Review: Too Many Girls (1940)

A really bad movie but in a really good way. Long before Lucy and Ricky made TV history, they met on the set of this minor musical comedy. Lucy plays a boy-crazy Paris Hilton type attending college in New Mexico. Coeds dress like waitresses in a Mexican restaurant and inexplicably, everyone out West talks with a Southern accent.

In a strange bit of casting, Desi plays a Latin crooner who’s also a terrific football player. He and his two football-playing buddies (one of whom is Eddie Bracken) give up their Ivy League college careers when they’re hired by Lucy’s father to keep an eye on her at college. Much singing and dancing ensues, Ann Miller does her maniacal tap dancing routine, which mostly consists of spinning around and around and around, and Lucy joins a sorority.

Songs include “‘Cause We Got Cake”, “Spic ‘n’ Spanish” and “Love Never Went to College” which gives you an idea of the sophistication in lyrics and plot. Watch for the musical number leading up to the big game; Lucy is hilariously out of step with the rest of the gang, which is probably why she’s shoved near the bottom of the screen and almost out of frame. And the final “Conga” number, which quickly turns into a sweaty, orgiastic dance around a bonfire lead by a shirtless Desi wailing away on a conga drum, simply cannot be described. [** out of 5]

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