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Cairo

Overview

Written by real-life intelligence agent Ladislas Fodor, Cairo is both a spoof of espionage thrillers and a good-natured refutation of Jeanette MacDonald's established screen image it was her last film on her MGM contract. MacDonald plays wisecracking movie star Marcia Warren, who while "between pictures" in London hires fellow American Homer Smith Robert Young as her butler. What Marcia doesn't know is that Smith is an American newspaperman, who strongly suspects that our heroine is a Nazi spy the real enemy ...
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Overview

Written by real-life intelligence agent Ladislas Fodor, Cairo is both a spoof of espionage thrillers and a good-natured refutation of Jeanette MacDonald's established screen image it was her last film on her MGM contract. MacDonald plays wisecracking movie star Marcia Warren, who while "between pictures" in London hires fellow American Homer Smith Robert Young as her butler. What Marcia doesn't know is that Smith is an American newspaperman, who strongly suspects that our heroine is a Nazi spy the real enemy agent is played by Mona Barrie, who looks not at all like dear Marcia. All such misunderstandings are forgotten once the principal characters end up in Cairo, with Marcia and her maidservant Cleona Ethel Waters pitching in to help Smith break up an Axis espionage ring. There are "in jokes" aplenty in Cairo, ranging from Jeanette MacDonald's flippant reference to her 1936 film hit San Francisco to the "it's only a movie, folks" closing shot. The music isn't bad, either.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Cairo is enormously fortunate to have Jeanette MacDonald on hand. Without this bright star operating in top form, it would be a bit of trial to sit through all the muddled nonsense that passes for its screenplay. With MacDonald, who looks sensational, Cairo emerges as an entertaining bauble. Rarely has the singer been in better voice, and she's given ample opportunity to show that voice off to its best advantage; whether dealing with "light" numbers like "Beautiful Ohio" and the title song or attacking operatic entries like "Il Bacio" and "Chi mi frema," MacDonald sounds glorious. She's also allowed to take full advantage of her comic abilities, including her too-rarely-used knack for spoofing herself. As her suspicious paramour, Robert Young provides very able support; if his role doesn't allow him the chance to shine as it does MacDonald, he nevertheless acquits himself quite respectably. Ethel Waters is given entirely too little to do, but she makes the most of "Buds Won't Bud" and "Waiting for the Robert E. Lee," and Lionel Atwill, Reginald Owen, and Dennis Hoey help to make the proceedings pleasant and enjoyable. Cairo is far from a top-notch vehicle, but as long as MacDonald is driving it, it's an engaging little diversion.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/27/2012
  • UPC: 883316616963
  • Original Release: 1942
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Archives
  • Region Code: 0
  • Presentation: Pan & Scan
  • Time: 1:41:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 31,343

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jeanette MacDonald Marcia Warren
Robert Young Homer Smith
Reginald Owen Philo Cobson
Grant Mitchell O.H.P. Boggs
Lionel Atwill Teutonic Gentleman
Eduardo Ciannelli Ahmed Ben Hassan
Mitchell Lewis Ludwig
Dooley Wilson Hector
Larry Nunn Bernie
Dennis Hoey Col. Woodhue
Mona Barrie Mrs. Morrison
Rhys Williams Strange Man
Cecil Cunningham Mme. Laruga
Harry Worth Bartender
Frank Richards Alfred
Ethel Waters Cleona Jones
Technical Credits
W.S. Van Dyke Director
Harold Arlen Songwriter
Alfred de Musset Songwriter
Cedric Gibbons Art Director
L. Wolfe Gilbert Songwriter
E.Y. "Yip" Harburg Songwriter
Ray June Cinematographer
Robert Kalloch Costumes/Costume Designer
Joseph L. Mankiewicz Producer
John McClain Screenwriter
Lewis F. Muir Songwriter
James Newcom Editor
Arthur Schwartz Songwriter
George Stoll Score Composer, Musical Direction/Supervision
Herbert Stothart Score Composer
Edwin B. Willis Set Decoration/Design
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