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The Kissing Bandit

The Kissing Bandit(1949)

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According to an August 1944 Hollywood Reporter news item, this film was to mark the screen debut of soprano Marion Bell, who was set for the leading female role. In December 1944, another Hollywood Reporter news item announced that Frank Morgan and Lina Romay would appear in major roles. Although Hollywood Reporter news items in April and late August 1945 listed John Carroll in the title role, an early August 1945 Hollywood Reporter news item listed Morgan, Romay, Bell and John Hodiak in the top spots. The starring lineup was changed again in May 1946, when Hollywood Reporter announced that Kathryn Grayson and Tony Martin were assigned the leads. Martin was later replaced by Frank Sinatra. In January 1947, a Hollywood Reporter news item noted that Robert Z. Leonard was set to direct, but he did not participate in the final film. A Hollywood Reporter news item notes that portions of the film were shot on location in Sonora, CA.
       The Kissing Bandit marked the first feature film directed by Hungarian-born Laslo Benedek, although he previously had directed retakes for the 1944 M-G-M film Song of Russia (see below). According to mdoern sources, Albert Sendrey provided some of the film's orchestrations. Subsequent to the release of The Kissing Bandit, the film became jokingly known as one of M-G-M's biggest "flops" and an acknowledged lowpoint in the careers of Sinatra and Grayson.