Carmen Miranda: Bananas Is My Business | 1995
Born in 1909, Carmen Miranda was already famous in Brazil during the 1930s; her discovery by Broadway impressario Lee Shubert in 1939 made her an international star. The film tracks Miranda's astonishing ascent in popularity, from dirt-poor singer and dancer in Rio de Janeiro to Broadway and Hollywood (where she became, in 1945, the highest paid female entertainer in the U.S.). Her success came with a price tag: she was caught between being a "real" Latin American or being Hollywood's version of one--with all the notoriety and fortune it would bring. Today Miranda is a cult figure, known mainly for her exuberant renditions of such songs as "South American Way" and "The Lady in the Tutti-Frutti Hat," performed in garish costumes topped with fruit-filled turbans.