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Esther Williams set in July from Warner Home Video

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8 replies to this topic

#1 of 9 OFFLINE   alistairKerr


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Posted April 09 2007 - 03:34 AM

Courtesy of Max Preeo (Castrec-l newsgroup)

"From Warner Home Video:

Warner Home Video and Turner Classic Movies Present Laughs, Romance, Music - Just Add Water!


The ravishing bathing beauty who pioneered a new genre of moviemaking --
"Aqua Musicals" -- will be seen in some of her splashiest roles when Warner
Home Video and Turner Classic Movies showcase TCM Spotlight: Esther Williams
on July 17.

The Collection includes the DVD debuts of five Technicolor films from
'America's Favorite Mermaid' - Bathing Beauty, On an Island with You, Easy
to Wed, Neptune's Daughter and Dangerous When Wet.

Also included are special features such as TCM host Robert Osborne's recent
"Private Screenings" interview with Esther (featured on the Bathing Beauty
DVD), Academy Award®-winning vintage shorts, musical number outtakes, and
classic cartoons. The films will be available only as a collection in a
collectible digi-pak gift and will sell for $49.92 SRP.

About Esther Williams

Born in Los Angeles in 1921, Esther was the youngest of five children. As a
teenager, she was determined to become a world champion swimmer, and by the
age of 15 had already set records at such events as the Women's Outdoor
Nationals and the Pacific Coast Championships. She was slated to participate
in the 1940 Olympics, but when they were cancelled due to World War II,
Williams went to work for Billy Rose's San Francisco Aquacade. After being
spotted by an MGM talent scout, she made her screen debut in 1942 as Mickey
Rooney's love interest in Andy Hardy's Double Life.

Hoping that a swimming star could surpass a skating queen (Fox's Sonja
Henie), MGM began grooming Miss Williams for the future by completely
restructuring her third film. Filming began in 1943 under the title Mr.
Co-Ed, starring Red Skelton as the title character. Early into production,
producer Jack Cummings soon realized that the leading lady was stealing the
picture. The budget increased, and the picture was re-titled, becoming the
Technicolor super-spectacular Bathing Beauty. The film was an international
smash, and even though Skelton got top billing, it was Esther Williams who
walked away with the movie.

Williams immediately clicked with the public and went on to become one of
the biggest movie stars of the era. Over the next decade, she captivated
audiences in nearly 20 films. Notably, she co-starred with Van Johnson and
Lucille Ball in Easy To Wed (1946); played a movie star on a tropical island
frolicking with co-stars Peter Lawford, Ricardo Montalban and Jimmy Durante
in On an Island with You (1948); sang one of many Frank Loesser tunes,
including the Oscar-winning "Baby It's Cold Outside" in Neptune's Daughter
(1949); and swam the English Channel, danced with Tom and Jerry and found
romance with real-life future husband Fernando Lamas in Dangerous When Wet
(1953). All of these films are in this collection.

As Williams' popularity soared -- she was among the top ten box office stars
in 1949 and 1950 - MGM created a special group of movies called "Aqua
Musicals," making her swimming sequences more complex and elaborate with
each new picture, and freshening up the act with additions such as trapezes,
hang-gliders and fiery hoops.

Other hits included Million Dollar Mermaid and Take Me Out to the Ball Game
(also available on DVD from WHV) after which Ms. Williams tried her hand at
drama with good performances in films like The Unguarded Moment, Raw Wind in
Eden and The Big Show. But she ultimately went back to the water, starring
in several TV aquacade spectaculars and acting as spokeswoman for her own
swimming-pool company. She retired in 1961 to devote her time to husband
Fernando Lamas, her children (including stepson Lorenzo Lamas) and her many
business activities. She was rarely seen in public during those years, and
was conspicuously absent from the reunion of MGM stars in 1974 participating
in the release of That's Entertainment!, the box-office blockbuster that
featured a whole sequence around Esther's films. Interest in Esther remained
high, but she remained out of the public eye until Lamas' death in 1982. She
finally came back to the entertainment world in 1984, when ABC asked her to
help provide commentary for the aquatic events at the Los Angeles Olympics,
much to the delight of her many fans. The success of her classic films on
home video and cable television introduced Esther to a whole new audience,
and in 1994, she returned to MGM to serve as one of the hosts in the
critically-acclaimed That's Entertainment! III.

About the Films

Bathing Beauty (1944)

Rambunctious funnyman Red Skelton joins Esther Williams in this buoyant
(literally) comedy about a lovesick songwriter who enrolls in a women's
college to woo his estranged swimming-teacher wife. Highlights include music
from both Harry James and his Music Makers and Xavier Cugat and his
Orchestra, Skelton in a pink tutu doing unforgivable things to Tchaikovsky
and a spectacular, trendsetting 'chlorine-and-chorine' finale.

Special Features:
· Robert Osborne hosts TCM's Private Screenings with Esther Williams
· Oscar-nominated Short Main Street Today
· Academy Award-winning Cartoon Mouse Trouble
· Theatrical trailer
· Subtitles: English (feature film only)

On an Island with You (1948)

Moonlight swims, swaying palms, Technicolor® sunsets and.cannibals?! Esther
Williams, Peter Lawford, Ricardo Montalban and Cyd Charisse get the
swimming, swaying and sunsets and Jimmy Durante gets the cannibals in this
tune-filled paradise for fans of musical comedy. The frothy plot follows a
swimming movie star (Williams, who else?) pursued by two handsome suitors on
the set of her latest film, but the main point is mostly the songs, romance
and Esther in a sizzling series of swimsuits and sarongs.

Special Features:
· Vintage Romance of Celluloid series short Personalities
· Classic cartoon The Bear and the Hare
· Theatrical trailer
· Subtitles: English (feature film only)

Easy To Wed (1946)

In this fast-paced, romantic comedy - a remake of the screwball 1930's
classic Libeled Lady - the comic bits are legion, with two standouts: Van
Johnson afloat with a baleful spaniel who knows a lot more about duck
hunting than he does, and a laugh-out-loud drunk scene that uncorks the
incomparable lunacy of Lucille Ball. When the local paper runs an untrue
story claiming an heiress (Esther Williams) is a husband stealer, she
prepares to sue for libel. So a newspaper honcho (Keenan Wynn) devises a
counter scheme to compromise her image: He'll arrange a sham wedding between
his fiancée (Lucille Ball) and a newsroom Romeo (Van Johnson), send the
Romeo to woo the heiress, and make the phony story come true!

Special Features:
· Oscar-nominated Pete Smith Specialty comedy short Sure Cures
· Classic cartoon The Unwelcome Guest
· Theatrical trailers of This Movie and Libeled Lady
· Subtitles: English (feature film only)

Neptune's Daughter (1949)

Longing for a Latin lover, boy-crazy Betty Barrett (Betty Garrett) mistakes
girl-shy Jack Spratt (Red Skelton) for the South American polo team captain
José O'Rourke (Ricardo Montalban). Meanwhile, the real O'Rourke pursues
Betty's elegant sister Eve (Esther Williams). Soon mistaken identities and
romantic complications spin into a dizzy mix of slapstick and flirtatious
fun. All is set to terrific Frank Loesser songs, including Baby, It's Cold
Outside, winner of the 1949 Best Song Oscar®. The film ends not only
happily-ever-after but with (would a Williams fan expect anything less?) a
stupendous water ballet.

Special Features:
· Outtake musical number I Want My Money Back
· Esther Williams cameo sequence from 1951's Callaway Went Thataway
· Oscar-Nominated Pete Smith Specialty comedy short Water Trix
· Oscar-nominated cartoon Hatch Up Your Troubles
· Theatrical trailers of this movie and Take Me Out to the Ball Game
· Subtitles: English (feature film only)

Dangerous When Wet (1953)

The "just add water" formula works again in this lighthearted mix of
romance, music and comedy directed by Charles Walters (Easter Parade).
Williams plays Katy, a farm girl who finds romance (with Williams' future
real-life husband Fernando Lamas) while training for a swim across the
English Channel. In the film's key sequence, Williams swims, swirls and
swoops with cartoon stars Tom and Jerry in a concoction "brimful of
attractive people and attractive performances" (Clive Hirschhorn, The
Hollywood Musical).

Special Features:
· Outtake musical number C'est La Guerre
· Pete Smith Specialty comedy short This Is a Living?
· Classic cartoon Name to Come
· Esther Williams musicals trailer gallery
· Subtitles: English (feature film only)

Want it NOW!!!!

#2 of 9 OFFLINE   Mike*HTF


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Posted April 09 2007 - 09:38 AM

Esther and Popeye both in July? That's what I'm talking about!

#3 of 9 OFFLINE   Charles Ellis

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Posted April 09 2007 - 09:41 AM

OK, but where's Million Dollar Mermaid?
Bring "The continuing story of PEYTON PLACE" home on DVD: the one that started it all- from Dallas and Dynasty to Desperate Housewives and Gossip Girl!!! Starting this May, see the legendary saga starring Mia Farrow, Ryan O'Neal, Barbara Parkins, and Oscar-winner Dorothy Malone on DVD thru...

#4 of 9 OFFLINE   Thomas T

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Posted April 09 2007 - 12:43 PM

Hopefully it will do well enough for Warners to do an Esther Williams Vol. 2 which will include Million Dollar Mermaid, Easy To Love, Texas Carnival, Pagan Love Song and Jupiter's Darling!

#5 of 9 OFFLINE   CineKarine


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Posted April 09 2007 - 12:49 PM

Can we find room for Duchess of Idaho and Skirts Ahoy! in that next volume? Posted Image

Love all of Esther's films, will be happy to get all of them in good time. Posted Image
Sing your worries away, smile, be kind and accentuate the positive!
DVD wish list: The Accused (48), Margie (46), I'll Get By (50), The Constant Nymph (43), The Voice of the Turtle (47), The Barretts of Wimpole Street (34), Her Twelve Men (54), The Lost Moment (47), I Walk Alone (48), The Glass...

#6 of 9 OFFLINE   RafaelPires


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Posted April 09 2007 - 02:53 PM

If they release a Vol. 2 it has to be with Thrill of Romance and This Time for Keeps.
Just to mention, Vol. 1 is mine all the way!!!

#7 of 9 OFFLINE   Corey



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Posted April 10 2007 - 05:55 AM

This is mine. I'm too excited, but for some reason i was expecting a minimum of 7 films. Hopefully they already have her other films restored and this set sells extremely well. Volume 2:

-Thrill of A Romance
-Million Dollar Mermaid
-Jupiter's Darling
-Pagan Love Song
-This Time For Keeps
Corey's most wanted R1 dvds:

Little Darlings (1980), My Cousin Rachel (1952), The Deep Blue Sea (1955), The White Cliffs of Dover (1944), Born to Be Bad (1950), Ivy (1947), Reckless (1935), Springtime in the Rockies (1942), The Barretts of Wimpole Street

#8 of 9 OFFLINE   Shawn Cornwell

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Posted April 10 2007 - 08:07 AM

Finally the announcement comes- I think Warners will be very happy with the sales for this one. Definitely one-of-a-kind films Williams fans old and new should snatch up, making a second set an easy call. For volume two, I'll take (at the least):

Thrill of a Romance
This Time for Keeps
Duchess of Idaho
Million Dollar Mermaid
Easy to Love
Jupiter's Darling

I'm glad the "Private Screenings" conversation with Williams is featured on the Bathing Beauty disk. I hope she decides/is persuaded to do a commentary track or two for volume two.

I've seen several of Williams' aqua epics, but I never got around to watching Beauty, so I'll be popping that one in the DVD player first.
Favorite Classics Not on DVD: One Hour With You, She Done Him Wrong, These Three, A Women's Face, The Magnificent Ambersons, The Hard Way ('43), The Human Comedy, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Cluny Brown, Margie, The Search, Beyond the Forest, Flamingo Road, Intruder in the Dust, The African...

#9 of 9 OFFLINE   KellyVO


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Posted April 10 2007 - 09:26 AM


I have been waiting for these movies forever! I really don't care for Easy to Wed. I think she was hardly in the water in that one but who cares, I can't wait for this! I'm so happy the Private Screenings episode is being included on the Bathing Beauty dvd!

I'm gald to see Bathing Beauty and Dangerous When Wet on DVD!

I hope Volume 2 has the following:

This Time For Keeps
Easy to Love
Duchess of Idaho
Jupiter's Darling
Million Dollar Mermaid

Most Wanted on DVD: Dragonwyck (1946),  Little Nellie Kelly (1940), Bachelor Mother (1939), Tin Pan Alley (1940), Mother Wore Tights (1947), The Devil and Miss Jones (1941),  Penelope (1966)Fox Please release Betty Grable Vol. 2!