Panama Hattie [Red Skelton]

Panama Hattie (1942) starring Red Skelton, Ann Sothern, Rags Ragland, Virginia O’Brien

Editorial review of  Panama Hattie courtesy of

Hattie Maloney (Ann Sothern) is a gaudy, good-hearted nightclub singer who tends to love above her station. This time, it’s pedigreed officer Dick Bulliet (Dan Dailey, Jr.), and it’s for real. But there’s one little problem: he’s got a small daughter so ladylike she makes Emily Post look like Tugboat Annie – and she’s not impressed with Hattie’s bangles and bows. And Hattie’s got a trio of protectors, three goofball gobs who think that maybe Hattie’s too good for Dick.

Ben Blue, Red Skelton, Ann Sothern & Rags Ragland in Panama Hattie (1942 film)
Ben Blue, Red Skelton, Ann Sothern & Rags Ragland in Panama Hattie

This World War II musical sparkles with Cole Porter numbers like “Just One of Those Things,” classic buffoonery from Red Skelton, Ben Blue and Rags Ragland as Hattie’s spy-hunting sailor pals and – last but not least – the screen debut of Miss Lena Horne. Can a salt-of-the-earth gal capture a society guy? Of course she can – and getting there is half the fun!

Funny movie quotes from  Panama Hattie

Hattie Maloney (Ann Sothern): They’re from the other side of the tracks, and I don’t want to get run over crossing!

Red (Red Skelton): Yeah, I’m a wolf in “ships” clothing!
Flo Foster (Virginia O’Brien): Can’t understand why they reject guys with flat feet and take em with flat heads!

Red (Red Skelton): Say, there’s a movie playing Maisie Goes to the Laundry.
Hattie Maloney (Ann Sothern): No please, she gives me a headache. [Ann Southern starred in the Maisie film series].

Songs in  Panama HattiePanama Hattie (1942) starring Red Skelton, Ann Sothern, Rags Ragland, Virginia O'Brien

  • Hattie from Panama” (Roger Edens) – Chorus
  • I’ve Still Got My Health” (Porter) – Ann Sothern
  • “Berry Me Not” (Phil Moore) [instrumental, danced by the Berry Brothers]
  • Just One of Those Things” (Porter)- Lena Horne [from Jubilee]
  • Fresh As a Daisy” (Porter) – Virginia O’Brien
  • “Good Neighbors” (Edens) – Red Skelton, Rags Ragland, Ben Blue and Chorus
  • “Let’s Be Buddies” (Porter) – Sothern with Jackie Horner, and Virginia O’Brien with Alan Mowbray
  • “Hail, Hail, the Gang’s All Here” (Arthur Sullivan; Theodore F. Morse) [instrumental]
  • “Did I Get Stinkin’ At the Savoy” (E. Y. Harburg and Walter Donaldson) – Virginia O’Brien
  • “The Sping” (Moore and J. LeGon) – Horne [danced by the Berry Brothers]
  • The Son of a Gun Who Picks on Uncle Sam” (Harburg and Burton Lane) – Company
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