Expected to follow his opera star father into the business, but discontent with his life; a young man pursues a career in popular music and romances the aquatic-ballet dancer he met during his time in the service.
A swim teacher and a wealthy businessman are married after a brief courtship. A charming war hero falls in love with this newly-married woman, after her husband abandons her on their honeymoon for the sake of a business meeting.
A contrived misunderstanding leads to the breakup of a songwriter and his fiancée. She returns to work as a gym teacher at an all-girls school, but a legal loophole allows the man to enroll as one of her students.
Ellen Hallet is in love with her playboy boss, Douglas Morrison, but is too timid to do anything about it. To help her, her roommate Chris decides to step in and devises a plan. Chris ... See full summary »
A singing soldier (Johnny Johnston) newly returned home finds himself discontent to work in his father's opera company or pick up where he left off with his girlfriend. Having met an aquacade showgirl (Esther Williams) while in the service, he reintroduces himself. Romance blossoms.Written by
A film with great talent like Esther Williams, Lauritz Melchior, Jimmy Durante, Xavier Cugat and May Witty promises a lot, they're great enough individually but seeing them together in the same film is every bit as big a treat. None of the five stars disappoint, but 'This Time For Keeps' as a film could have been much more.
Getting the flaws out of the way, the script really lacks lustre in places, lacks wit and sophistication and anybody looking for sense will be short-changed. The story is flimsy nonsense and often painfully predictable with some draggy pacing in a few scenes that aren't musical numbers.
Despite singing decently, Johnnie Johnston is a charisma-free presence and fails to generate much chemistry with the rest of the cast. Richard Thorpe's direction is competent but undistinguished.
Conversely, 'This Time For Keeps' is lavishly mounted and shot in glorious Technicolor. The songs are pleasant, while the operatic/classical music segments provided by Melchior (which include the likes of "La Donna E Mobile", "M' Apari" and even a bit of Otello) are even better. They benefit from being energetically staged.
Most of the cast work very well. Williams radiates with charm and her swimming talent is second to none. Durante is very funny and seems to be having a ball. Melchior sings with his usual thrilling ring, sounding absolutely wonderful, and is cuddly and amusing. Cugat sends up a storm and Witty is just delightful.
Overall, a pleasant diversion but unexceptional, with the cast being the biggest merit. 6/10 Bethany Cox
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