6.3/10
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Dangerous When Wet (1953)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical, Romance | 3 July 1953 (USA)
A young woman enters a contest to be the first to swim the English Channel.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Katie Higgins
...
André Lanet
...
Windy Weebe
Charlotte Greenwood ...
Ma Higgins
...
Gigi Mignon
...
Pa Higgins
Donna Corcoran ...
Junior Higgins
Barbara Whiting ...
Suzie Higgins
Bunny Waters ...
Greta
Henri Letondal ...
Joubert
Paul Bryar ...
Pierre
Jack Raine ...
Stuart Frye
...
Egyptian Channel swimmer
Tudor Owen ...
Old Salt
Ann Codee ...
Mrs. Lanet
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Storyline

The health conscious, dairy-farming Higgins family begin each day with an invigorating swim. One day, traveling health-tonic salesman, Windy Weebe, comes to town and suggests they could swim the English Channel. Sponsored by "Liquapep" and coached by Windy, the family arrive in Europe. There it is decided that daughter Katie is the only one strong enough to enter the contest. But while she should be focused on the difficult and risky task ahead, Katie is pursed by dashing Frenchman, André Lanet... This comedic musical is well remembered for the scene when Katie dreams she is swimming with cartoon characters Tom & Jerry! Written by L. Hamre

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

See the amazing "Tom & Jerry" cartoon swimming spectacle with Esther! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

3 July 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Traversons La Manche  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lead actress, Esther Williams married lead actor, Fernando Lamas sixteen years after Dangerous When Wet (1953) was being filmed. Esther Williams was married to her second (of four husbands), Ben Gage, while Dangerous When Wet (1953) was being filmed. See more »

Goofs

During the animated sequence, when Katy and the octopus are sitting together at the table, watch carefully when she moves to remove the octopus's tentacle from her shoulder - her hand passes straight through the tentacle instead of over it. See more »

Quotes

Katie Higgins: [shouting through the fog] Wendy. Wendy!
Windy Weebe: Katie where are you?
Katie Higgins: I'm on a yacht. With a Frenchman.
Windy Weebe: A Frenchman? Oh no.
See more »

Connections

References The Cat and the Mermouse (1949) See more »

Soundtracks

I Like Men
Music by Arthur Schwartz
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Sung by Barbara Whiting
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User Reviews

Esther takes Fernando for a test dive.
15 September 2004 | by (Cincinnati, OH) – See all my reviews

MGM's resident mermaid Williams gets an ever-so-slightly more challenging part in this musical outing. Often, Williams just did (dazzling) water ballets sprinkled amongst a lot of romantic entanglements and shenanigans. It's much the same here, but at least she gets a chance to do a story that has a few real moments of emotion and even strife. She plays the eldest daughter of an especially healthy farm family who is chosen to swim the English Channel in an international event. Carson plays a relentless promoter while Lamas is a wealthy and charming distraction. The story details Williams and her family undergoing the necessary training and preparation for the big swim, encountering a few hurdles along the way. It culminates in a surprisingly strenuous and moving climax in which a badly exhausted Williams can barely move a muscle in the open sea. Several peppy musical numbers occur throughout the movie including an opening number in which the family begins their daily fitness ritual and an ensemble piece featuring the mother (Greenwood) in a bizarre, wacky, but fun dance routine.

There's also a lengthy dream sequence (a major highlight of the film) in which a luminous Williams swims with the famous cartoon characters Tom and Jerry and other animated sea creatures based on the other actors in the film. (Hilariously, Lamas is depicted as an octopus, which aptly sums up the man's on and off screen persona of an insatiable ladies man.) Parts of the film lag a bit as it meanders to it's fairly predictable end, but Carson brings a lot of energy and humor to his role and other cast members provide nice work as well. Lamas and Williams display clear chemistry together, though she maintains that they did not have an affair during the film (just one racy ride home from the studio in which she had her hand under his robe most of the way!) They married about 15 or so years later once he had cooled his libidinous jets somewhat and she was free of her deadbeat second husband. Cruelly, Lamas' formidable body is kept under wraps much of the time. Their only major swimming sequence together is filmed entirely above the water.


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