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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The Kissing Bandit (1948)

In early 19th century California, a young man (Frank Sinatra) attempts to fill his late father's shoes. His father was a notorious outlaw known as The Kissing Bandit but the young man is shy and not cut out for the job. Complications ensue when he falls in love with the daughter (Kathryn Grayson) of the Governor of California (Mikhail Rasumny). Directed by Laszlo Benedek (THE WILD ONE), this is a rather tedious musical. Its humor is sophomoric and the musical numbers are a mixed bag. It's great to look at, Robert Surtees' (THE GRADUATE) three strip Technicolor lensing just pops off the screen with both the rustic Kennedy Meadows locations and Randall Duell's art direction at the MGM sound stages. The two musical highlights are dance numbers. Sono Osato's seductive whip dance and especially the Dance Of Fury performed by Cyd Charisse, Ricardo Montalban and Ann Miller. Sinatra has one good song, the lovely Siesta, but alas we also have to put up with the high pitched shrills of Ms. Grayson. There's a nice comic performance by J. Carrol Naish but they've saddled him a false nose that distracts from his performance. With Mildred Natwick, Clinton Sundberg and Billy Gilbert.  

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