TCM Spotlight: Esther Williams, Vol. 1 [5 Discs] [DVD]

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Special Features

  • Bathing Beauty: Robert Osborne Hosts TCM's Private Screening With Esther Williams
  • Oscar Nominated Short Main Street Today
  • Academy Award Winning Cartoon Mouse Trouble
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Easy to Wed: Oscar Nominated Pete Smith Specialty Comedy Short Sure Cures
  • Classic Cartoon The Unwelcome Guest
  • Theatrical Trailers of This Movie and Libeled Lady
  • On An Island With You:
  • Vinatage Romance of Celluloid Series Short Personalities
  • Classic Cartoon The Bear and the Hare
  • Neptune's Daughter:
  • Outtake Musical Number/Want My Money Back Esther Williams Sequence From 1951's Callaway Went Thatway
  • Oscar-Nominated Pete Smith Specialty Comedy Short Water Trix
  • Oscar Nominated Cartoon Hatch Up Your Troubles
  • Promotional Radio Interviews
  • Theatrical Trailers Of This Movie and Take Me Out to the Ball Game
  • Dangerous When Wet:
  • Outtake Musical Number C'est La Guerre Audio Only Bonus: Johnny Mercer Demo Recordings of Fifi, I Got Out of Bed on the Right Side and I Like Men Promotional Radio Interview With Esther Williams
  • Peter Smith Specialty Comedy Short This is A Living?
  • Classic Cartoon The Cat and the Mermouse
  • Esther Williams Musicals Trailer Gallery


Neptune's Daughter
Esther Williams and Red Skelton share equal screen time for once in the MGM Technicolor musical Neptune's Daughter. The title character is, of course, Williams, here cast as Eve Barrett, a bathing-suit manufacturer (and sometimes model). Skelton plays Jack Spratt, the masseur at a fancy polo club, who falls for Eve's sister (Betty Garrett). To prove worthy of her love, Jack poses as dashing Latin polo star Jose O'Rourke (Ricardo Montalban), resulting in a wealth of comic complications. The slapstick setpieces include a hilarious horse-mounting routine and a climactic set-to between Skelton and petty crook Mike Mazurki; there's also a few inspired moments from Mel Blanc, cast as a slow-talking Mexican. While Xavier Cugat is on hand as "himself," the film's musical high point is the Oscar-winning Baby It's Cold Outside, performed first by Williams and Montalban and then by Skelton and Garrett. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

On an Island with You
The title of this MGM musical alone should tip you to the fact that Esther Williams is the star. In this one, she plays a movie star (what an innovation!), Rosalind Reynolds, who is on location in Hawaii to shoot a picture. Peter Lawford plays the film's naval technical advisor, Lt. Lawrence Y. Kingslee, who naturally falls deeply in love with Rosalind. As a means of expressing his ardor, Kingslee genteelly kidnaps Rosalind by "accidentally" marooning her on a desert island. To the dismay of feminists everywhere, Rosalind comes to enjoy being Kingslee's prisoner, and all ends happily. Jimmy Durante breaks up da joint in the role of an assistant director, while music is provided by MGM's all-purpose bandleader Xavier Cugat. The Technicolor process is shown to supreme advantage whenever it concentrates on Esther Williams' form-fitting gold-colored swimsuit. On an Island with You was one of MGM's premiere moneymakers of 1948. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Dangerous When Wet
Esther Williams stars in this button-cute musical about a health-conscious family of swimmers who fall in with con man Windy Weebe (Jack Carson). The Higgins family decides to swim the English Channel in order to raise money to purchase a prize bull for their Arkansas farm. As she practices for the English Channel swim, Katie Higgins (Esther Williams) gets lost in the fog and is rescued by wealthy wine merchant Andre Lanet (Fernando Lamas), and she falls for him hard. The film is distinguished by a climactic English Channel swim and an animated underwater cartoon sequence with Williams and animated MGM contract players Tom and Jerry reprising the Arthur Schwartz and Johnny Mercer tune "In My Wildest Dreams." ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi

Easy to Wed
This Technicolor musical remake of the 1936 comedy classic Libeled Lady isn't quite up to the standards of the original, but on its own terms is quite entertaining. Van Johnson, Esther Williams, Lucille Ball and Keenan Wynn expertly assume the roles originally played by William Powell, Myrna Loy, Jean Harlow and Spencer Tracy. Faced with a libel suit from socialite Connie Allenbury (Williams), newspaper editor Warren Haggerty (Wynn) cooks up a plan to beat Connie at her own game. To do this, he must rely upon the romantic chicanery of ex-employee Bill Stevens Chandler (Johnson), with Haggerty's fiancee Gladys Benton (Ball) caught in the middle. The comedy high point of the original Libeled Lady, in which William Powell is forced to demonstrate his (non-existent) prowess as a fisherman, is ably repeated in Easy to Wed when Van Johnson must prove his skills at duck-hunting. The songs aren't anything special, but Lucille Ball's superb comic performance is worth the admission price in itself. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Bathing Beauty
If you've never seen a '40s singing, swimming musical this may be the one to catch. Featuring a mammoth cast, including such notables as Xavier Cugat, Basil Rathbone, Red Skelton, and Esther Williams, this is a swimming spectacular. The plot's quite thin: Skelton plays a lovesick songwriter who enrolls in a girls' school to stay near his new wife who ditched him shortly after the wedding bells rang and was hired on as the college's swim teacher. Of course Esther Williams is the beautiful swimming instructor who spends most of her time in the pool performing in a score of choreographed pieces. ~ Phillip Erlewine, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Esther Williams
    Esther Williams - Eve Barrett
  • Red Skelton
    Red Skelton - Jack Spratt
  • Ricardo Montalban
    Ricardo Montalban - Jose O'Rourke
  • Betty Garrett
    Betty Garrett - Betty Barnett
  • Keenan Wynn
    Keenan Wynn - Joe Beckett

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