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Part One

Part Two

Desi @ imdb

Each film has a Tropicana star rating out of five [ * * * * * ].

1. TOO MANY GIRLS (1940) * * *
Desi made his first appearance in this film based on a broadway play (which he also starred in. Desi met Lucy on the set of this film, although they have no scenes together in the film itself. Old friend Ann Miller (who was also of Spanish background) made an appearance in this film as well.

Director: George Abbott
Starring: Lucille Ball, Richard Carlson, D.A.
Desi's Character: Manuelito
Company: RKO
Video Availability: Discontinued; 0/10

2. FATHER TAKES A WIFE (1941) * *
Desi plays 'Carlos' in this film about a glamorous movie star - who happens to be famous Gloria Swanson [Sunset Blvd]. Desi was once again having to experiment with his onscreen acting, however, Hollywood was not ecstatic about his profile. He did, however, play one of the main roles in this one.

Director: Jack Hively
Starring: Mary Arden, DA, Gloria Swanson
Desi's Character: Carlos
Company: RKO
Video Availability: 0/10

A 'struggling actor', Desi attempted to make a patriotic film. Although he was Cuban and the picture was made for America, audiences were beginning to accept him. It was his accent (and background, of course) that made his appearance in American motion pictures controversial at the time.

Director: A. Edward Sutherland
Starring: George Murphy, Pat O'Brien, etc.
Desi's Character: Tarriba
Company: RKO
Video Availability: 0/10

4. FOUR JACKS AND A JILL (1942)* *
Definitely not a great role for Desi, 'Four Jacks and a Jill' was a, well, awful musical. The critics did not praise it one bit, and they didn't praise Desi any more than they did the rest of the picture. Desi plays Steve, a taxi driver, along with fairly unknown film actors at the time.

Director: Jack Hively
Starring: June Havoc, Ray Bolger, D. Arnaz
Desi's Character: Steve [taxi driver]
Company: RKO
Video Availability: 0/10

5. BATAAN (1943)  * * * 1/2
Desi's performance in Bataan was probably one of his most acclaimed. He was very proud to recall that while playing a soldier fighting during war, he was one of the last in the script to die. This, he figured, made him even more important.

Director: Tay Garnett
Starring: Robert Taylor, Robert Walker, DA
Desi's Character: Felix Ramirez
Company: MGM
Video Availability: 10/10 (VHS / DVD)

6. CUBAN PETE (1946) * 1/2
Desi stars in a musical picture (as himself) which includes one of his famous tunes, (besides Babalu), Cuban Pete. The picture was not a big hit, rather a 'B-minus' picture, as Desi admits. It was more of a promotional gig for him. The most it could do was promote his musical talent.

Director: Jean Yarbrough
Starring: Desi Arnaz, Diane Carroll
Desi's Character: Desi Arnaz [himself]
Company: MCA/Universal
Video Availability: 0/10

7. DESI ARNAZ AND HIS ORCHESTRA (1946) * *Desi stars in this short musical film based on his musical talent, which features such Spanish songs (sung by Desi along with his orchestra) as 'Babalu' and 'Guadlajara'. The film was aiming to introduce his talent. The film also includes a number sung by a  Amanda Lane.

Director: Jack Scholl
Starring: Desi Arnaz, Amanda Lane, etc.
Desi's Character: Desi Arnaz [himself]
Company: WB (Warner Brothers)
Video Availability: 0/10