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Athena
     

Athena

Director: Richard Thorpe, Jane Powell, Debbie Reynolds, Virginia Gibson

Cast: Richard Thorpe, Jane Powell, Debbie Reynolds, Virginia Gibson

 

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Health faddist Mulvain (Louis Calhern) and his astrology-minded wife Salome (Norma Varden) hold court over their seven musical-prodigy daughters. Each girl is named after a mythical Greek: Athena (Jane Powell), Minerva (Debbie Reynolds), Niobe (Virginia Gibson), Aphrodite (Nancy Kligas), Medea (Jane Fischer), Calliope (Dolores Starr) and Ceres (Cecile Rogers). They

Overview

Health faddist Mulvain (Louis Calhern) and his astrology-minded wife Salome (Norma Varden) hold court over their seven musical-prodigy daughters. Each girl is named after a mythical Greek: Athena (Jane Powell), Minerva (Debbie Reynolds), Niobe (Virginia Gibson), Aphrodite (Nancy Kligas), Medea (Jane Fischer), Calliope (Dolores Starr) and Ceres (Cecile Rogers). They also run around dressed in skimpy miniskirts, for those of you not interested in mythology. Athena falls in love with lawyer Adam Shaw (Edmund Purdom) and Minerva is ga-ga over crooner Johnny Nyle (Vic Damone), neither of whom come up to Mulvain's notions of mental and physical perfection. A lesser product from the Joe Pasternak musical mill, Athena is unremarkable save for an early appearance by future Hercules star Steve Reeves and a nicely bitchy performance by the usually resistable Linda Christian.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
In some ways one of the more unusual musicals to come out of MGM in the 1950s, Athena is a modest and lightweight piece of fluff, with a number of moments that cause a rather incredulous double take from the viewer. The fact that the film deals (however superficially) with body building, health consciousness and what we would now consider "new age" issues is surprising, although these are subjected to the gentle mocking that MGM musicals often accorded unconventional ideas. The script itself is silly and a bit of a throwaway; beyond the basic idea, there are no real surprises and little that is new in terms of dialogue or characterization. The Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane score is breezy and agreeable, although the trans-gendering of their old "The Boy Next Door" is not totally successful. Better is the high-energy "I Never Felt Better," the jubilant "Vocalize" and the haunting "Love Can Change the Stars," all of which deserve to be more widely known. Jane Powell sounds quite good on all of these (and even better on the opera aria interpolated into the score), and turns in a winning and charming performance all around. Debbie Reynolds is perky and amusing, and the rest of the cast is fine. Too silly to completely sustain its short 96 minutes, Athena eventually runs out of gas, but it's a pleasant enough ride while it lasts.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/12/2011
UPC:
0883316287965
Original Release:
1954
Source:
Warner Archives
Time:
1:36:00
Sales rank:
23,654

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jane Powell Athena Mulvain
Debbie Reynolds Minerva Mulvain
Virginia Gibson Niobe Mulvain
Nancy Kilgas Aphrodite Mulvain
Dolores Starr Calliope Mulvain
Jane Fischer Medea Mulvain
Cecile Rogers Ceres Mulvain
Edmund Purdom Adam Calhorn Shaw
Vic Damone Johnny Nyle
Louis Calhern Grandpa Ulysses Mulvain
Evelyn Varden Grandma Salome Mulvain
Linda Christian Beth Hallson
Ray Collins Mr. Tremaine
Carl Benton Reid Mr. Griswalde
Howard Wendell Mr. Grenville
Henry Nakamura Roy
Steve Reeves Ed Perkins
Kathleen Freeman Miss Seely

Technical Credits
Richard Thorpe Director
Valerie Bettis Choreography
William Ludwig Screenwriter
Joe Pasternak Producer
Robert Planck Cinematographer
Walter Plunkett Costumes/Costume Designer
Helen Rose Costumes/Costume Designer
Gene Ruggiero Editor
Leonard Spigelgass Screenwriter
George Stoll Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision

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