Review: ‘Bathing Beauty’

Bathing Beauty is produced in the lush, lavish, manner which is as familiar as the Metro trademark.

Bathing Beauty is produced in the lush, lavish, manner which is as familiar as the Metro trademark.

Esther Williams, who formerly appeared in Andy Hardy films and briefly in A Guy Named Joe, is pulled to stardom by her swimsuit straps. Dressed in either bathing togs or street finery, she is a pretty picture indeed. The former swimming champ displays her aquatic and acting abilities in the role of a collegienne who travels the rocky road of love with songwriter Red Skelton.

Skelton is his usual effervescent self, bouncing in and out of the script, getting in and out of scrapes with his girl, and the authorities at the college she attends. His two speciality numbers are especially funny: one, where he attends a ballet dancing class with the girls of the school, dressed in a short, fluffy, pink dress with dancing slippers, endeavoring to go through the motions, and being slapped around by the instructress; the other, which he did in vaude for years prior to landing in films, is his impression of a gal getting up in the morning, prettying herself and dressing.

Unlike musicals prior to this one, Metro has invested in beautiful sequences rather than cast. Water ballet costumes by Irene Sharaff, and the water ballet, produced under the supervision of John Murray Anderson, are memorable.

Bathing Beauty

Production

M-G-M. Director George Sidney; Producer Jack Cummings; Screenplay Dorothy Kingsley, Allen Boretz, Frank Waldman; Camera Harry Stradling; Editor Blanche Sewell; Music Johnny Green; Art Director Cedric Gibbons, Stephen Goosson, Merrill Pye

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1944. Running time: 102 MIN.

With

Red Skelton Esther Williams Basil Rathbone Bill Goodwin Ethel Smith Jean Porter

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