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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
When Katie and André begin swimming in André's pool, there is no inner tube in the water. After swimming around for a little while, Katie swims up through the middle of the tube and André pulls her back under the water. See more »
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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