C’mon In. The Technicolor’s Fine! (July, 1953)

 

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Dangerous When Wet finds a fit family of rubes from Arkansas dairy country getting roped into swimming the English Channel as a publicity stunt for a brand of vitamin water. It’s MGM musical logic, folks, so you kinda gotta roll with it, but, I’m telling ya it’s great fun to watch. A vehicle for Esther Williams on the surface to work her magic underwater but turns out she’s pretty great on dry land, too. And the whole thing is sufficiently buoyed by a supporting cast including Jack Carson as the pitchman, Fernando Lamas as the love interest, and William Demarest and Charlotte Greenwood as Ma and Pa (– and I love the musical number where these old fudds strut their stuff.) There’s also an extended cameo by Tom & Jerry for an amazing animated dream sequence in both content and execution that could have gone on for lot longer than it did in my opinion. Great escapist fluff, sure, but still highly recommended.

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I’d only recently become acquainted with Esther Williams’ ‘aquamusicals’ after a chance encounter with Jupiter’s Darling at about 3am five or six years ago but have been completely enchanted by her in everything I’ve seen since. Very sad to hear the news of her passing.

Esther Williams dangerous when wet

Esther Williams
(1921-2013)

Dangerous When Wet (1953) Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) / P: George Wells / D: Charles Walters / W: Dorothy Kingsley / C: Harold Rosson / E: John McSweeney Jr. / M: Albert Sendrey, George Stoll / S: Esther Williams, Fernando Lamas, Jack Carson, William Demarest, Charlotte Greenwood, Denise Darcel

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