A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
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The Forgotten: George Sidney's "Jupiter's Darling" (1955)

12 January 2017 6:10 AM, PST | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

The Coen brothers' recent Hail Caesar! may have seemed pretty bold in featuring both a Roman sword-and-sandal epic and a water ballet musical in its story of old Hollywood chicanery, but in 1955 MGM went several steps further in producing Jupiter's Darling, which is simultaneously a Roman epic and a water ballet musical, starring the queen (and sole proponent) of the latter genre, Esther Williams.One of the perplexing things about the genius of the system, whereby a studio apparatus geared to make crowd-pleasing entertainment also produced, on a fairly regular basis, great cinematic art as a kind of incidental by-product (incidental except to the artists employed) is that often the mass audience, which was the ultimate arbiter of taste, would get things badly wrong. Thus Keaton's The General, his bravest and best film, was a commercial flop, and thus the climax of the Williams water-and-song cycle proved to be an »

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