Jupiter's Darling (1955) - News Poster

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The Forgotten: George Sidney's "Jupiter's Darling" (1955)

  • MUBI
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
See full article at MUBI »

Trampoline Gold! Get to Know Five Underappreciated Events of the Summer Olympics

  • PEOPLE.com
Trampoline Gold! Get to Know Five Underappreciated Events of the Summer Olympics
When it comes to Olympic coverage, the press (guilty!) tends to focus on things like sprinting and weightlifting and basketball, because then we get headlines like "the fastest person alive," "the strongest person alive," and "The USA has the best basketball team ever, deal with it Russia." But that doesn't mean that's all there is to watch at the Summer Olympics. Oh, no. Far from it. There's so much more. Here are five lesser-known events at the Summer Olympics we're oh-so-excited for. Canoe Sprint The canoe sprint is split into two categories, canoe and kayak (which means "man-boat" in Eskimo
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Esther Williams obituary

Swimmer who found movie fame in a string of MGM musicals

Esther Williams, "Hollywood's Mermaid", who has died aged 91, swam her way through more than a dozen splashy MGM musicals in the 1940s and early 50s. While smiling at the camera, she was able to do a combination of crawl, breast and backstroke, and was forever blowing bubbles under water, seemingly having an inexhaustible supply of air.

Like the starlets Lana Turner, Kathryn Grayson and Donna Reed before her, she started out for MGM in a Hardy Family picture, Andy Hardy's Double Life (1942) – though one that allowed her to swim with Mickey Rooney. After being billed 19th in A Guy Named Joe (1943), she shot to stardom in her third film, Bathing Beauty (1944).

It started out as an average Red Skelton vehicle, first called Mr Co-Ed, then Sing and Swim, but Esther's superb figure and pretty features were heightened by Technicolor
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Obit: Swimming Champion and MGM Starlet Esther Williams Dies at 91

Obit: Swimming Champion and MGM Starlet Esther Williams Dies at 91
American competitive swimming superstar and Hollywood actress Esther Williams died at age 91 in Beverly Hills on Thursday, reports The New York Times. The announcement was made by Williams' longtime publicist, Harlan Boll.  Though her foremost passion was swimming, she signed a contract with MGM in 1941 when former studio head Louis B. Mayer scouted her out. Beginning in 1942 alongside Mickey Rooney in "Andy Hardy's Double Life," Williams went on to appear in dozens of MGM productions such as the George Sidney musicals "Bathing Beauty" (1944) and "Jupiter's Darling" (1955). Per Williams' request, her contract came with an unlimited guest pass to The Beverly Hills Hotel pool. Born in 1921 in La, Esther Williams started setting records while on the Los Angeles Athletic Club swim team in her teens, where she worked for a nickel a day. She used that money to access the pool, where the male lifeguards gave her swimming lessons. That's when
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

Photo: We Remember Esther Williams' Classic Swimsuit Style

Photo: We Remember Esther Williams' Classic Swimsuit Style
"The comfort that I felt in a swimsuit was from knowing I could get to the end of the pool first," Esther Williams once told The Huffington Post.

The swimming legend died today at the age of 91, but she left an indelible mark on the style world. Throughout her career, Williams was the picture of aquatic elegance in classic bikinis and one-pieces, including her favorite pink maillot from 1944's "Bathing Beauty." She later went on to release her own line of swimwear, which centered around subtly sexy one-pieces and retro bikinis.

As an Olympic swimmer-turned-actress, she shined in musicals like "Easy To Love," "Jupiter's Darling" and, of course, "Million Dollar Mermaid," which soon became her nickname. We dug up a stunning photo of Williams wearing one of her iconic swimsuits circa 1945 below. Take a look and tell us how the late star influenced your poolside fashion.

Photo:

How do today's celebs compare?
See full article at Huffington Post »

Esther Williams Dead at 91

  • Vulture
Esther Williams Dead at 91
Esther Williams, iconic actress and bathing beauty of the forties and fifties, died today, her publicist announced this afternoon. She was 91. Williams, a one-time Olympic hopeful, made a slew of "aquamusicals" for MGM and was famous for her onscreen swimming in movies like Million Dollar Mermaid (also the title of her autobiography), Dangerous When Wet (half live-action, half animated), and Neptune's Daughter. Her elaborate underwater ballets made her the godmother of synchronized swimming and one of the most popular pinups of her day. Here she is in 1955's Jupiter's Darling:
See full article at Vulture »

Esther Williams Dead At Age 91

Esther Williams Dead At Age 91
Los Angeles — Esther Williams, the swimming champion turned actress who starred in glittering and aquatic Technicolor musicals of the 1940s and 1950s, has died. She was 91.

Williams died early Thursday in her sleep, according to her longtime publicist Harlan Boll.

Following in the footsteps of Sonja Henie, who went from skating champion to movie star, Williams became one of Hollywood's biggest moneymakers, appearing in spectacular swimsuit numbers that capitalized on her wholesome beauty and perfect figure.

Such films as "Easy to Wed," `'Neptune's Daughter" and "Dangerous When Wet" followed the same formula: romance, music, a bit of comedy and a flimsy plot that provided excuses to get Esther into the water.

The extravaganzas dazzled a second generation via television and the compilation films "That's Entertainment." Williams' co-stars included the pick of the MGM contract list, including Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Red Skelton, Ricardo Montalban and Howard Keel.

When hard
See full article at Huffington Post »

Hollywood's Million-Dollar Mermaid Dies At 91

Hollywood's Million-Dollar Mermaid Dies At 91
Los Angeles, Calif. - Esther Williams, the swimming champion turned actress who starred in glittering and aquatic Technicolor musicals of the 1940s and 1950s, has died. She was 91.

Williams died early Thursday in her sleep, according to her longtime publicist Harlan Boll.

Following in the footsteps of Sonja Henie, who went from skating champion to movie star, Williams became one of Hollywood's biggest moneymakers, appearing in spectacular swimsuit numbers that capitalized on her wholesome beauty and perfect figure.

Such films as "Easy to Wed," ''Neptune's Daughter" and "Dangerous When Wet" followed the same formula: romance, music, a bit of comedy and a flimsy plot that provided excuses to get Esther into the water.

The extravaganzas dazzled a second generation via television and the compilation films "That's Entertainment." Williams' co-stars included the pick of the MGM contract list, including Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Red Skelton, Ricardo Montalban and Howard Keel.
See full article at Huffington Post »

Esther Williams Dies at 91

Esther Williams Dies at 91
The silver screen has long boasted many great beauties, but only one was ever worthy of the title "America's Mermaid." Esther Williams, MGM's great synchronized swimming star and box-office attraction of the '40s and '50s, died. She was 91. The star's publicist Harlan Boll told the Associated Press she died in her sleep Thursday. Relatively removed from the public eye since the publication of her 1999 memoir, The Million Dollar Mermaid, Williams suffered some health setbacks in the past several years. In 2001, she fractured her ankle (which then became infected, necessitating the use of a walker) after a spill down
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Musical Star Howard Keel Dies at 85

  • WENN
Howard Keel, the deep-voiced baritone associated with the classic movie musicals of the 50s, died Sunday of colon cancer at his home in Palm Springs, CA; he was 85. A naturally gifted singer who had what he described as a "terrible, rotten childhood," Keel first came to prominence onstage, discovered by legendary composers Rodgers & Hammerstein no less, who hired him to replace John Raitt in the original Broadway production of Carousel. After a successful stage career in both New York and London, he was signed to a contract with MGM, and his first film for the studio, Annie Get Your Gun, immediately shot him to stardom. Throughout the 50s he re-created a number of his stage roles for film, and his impressive string of hits included Show Boat, Kiss Me Kate, Kismet, Calamity Jane, Jupiter's Darling, and the actor's personal favorite, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Once MGM abandoned large-scale musicals, Keel went back to the stage, traveling in a number of productions. Though he worked in television off and on throughout the 70s, Keel found himself on another career high with the TV show Dallas, in which he played Clayton Farlow, the second husband to Barbara Bel Geddes' Miss Ellie. Hired in 1981 after the death of Jim Davis, who played patriarch Jock Ewing, Keel stayed with the show through the rest of its run until 1991. Keel was married three times, first to actress Rosemary Cooper, then dancer Helen Anderson, with whom he had three children; both marriages ended in divorce. His third and final marriage was to former flight attendant Judy Magamoll in 1970, with whom he had a daughter. He is also survived by ten grandchildren. --Prepared by IMDb staff

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