You Were Never Lovelier (1942)

You Were Never Lovelier (1942)

“I know women — they always fall in love with an illusion.”

In Buenos Aires, the headstrong father (Adolphe Menjou) of four grown daughters — who insists they get married in chronological order — tries to get his second child (Rita Hayworth) in a romantic mood by sending her letters from a secret admirer. When Hayworth accidentally believes a visiting American dancer (Fred Astaire) is her paramour, they begin a romance, much to Menjou’s chagrin.

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Adolphe Menjou Films
  • Fred Astaire Films
  • Musicals
  • Rita Hayworth Films
  • Romantic Comedy

Fred Astaire and Rita Hayworth’s follow-up to their successful pairing in You’ll Never Get Rich (1941) was this fluffy romantic musical with an edge — namely in the form of Menjou’s unlikable cad of a dad. While Menjou’s foolishness and stubborn streak is necessary for the plot, he’s such a pill (and a semi-creepy one at that, writing love letters to his own daughter) that he puts a pall on what would otherwise be perfectly acceptable, lighthearted fun. At least Hayworth looks relaxed, happy, and as sexy as ever, and she and Astaire are once again magical when dancing together; thankfully, these scenes are available for easy viewing on YouTube. The subplot about Hayworth’s younger sisters (Leslie Brooks and Adele Mara) unable to marry their own beaus until Hayworth is married is a mere convention, but provides some additional amusing pressure on the proceedings; meanwhile, Gus Schilling gets to fuss about as Menjou’s put-upon secretary.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Astaire and Hayworth’s lovely dances together

Must See?
No, though it’s an enjoyable trifle if you’re in the mood for some lovely dance numbers.


One thought on “You Were Never Lovelier (1942)

  1. Not must-see – and I’m in complete agreement with the review given here (esp. re: Menjou being a particular pill this time out) so I’ve little to add. The film is indeed a “trifle” and harmless-enough and enjoyable-enough for viewers wanting something undemanding. However, given the fact that it’s a special treat watching Astaire and Hayworth together, I’d prefer something with a bit more ‘oomph’ to it in the story and music departments.

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