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This Time for Keeps (1947)

Expected to follow his opera star father into the business, but discontent with his life; a young man pursues a career in popular music and romances the aquatic-ballet dancer he met during his time in the service.



(screenplay), (story) (as Erwin Gelsey) | 1 more credit »

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Credited cast:
Leonora 'Nora' Cambaretti
Ferdi Farro
Richard Herald
Dick Johnson (as Johnnie Johnston)
Cugat Orchestra
Grandmother Cambaretti (as Dame May Whitty)
Sharon McManus ...
Deborah Cambaretti
Frances Allenbury
Dorothy Porter ...
Tommy Wonder ...
Tommy Wonder
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Orchestra Leader
Betty L. Hansen ...


A singing soldier (Johnny Johnston) newly returned home finds himself discontent to work in his father's opera company or pick up where he left off with his girlfriend. Having met an aquacade showgirl (Esther Williams) while in the service, he reintroduces himself. Romance blossoms. Written by Ray Hamel

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Lilting Rhythms...Lovely Mermaids...Wacky Comedy! See more »


Musical | Romance


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Release Date:

17 October 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bezaubernde Lippen  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


This was the only film in which Johnny Johnston appeared during his brief tenure at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Apparently, he became romantically involved with Kathryn Grayson during the filming of their duet in Till the Clouds Roll By (1946), despite the fact that Grayson was the object of an MGM executive's affections (in his memoir, Mickey Rooney cited that this executive was instrumental in Grayson's rise at the studio). When Grayson announced their engagement, the executive took out his hostility on Johnston, first by axing all of his footage from Till The Clouds Roll By (1946) and then releasing him from his contract once filming was completed on This Time For Keeps (1947). Johnston headed to New York, where he found brief success starring in the Broadway musical "A Tree Grows In Brooklyn" (1951). See more »


Featured in That's Entertainment! III (1994) See more »


Un poquito de Amor
Music by Raoul Soler
Lyrics by Ralph Freed
See more »

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User Reviews

Nora loves Dick. But do we care?
27 August 2013 | by See all my reviews

I recently have watched about a dozen Esther Williams movies. Some were quite good and most were pretty watchable despite the silly plots. However, I must say that of all the ones I've seen, this one is by far the worst. I think that unless you are the sort of person who wants to see all of her movies, this one is imminently skippable.

The film stars Williams as, what else, Nora, an underwater performer. She falls in love (though we know no reason why) with a very dull man named Dick Johnson (I am NOT making that up)--played by Johnny Johnston. However, in a subplot stolen right from "The Jazz Singer", Dick's father is very controlling and expects the young man to not only be an opera singer like himself but also marry the woman HE has picked out for the son! Not surprisingly, the father's actions created serious misunderstandings and nearly break up Nora and Dick. But the problem is Nora really, really loves Dick. Can her love of Dick triumph in the end?

The weakest link in the film is Johnston. While his voice is magnificent, he had as much charisma as a piece of moldy cheese...no,...perhaps less. Looking so plain and possessing very little personality, you have no idea why Nora loves this guy so much. As for me, after a while I really didn't care. Overall, a very simple plot that is too much like "The Jazz Singer" and with a leading man who makes paste seem exciting.

By the way, the underwater ballet scene near the beginning is among Esther's most famous. Yet, as you watch it you'll probably rightfully wonder how the audience who was supposedly watching it could possibly even see these tricks! Think about it--from the stage in the movie, all they could see (barely) is the top of the water!!

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