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...
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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 »
In opening credits: "In 216 B.C., Hannibal the Barbarian marched on Rome. The history of this great march has always been confused. This picture will do nothing to clear it up." See more »
Esther Williams' swan song at MGM is also her final aquatic musical. Less significantly, it's also the last (and best) of the three movies Esther did with Howard Keel. It's a movie that takes place in ancient Rome where Esther plays Amytis, the object of affection for Roman ruler Fabius (George Sanders). Fabius is anticipating an attack on Rome from the famous military commander Hannibal (a bearded Howard Keel). When Hannibal meets Amytis, she tries to use her feminine charms to persuade him not to attack.
It's a silly movie but an enjoyable one that is better than its reputation suggests. The sets and costumes are all colorful and bright, though some today might find it all a bit corny. Esther is fit and gorgeous (those legs!) with a lovely underwater swimming number where she 'dances' with statues that come to life. A real classic and the highlight of the film. She does well in the romantic scenes with Howard Keel, who sings some forgettable tunes. I especially liked that Esther's character was so sexy and fun. Of the three films Keel and Esther did together, this is the one where they have the best chemistry. The cast backing up the leads is solid. George Sanders plays Fabius with as much seriousness as he can muster considering how silly the whole thing must have seemed to him. Richard Hayden is oddly enjoyable as the singing storyteller Horatio. Others in the cast include William Demarest, Douglas Dumbrille, Michael Ansara, and dancing couple Gower & Marge Champion. The Champions perform the "If This Be Slavery" number ("Hooray for slavery!"), which has some lyrics that are funny when taken out of context. Most of the songs and dance numbers are nothing to write home about but none are terrible. Anything with Esther is worth seeing just for her smile...and those legs!
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