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Fabius loves his beautiful but vulnerable city, Rome, and he also loves his beautiful but invulnerable fiancée, Amytis. Fascinated by the tales she has heard about Hannibal, who is about to attack Rome, Amytis is driven by curiosity to the edge of his camp. Captured, she makes a last request of the indifferent Hannibal...that he spare the city. She offers to lead him to a hilltop where she can prove that taking the city is not worth the trouble. Hannibal goes with her, even though she has to cup her hand under his chin and float him across a river as he can't swim. Before long, Hannibal is doing more surveying of Amytis than of Rome. And Fabius finds he can defend neither his city nor his fiancée against the advances of Hannibal. Especially after he has his elephants painted bright colors because Amythis thinks gray is drab. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
M-G-M originally bought the rights to Robert E. Sherwood's play back in 1926 intending to film it with Greta Garbo. See more »
During the "slave market" dance number Marge Champion at one point has a small basket on her head. It falls off and lands on the ground between her and Gower. They pull in for a closeup and when they pull back the basket is gone. See more »
Unless someone tells you in advance that "Jupiter's Darling" is a spoof, you may be like me and wonder through the first part of the film exactly what you are watching. I thought it was a badly made "serious" musical. And I wonder if calling it a "spoof" forgives a film for its bad elements? Bad dancing. Stilted lyrics. Questionable artistic choices. Awkward moments. The beginning of this film is plagued with them. Once you take the film to be a spoof, some of them can be forgiven--IF you are sure that the silliness is intentional. I am not sure all of it is.
When Esther Williams sings "I Had a Dream", you might be surprised to hear her sing. I was. Then I learned that it was dubbed by Jo Ann Greer. Good choice of singer, because it sounds like Esther's voice. Note that she sings while swimming. That's a little awkward. And then the number turns (appropriately) into a dream sequence. Even if you find the film less than excellent, it's a number that is interesting--filmed to give the illusion that it was done without coming up for air.
Howard Keel, as Hannibal, is the romantic interest. He lends his booming voice to some silly lyrics. I had the recurring impression I was listening to The Grinch.
Another interesting thing: the opening line of one song ("Don't Let This Night Get Away") sounded remarkably like the opening line of "A Woman in Love" from "Guys and Dolls", released the same year.
Besides the underwater dance sequence I mentioned, there is another that is worth seeing for its uniqueness. Marge and Gower Champion sing "The Life of an Elephant" while dancing among elephants that perform tricks. Both sequences must have been tedious to film.
One element that that I found superior throughout was the costuming.
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