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|Index||12 reviews in total|
Esther Williams gets her first post MGM starring role and gets off
to a good start. This film is a well acted entertaining suspense
with a mature theme that would be repeated a million times more
in the future - innocent girl stalked creepy woman hater. Esther
looks great and if she wanted to, probably could have gone on to
do more and better films but according to her autobiography,
pretty much gave up working for marriage. Either way she is so
likable and engaging that its fun to see her in a totally different role
outside of the 'swimming musical'. Universal was fabulous for
making films with former MGM stars after that studio began
dropping its biggest names as it began to slide down hill. Stars
like Lana Turner, June Allyson and others got to make quality first
rate films at Universal as they obviously still had drawing power at
the box office. I wish Esther had made more but since she didnt, it
makes this one all the more special.
Wow, what a great piece of 50's trash! Lush, colorful sets, great old cars and Esther walking around in sexy 50's tight dresses. The plot has already been mentioned above so I won't rehash. One question that sticks out in my mind, who would say no to John Saxon, he is a sex god in this movie, like an hunkier, hornier Sal Mineo! If they had gotten George Nader to take his shirt off more in this it would have been a 50's wet dream! Sexual repression doesn't get any better than this movie! Even Saxon's dad played by Edward Andrews is an old perv..everything was so subtle in this era...Esther Willaims actually was a pretty good actress here, they should have used her in more movies like this!
In her first nonaquatic role, Esther Williams plays a school teacher
who's the victim of sexual assault. She gives a fine performance,
proving she could be highly effective out of the swimming pool. As the
detective out to solve the case, George Nader gives perhaps his finest
performance. And he is so handsome it hurts! John Saxon is the student
under suspicion, and although he gets impressive billing in the
credits, it's Edward Andrews as his overly-protective father who is the
Bathed in glorious Technicolor, The Unguarded Moment is irresistible hokum and at times compelling drama.
This is an AMC, Tuesday afternoon flick that you CANNOT STOP WATCHING!
Great trash! Here we see Esther Williams (and not a glimpse of a
swimming suit) as a sexually harassed high school teacher. The object
of her harrassment... a young, and not hair challenged John Saxon.
Great sets, great love interest in the cop who comes to her aid... This
is a very interesting time capsule about sensibilities in the 1950s. It
is implied, if not stated, that if poor ole Esther would only give up
her crazy career notions and settle down, she's not be in so much
While Saxon gives a wooden performance (in more ways than one), veteran character actor Edward Andrews shines as the boy's demented father. What a champ he was to go into this B-movie and give it his all. It's not as if he wasn't in demand as a character actor. (He was second only to Whit Bissel as the guy you knew, but couldn't name in the movies.) He was always turning up as the client on "Bewitched" or in a small supporting film role. He was perfect as the big, rotund, Babbitt-like small town banker who got his in the end.
The sets are perfect 50's, especially the school. Esther Williams gives a good performance in a Rosalind Russell script, although after this one, she hung up her bathing suit and retired to a life of luxury. Still, isn't it odd that her character is so naive? She walks about in a daze, wondering how a teenage boy could have a sexual interest in her. Even in middle age, she was quite an attractive woman. Why is this so surprising to her? Of course, this film does what ALL good, exploitive trash films do... it opens doors, says one thing while doing another and asks us to stretch our sensibilities a bit.
Next time you're home, sick from work, flip on AMC on TV. It might be 9am or 1 in the afternoon. If it's "The Unguarded Moment', the trash flickering in front of you will keep you captivated. You'll still be thinking about it at dinner time too!
An extremely enjoyable film which sees Esther Williams battle the stereotype of the single woman in the not-so-fabulous '50s. For anyone who prefers the noir side of 1950s cinema (ie Cape Fear as opposed to Oklahoma) it portrays both the dark side of human nature and the seething naivety of the decade. After hearing about Esther's biography it was amusing to see her in a role which so strongly defended her sexual innocence!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I remember seeing the movie THE UNGUARDED MOMENT during my early days
of collecting movies when the VCR was just hitting the height of its
popularity, so unfortunately I do not have a copy of the film. There
has never been a commercial release of this movie on VHS or DVD for
that matter. It is surprising because it marks a very different role
for Esther Williams. She actually stayed dry in the movie, and the plot
which actually was pretty dark and realistic for 1956 audiences.
Lois Conway (played by swimmer Esther Williams) is an attractive high school music teacher who has a 1950s bullet bra figure that attracts the attention of lustful sexual psycho student, Leonard Bennett (John Saxon). At home Leonard's father (Edward Andrews) is a creepy repressive misogynistic who lectures his son about the dangers of all women, like his dirty, dead mother.
Lois begins to receive secret notes slipped into her purse and school papers. Quickly the notes become more obscene, and after receiving one asking her to meet at night in the locker room, she goes, hoping to discourage her admirer. Bad move! In the darkness a flashlight glares in her face and she is sexually molested by her unidentified predator. With the help of police lieutenant Harry Graham (George Nader), Lois does her best to fend off future attacks, while trying to keep from suffering a nervous breakdown herself! Look for 1950s teenage haircuts and clothes. Cool-looking teen hangout, "The Sugar Shop" is where all the cool cats and kittens go to dance to the rock and roll jukebox! Lots of boogie woogie tunes and jiving at the high school dance. It's rare to see a 50's teenage JD film in color! Esther Williams, George Nader, John Saxon, Edward Andrews, Les Tremayne, Jack Albertson, Dani Crayne, John Wilder, Edward Platt, Eleanor Audley, Robert Williams, Diane Jergens.
Esther Williams gets her first post MGM starring role and gets off to a good start. This film is a well acted entertaining suspense with a mature theme that would be repeated a million times more in the future - innocent girl stalked creepy woman hater. Esther looks great and if she wanted to, probably could have gone on to do more and better films but according to her autobiography,pretty much gave up working for marriage. Either way she is so likable and engaging that its fun to see her in a totally different role outside of the 'swimming musical'.
Universal was fabulous for making films with former MGM stars after that studio began dropping its biggest names as it began to slide down hill. Stars like Lana Turner, June Allyson and others got to make quality first rate films at Universal that MGM would not allow them to make. I wish Esther had made more but since she didn't, it makes this one all the more special. The movie really changed my opinion of the acting ability of Esther Williams.If you get the rare chance to see THE UNGUARDED MOMENT, I recommend it...
The "unguarded moment" seems to come from the forties ,when the
Freudian movie was so trendy: "secret beyond the door" "cat people" "
"spiral staircase" "the dark mirror" ,the list is endless.
Unfortunately it's marred by a providential love story between the teacher and the cop.Had it focused on the father/son relationship,the movie could have renewed the genre.The character of the father is by far the most interesting of the screenplay: he must have failed professionally as well as sexually in his own life and he wants his whizz kid (a young John Saxon) to be all that he could not be .If he disappoints him,he will break him!Esther Williams is an attractive teacher ,but to be interesting ,such a character needed to show some ambiguousness.After the first thirty minutes ,there's no real surprise.
Watch it for Edward Andrews' offbeat performance.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
That's the saving grace of this film-they saw it coming where
principals wouldn't believe their teachers, but would take the part of
the students. Of course, there is irony in this film because of the way
it turns out who the true culprit is.
People are being assaulted in a town; a murder results and a teachers begins receiving notes from a student looking for a good time.
Naturally, love blossoms between Esther Williams, who really shows some depth in acting. Perhaps, it was finally time for Miss Esther to get out of the water and tackle other areas. She does succeed here.
Edward Andrews, who always was the sneaky, crafty, nasty person in films steals the show as a guy sexually hung-up. No wonder his wife left him. John Saxon makes an interesting appearance as his conflicted son.
Not a bad film at all.
Esther Williams is a hot teacher. So it's natural for her boys to have a crush on her. But to act on it! John Saxon, in his screen debut, is the boy in question. Goerge Nader is the law, who's brought in, when she is coaxed by a series of letters to meet the boy in the boys' locker room at night! In the scuffle, she is shaken up and her clothes a bit torn, and the officer, who is quite taken by her, is out to get the boy, despite the fact she wants to forget the whole thing and put it behind her. He's just a boy! But if you don't punish the behavior, they don't learn, says George Nader. Then there's the question of whether Saxon is the suspect they are looking for in the case of a young girl murdered. Despite the facts that the movie starts out really melodramatic with corny dialogue and that George Nader has practically no screen personality, I got really engrossed in the film. I thought I had heard that this film was really bad. It does have some parts that were overdone or done to extreme, like Edward Andrews' performance as Saxon's father. But, costarring good supporting actors like Jack Albertson and Les Tremayne, the film certainly delivers a punch. '7' is still a little generous, but for pure entertainment and camp value, it sure fits the bill.
Although Esther Williams got out of the pool in her first film outside
MGM one look at this must have had her longing for her own set with
water tank that MGM gave her.
Esther plays a high school music teacher who starts getting mash notes that are getting more and more explicit. They seem to be coming from a popular jock at her high school played by John Saxon. You'd think this kid could get about any girl in the school, but Saxon has issues, specifically dad issues and dad is played by the self righteous and repressed Edward Andrews.
Things aren't really handled well in fact the investigating detective who believes Esther is in danger is the only one who really has her back. George Nader is the detective, but he shouldn't have gotten involved with Williams while there was an active case. Not professional behavior, he should have been reprimanded or worse.
Next to her swim suit spectaculars at MGM, The Unguarded Moment comes off as distinctly second rate. Best in the film by far is Edward Andrews. He will really creep you out.
Esther's fans might be disappointed.
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