Friday, November 29, 2013

Weekend in Havana: 1941 Movie

     This morning as I awoke, I noticed a 1941 movie called Weekend in Havana on the television.    The opening scenes in Havana was a head on shot of Sloppy Joe's Bar, the famous watering hole  frequented by so many celebrities through out the years.   The movie was a classic of the era with stars like Alice Faye, John Payne, Cesar Romero and Carmen Miranda.  Set in the 1940's Havana, this movie stirred some excitement in my bones as I saw things that I had seen in Havana in the past year.  Havana today is a "time warp", going back to the 40's and 50's, with many of the sights looking as they did back then.

Sloppy Joe's Bar 1940's
     There were shots of the Tropicana, and The Morrow Castle (Fortress), sugarcane fields and downtown Havana in the movie.  It was a really great way to wake up on a Friday morning.   It really hit a warm spot with the shot of Sloppy Joe's Bar at the beginning of the movie.  The reopening of Sloppy Joe's Bar in Havana last April after many years of sitting in rubble after the roof collapsed.    This famous old watering hole was the hangout for many celebrities from all over the world, and a Havana landmark that I'm really glad to see reopened.

Alice Faye at Sloppy Joe's bar
     Though the movie was only a moderate success, today for me it was a chance to remember all that I've seen in Havana this past year.   Being able to sit at the "long bar" at Sloppy Joe's Bar and see all of the old pictures there of the glamorous days gone by made you feel like you were there and living the life of those days.  The restoration was done to bring back the original look and feel of the venerable old bar and they were very successful. 

     The best thing about going to Havana today is you still feel like you are back in the era of "Weekend in Havana" and watching Carmen Miranda whirl around the stage of the Tropicana or see Caesar Romano and Ernest Hemingway chatting at Sloppy Joe's Bar.

    If you can find this movie on the television or on one of your video services, it is a fun visit to the past in Havana during her hay days.

This is 2013 and here is Sloppy Joe's Bar in all of her restored glory.  With some of the best cocktails in Havana right along side with the El Floridita and the National Hotel.   ;o)