17 user 10 critic

This Time for Keeps (1947)

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.


Richard Thorpe


Gladys Lehman (screenplay), Erwin Gelsey (story) | 1 more credit »




Cast overview:
Esther Williams ... Leonora 'Nora' Cambaretti
Jimmy Durante ... Ferdi Farro
Lauritz Melchior ... Richard Herald
Johnny Johnston ... Dick Johnson (as Johnnie Johnston)
Xavier Cugat and His Orchestra ... Cugat Orchestra
May Whitty ... Grandmother Cambaretti (as Dame May Whitty)
Sharon McManus Sharon McManus ... Deborah Cambaretti
Dick Simmons ... Gordon
Mary Stuart ... Frances Allenbury
Ludwig Stössel ... Peter
Dorothy Porter Dorothy Porter ... Merle
Tommy Wonder ... Tommy Wonder


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 Ray Hamel

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

dancer | See All (1) »


M-G-M's Mammoth TECHNICOLOR Musical! See more »


Musical | Romance


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Did You Know?


The film's television premiere took place in Los Angeles Friday 24 May 1957 on KTTV (Channel 11); it was first telecast in Hartford CT 29 June 1957 on WHCT (Channel 18), in Miami 21 July 1957 on WCKT (Channel 7), in Phoenix 19 October 1957 on KPHO (Channel 5), in New Haven CT 21 October 1957 on WNHC (Channel 8), in Altoona PA 4 November 1957 on WFBG (Channel 10), in Binghamton NY 20 November 1957 on WNBF (Channel 12), in Cincinnati 30 November 1957 on WLW-T (Channel 5), in Lebanon PA 2 December 1957 on WLBR (Channel 15), in Nashville 12 December 1957 on WLAC (Channel 5), and, eventually, in Philadelphia 13 August 1958 on WFIL (Channel 6), in Chicago 14 February 1959 on WBBM (Channel 2), in New York City 11 December 1959 on WCBS (Channel 2) and in San Francisco 16 April 1960 on KGO (Channel 7). At this time, color broadcasting was in its infancy, limited to only a small number of high rated programs, primarily on NBC and NBC affiliated stations, so these film showings were all still in B&W. Viewers were not offered the opportunity to see these films in their original Technicolor until several years later. See more »


Featured in That's Entertainment! III (1994) See more »


Ten Percent Off
Music by Sammy Fain
Lyrics by Ralph Freed
See more »

User Reviews

The Ballad of Dick Johnson
24 June 2017 | by utgard14See all my reviews

It's the timeless story of Dick Johnson, a young man returning home from war who doesn't want to sing opera like his dad or marry his social-climbing fiancée. Instead he wants to sing in a nightclub and romance a beautiful swimmer. We've seen it all before.

A tired musical comedy that's more of a showcase for Jimmie Johnston than Esther Williams. Technicolor goddess Esther does get in the water a few times but there are no lavish swimming numbers here. Jimmie Johnston is as bland and vanilla as they come. In some scenes he looks less like an actor and more like a tourist who just wandered onto set and seems awestruck by the lights and cameras. Not surprising this is the biggest role of his career. Jimmy Durante provides the film's laughs. Child actress Sharon McManus steals every one of her scenes. The music is fine. "S'No Wonder They Fell in Love" is the best number. It's worth a look for Esther completists or anyone who might giggle every time they hear Dick Johnson.

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Release Date:

17 October 1947 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

This Time for Keeps See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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