, Lamas was removed from the picture when his real-life romance with Turner ended acrimoniously. Wilding was suspended by M-G-M for declining the role of "Paul Chevron." In his autobiography, Wilding wrote, "I was classified as a rebel when I refused [the role]...since I was determined not to start my Hollywood career by making a rubbishy film." According to M-G-M music notes, singer Ruben Reyes recorded the song "Come to My Arms" as a voice double for Ricardo Montalban, but this version was not used. The music notes also indicate that singer Anne Salva recorded "The Night and You," but the song was only performed as an instrumental in the completed film. A December 5, 1952 Hollywood Reporter news item adds Reyes and Salva to the cast, but their appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. Hollywood Reporter news items also include Shirley Jean Erickson and Wes Sheldon in the cast, but their appearance in the final film has not been confirmed.
According to a Hollywood Reporter news item, the polo scenes were shot on location at the Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles. Reviews praised costume designer Helen Rose's numerous gowns for Turner, all of which were in shades of black, white and gray. Los Angeles Examiner noted that these outfits were "extremely effective in Technicolor." Latin Lovers was Montalban's last film for M-G-M. His seven-year contract expired in September 1953, a time when the studio was reducing its roster of contract players and scaling back production.
Released in United States July 1953
Released in United States Summer July 1953
Released in United States July 1953
Released in United States Summer July 1953