The new boxed set from Warner Home Video of Esther Williams films is a real joy. I loved the first volume, and it's good to see that she warranted a second group of films that didn't make it to the first one. Williams is an incredible swimmer who happens to also be a good star. She is a beutiful woman who was quite popular and held her own among the best. The water ballets in her films are legendary and this box set shows more of her work and well worth the attention.I've devoted an entire web site to one of her directors, Busby Berkeley and some of the sequences that he did with Esther are true classics. You can see my pages devoted to her film Million Dollar Baby here.
THRILL OF A ROMANCE Man overboard! War hero Van Johnson takes one look at Esther Williams and decides he needs swimming lessons. With Tommy Dorsey, Xavier Cugat and more. Dive in.
FIESTA Mexico’s greatest bullfighter is…Esther? She plays a devoted sister who secretly fills in for her twin matador brother (Ricardo Montalban) after he abandons the ring. -or- A non-aquatic change of pace: Esther disguises herself in matador gear and secretly fills in for her twin brother (Ricardo Montalban) after he abandons the ring.
THIS TIME FOR KEEPS An ex-GI falls for a bathing beauty (guess who!). Lauritz Melchior, Xavier Cugat, Jimmy Durante and Mackinac Island locations add to the good times and romance.
PAGAN LOVE SONG Island girl Esther plans to leave Tahiti, but maybe she’ll have a reason to stay when Howard Keel arrives. Gorgeous, frothy fun with pristine Hawaiian locations filling in for Tahiti.MILLION DOLLAR MERMAID Tonight in the Hippodrome Tank: Annette Kellerman, Goddess of the Sea! Esther portrays Kellerman in a splashy biopic that includes a must-see Busby Berkeley extravaganza.
MILLION DOLLAR MERMAID - Ester plays a long distance swimmer who is being managed by Victor Mature, her co-star. Busby Berkeley directed some of his most legendary sequences in this film.
EASY TO LOVE Esther wins fans at the Cypress Gardens’ aquashow, but will she ever win the heart of her all-business boss Van Johnson? Busby Berkeley guides the legendary water-ski number.
Thrill of a Romance
Vintage Passing Parade short The Great American Mug
Classic cartoon Wild and Woolfy
Three outtake musical sequences: Gypsy Mattinata, I Should Care, and Please Don't Say No
Vintage Passing Parade short Goodbye Miss Turlock
Classic cartoon Hound Hunters
This Time for Keeps
Oscar-nominated Pete Smith Specialty short Now You See It
Oscar-nominated cartoon Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Mouse
Little Big Shot outtake song sequence
Pagan Love Song
Vintage Pete Smith Specialty short Curious Contests
Classic cartoon The Chump Champ
Seven outtake musical sequences: The House of Singing Bamboo (unused), Music on the Water, The Sea of the Moon (unused), two versions of Tahiti and Why I Love So Crazy? (unused)
Million Dollar Mermaid
Vintage Pete Smith Specialty short Reducing
Classic cartoon The Wise Little Quacker
Audio-only bonus: Radio show with Esther Williams and Walter Pidgeon
Easy to Love
Vintage FitzPatrick TravelTalk short Romantic Riviera
Classic cartoon Cobs and Robbers