Guilty Pleasures Film Festival 2013

“On an Island with You”

Esther Williams in "On an Island with You" (MGM, 1948)

Esther Williams in “On an Island with You” (MGM, 1948)

Have you ever seen an Esther Williams movie? She was the bathing beauty who starred in a bunch of MGM musicals during the 1940s and 1950s. The musicals were light on plot and heavy on the sychronized swimming. One of these musicals is 1948’s “On an Island with You.” Williams plays a Rosalind Rennolds, a stage performer turned movie star who while filming her latest film project in Hawaii gets romantically pursued by a U.S. Navy lieutenant (played by Peter Lawford) who had fallen in love with her years earlier when they met briefly during one of her shows. It’s completely stupid, but worth a view just for the kitsch of it all. Filmed in glorious Technicolor. Also stars Ricardo Montalban, Jimmy Durante, Cyd Charisse, Kathryn Beaumont, along with Xavier Cugat and his orchestra. Written by Dorothy Kingsley, Dorothy Cooper, Charles Martin and Hans Wilhelm (sorry to be critical, but I can’t believe it took four writers to write this screenplay–just sayin’). Directed by Richard Thorpe. “If I put my arms around your neck I’d choke you!”

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