HOLIDAY IN MEXICO (directors: George Sidney; screenwriter: Isobel Lennart; cinematographer: Harry Stradling; editor: Adrienne Fazan; music: Ralph Freed; cast: Jane Powell (Christine Evans), Roddy McDowell  (Stanley Owen), Walter Pidgeon (Jeffrey Evans), Ilona Massey (Toni Karpathy), Hugo Haas (Angus), Xavier Cugat (Himself), José Iturbi (Himself); Runtime: 127; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Joe Pasternak; MGM; 1946)

"The 17-year-old Jane Powell, singing "Ava Maria," made her spectacular MGM debut."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A too long but charming musical directed by George Sidney ("Pal Joey"/"Pepe"). The 17-year-old Jane Powell, singing "Ava Maria," made her spectacular MGM debut as the daughter of the widowed American ambassador to Mexico Walter Pidgeon. Jane develops a crush on the older pianist José Iturbi. Xavier Cugat and José Iturbi play themselves. The relaxed screenplay is by Isobel Lennart.

The film was made to push America's Good Neighbor policy. It was filmed on MGM's back-lot in Culver City. It's hard to see in this fluff piece anything that's authentic Mexican, if that really matters.

Enjoyable choreography created by a young Stanley Donen adds to the enjoyment. There's also the rarity of hearing Pidgeon sing on-screen. Roddy McDowell plays the son of the British ambassador, and is the same-aged boyfriend of the confused Jane.

REVIEWED ON 5/21/2016       GRADE: B-

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"