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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 »
Uninspired musical tries hard to please Esther's fans...
Even a good cast can't quite put this one over the top--elephants and all. The choreography is about as original as the score which includes not a single really memorable tune.
Wasted in this nonsensical romp are Esther Williams and Howard Keel in the leads, both given only a few moments to shine. Esther does some interesting underwater swimming with statues that come to life and dives off a cliff with acrobatic skill. Keel struts around as Hannibal with energy and humor and even lifts his voice in song a few times, although the tunes are hardly worthy of his manly baritone.
George Sanders, Richard Haydn, Norma Varden, William Demarest and Marge and Gower Champion are largely wasted and cannot overcome a script that is unintentionally funny even in serious moments. Uninspired direction from George Sidney is no help.
Summing up: Attempt at originality utterly fails in this unusual Esther Williams film. The Champions have a truly wretched dance number with some elephants that takes up far too much time.
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