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
In an early sequence, four of the family go swimming in a pond while Katy settles down on a log to read. The log is dry when she lies down. A few minutes later the rest of the family climb out of the pond over the log and drip water on the log. The log is already wet when they do this showing that there has been at least one previous take. See more »
Esther swims with Tom & Jerry...so-so Williams flick...
MGM always released an Esther Williams movie as a bit of relaxing summer entertainment with the Swimming Sweetheart obliging everyone by looking pretty in a bathing suit as she plunges into those big swimming pools.
Here she plunges into the English Channel to compete for top prize. She's from a family of health addicts headed by William Demarest and Charlotte Greenwood (who happen to look foolish during some of their song-and-dance routines) and encouraged by coach Jack Carson. Denise Darcel is her romantic rival--but wait, she has Fernando Lamas, a dashing Frenchman, ready to offer her romance aboard his yacht. It's all quite watchable, if silly, and definitely not one of Esther's finest moments.
A memorable highlight is her underwater fling with Tom & Jerry that is fun to watch and dazzling to contemplate. But the film itself is a light, airy entertainment that is strictly a no-brainer guaranteed to please the masses. And Esther, as usual, looks gorgeous in and out of a bathing suit. Real life hubby, Fernando Lamas, however, comes across as one of her less versatile leading men, no matter how handsome he is.
The musical interludes are few and far between. None of them are remarkable. What the film needed was a lift from a song like "Baby, It's Cold Outside" (as in 'Neptune's Daughter'), but instead there are a few dreary numbers such as "Ain't Nature Grand?" and "In My Wildest Dreams". The channel swimming scenes will have you rooting for Esther as you huff and puff with her! Could have been better, but what the heck.
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