Set against the background of Florida's Cypress Gardens, and featuring many stretches of water carnival-ballet numbers, the slight story line finds swimming star Julie Hallerton (Esther Williams) in love with Ray Lloyd (Van Johnson), her boss and the creator and operator of the operation. She stays mostly wet, while he stays mostly disinterested in anything other than the cash receipts. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
At the very end of Esther Williams's water-skiing extravaganza, the camera shoots a long pullback shot of her on a platform with flags hoisting into view on either side; the shot then makes a stationary jump (albeit on cue with the music) to the same shot with jet fountains coming in from both sides like a curtain closing. You can see it's two different shots because Williams's right hand is up in the first one, then suddenly down in the second. See more »
Last and best MGM teaming of Esther Williams and Van Johnson
Although critics constantly gripe that Esher Williams could not act this movie lore is absolutely nonsense. Most of her films were slight escapist fare that called for her to display her sparkling light comedic touch which she showed over and over in hit after hit throughout the forties and fifties. WHen allowed to play more dramatic roles like "Million Dollar Mermaid"(MGM,1952) and most superbly in the underrated "The Unguarded Moment"(Universal,1956) she was very fine indeed but the rumor persists. But I will say it is in delightful musical confections like "Easy TO Love"(MGM, 1953) that she remained a top box-office star. Her chemistry with Van Johnson was always there. This was their fifth film together: their first was in Victor Fleming's dramatic fantasy "A Guy Named Joe"(MGM,1943) in support of superstars Spencer Tracey and Irene Dunne but this film made both stars; the empty but hugely successful "Thrill of a Romance"(MGM, 1945); certainly holding their own opposite the marvelous Lucille Ball in the charming and extremely popular "Easy to Wed"(MGM, 1946); and finally the solid hit "Duchess of Idaho"(MGM,1950) which allows Esther and Van to sparkle. But it is their last film "Easy to Love" that captures Esther and Van at their most captivating. The story is the usual fluff about fighting ex-lovers and is topped off with spectacular Busby Berkeley production numbers but all this is wrapped up in a witty script and the superb comic performances of Miss Williams and Mr. Johnson who were never better. Sad to say both their careers declined after this success.
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