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Rio Rita

Rio Rita(1942)

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Several Bud Abbott and Lou Costello sight and language gags and burlesque sketches are used throughout the film. One long sequence involves their attempts to get out of the car's trunk after discovering that it has been elevated on a garage lift. Another prominent gag involves their escape through a laundry chute and Costello's attempts to get out of the hotel laundry's huge automatic washing machine.
       According to a October 19, 1938 Hollywood Reporter news item, M-G-M was about to purchase from RKO the rights to Rio Rita, a 1927 Broadway musical produced by Florenz Ziegfeld, written by Guy Bolton and Fred Thompson, with songs by Harry Tierney and Joseph McCarthy. At that time, M-G-M planned to make a musical version of the play as a vehicle for their popular singing team Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy. A January 1941 Hollywood Reporter news item noted that RKO wanted to sell the picture rights to M-G-M and that, according to RKO president George J. Schaefer, a year previously M-G-M had agreed to a sale price of $85,000 plus the loan of Robert Young, Robert Montgomery or James Stewart, but that the deal "may now turn sour." The agreement was apparently completed by early June 1941, but additional details of the terms between the two studios have not been found. Although two songs from the Broadway musical were retained for the M-G-M film, the title song and "The Ranger's Song," the film's story line bears no resemblance to the play and the film's screenplay was credited as an "original" by the SAB. Two additional songs were written for the film, according to Hollywood Reporter news items, "Unusual Weather" and "Whippoorwill," but they were not in the released picture and May not have been filmed.
       Pre-production news items indicate that M-G-M originally wanted to borrow Arthur Lubin from Universal to produce the picture and that opera singers Marta Eggerth and Ris Stevens were both considered for the female lead. Although Bud Abbott and Lou Costello were under contract to Universal, terms of their contract enabled them to make one picture a year away from their home studio. Location shooting was completed near Palm Springs, CA. Hollywood Reporter news items indicate that Clyde DeVinna shot exteriors and locations for the film, while George Folsey shot the studio scenes. One news item indicated that Harold Lipstein shot some exteriors near Hemet, CA. Brazilian dancer Eros Volusia made her screen debut in the film. Actors who were mentioned in news items, but whose appearances in the released film cannot be confirmed include Diane Brook, Grace Ritchie, Janet Barrett, Dorothy Ward, Mina Harragut, Dorothy Gilmore, Marjorie Raymond, Eleanore Kallejian, Anita Maisnik and Mary Manners. Although a still photograph indicates that actress Alice Kirby was cast in the production, her appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. In addition to the Luther Reed-directed RKO production of Rio Rita, which was produced in 1929, starring Bebe Daniels and John Boles (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30; F2. 4625), an NBC television version of the musical play was produced in 1950.