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TMC Spotlight Esther Williams, Vol. 2 DVD Review

tcm esther williams vol 2 cover

TMC Spotlight Esther Williams, Vol. 2 DVD

Available on DVD:? October 6
Official Site URL:?

The ravishing bathing beauty who pioneered a new genre of moviemaking — ?Aqua Musicals? — will splash once more in Warner Home Video and Turner Classic Movies? TCM Spotlight: Esther Williams Volume 2 on October 6. This highly anticipated follow-up to the 2007 TCM Collection includes the DVD debuts of six Technicolor films from classic Hollywood?s swimming superstar ? Million Dollar Mermaid, Thrill of a Romance, Easy to Love, This Time for Keeps, Fiesta and Pagan Love Song. Each of these MGM musical favorites have been newly remastered especially for this DVD release.

When I finished watching this set of six Esther Williams movies, I couldn’t help but “what if?”” Esther Williams was set for the 1940 Summer Olympics in Helsinki when it was cancelled following the outbreak of World War II. Had Esther Williams participated in the Olympics would she have become a movie star? Would her swimming and diving be knows today outside of library reference material?

I watched each movie carefully, not for great comedy, great music, or great acting but for great swimming. I chose to watch them by date of release. I wanted to see if the girl signed by MGM whose contract forbade appearing on camera for nine months (time for acting, singing, dancing, and diction lessons) improved or not. I decided that the 50’s showcased her diving, swimming, and water ballet skills better.

The movies were:

* Thrill of a Romance (1945) had swept off her feet and married to a rich and very successful business executive with no time for his wife after the wedding.

* This Time For Keeps (1946) had a decorated war veteran fall in love with honeymooning Williams.

* Fiesta (1947 cast Williams as a bull fighter’s twin sister, who pretends to be him to lure him back home,

* Pagan Love Song (1950) was a musical with Howard Keel that helped shape her career.

* Million Dollar Mermaid (1952) had Williams play Annette Kellerman, Australian swimming and diving star.

* Easy to Love (1954) was filmed on location in Cypress Gardens, with a Florida-shaped pool built for the set.

Esther Williams was a talented swimmer who did her own stunts both swimming and diving. Her grace and form showed in clean strokes and elaborate routines. I respect for her style and grace. Her movies location shoots center on her unsurpassed synchronized swimming skill.

Without Esther Williams, the aquamusical would have been a bust.
She was a savvy businesswoman and a positive woman role model in her time. Her name remains on her swimsuit line and her pool company after almost fifty years. If you are curious why this is so, the Spotlight Esther Williams DVD shows it.

5 thoughts on “TMC Spotlight Esther Williams, Vol. 2 DVD Review

  1. Dear Pat,
    I have Esther’s address and I wrote to her twice, but no reply. Who are her administrators? Do you have an address for them?
    Thanks for the encouragement.

    1. Dear Susan,
      I wish I knew the answers or exactly where and how to find them. With this said, Estther williams at the time of this writing is now 85. Her son does have a site on her, etc. with commercial tie-ins. It also shows a fan club address. Check it out and hopefully someone in the know will give you a lead. Good luck.

  2. This article got me thinking. What if my first cousin twice removed, Aileen Allen hadn’t discovered Esther at a swim meet? The story is all in Esther’s autobiography “Million Dollar Mermaid.”

    I do genealogy and have done many hours of research on Aileen Allen. I still haven’t been able to find a photo of her. If anyone has one, I’d appreciate it if you would post here so we can communicate.


    1. Dear Susan,
      It is fascinating how blogging brings a world of people and ideas together. Good luck on your search. Have you ever considered contacting Esther Williams or her administrators directly. Good luck. Hope that picture finds you.

  3. I remember seeing some of her movies long ago. It would be interesting to see several of them all at once and to compare them!

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