Jupiter's Darling

Jupiter's Darling

Director: George Sidney, Esther Williams, Howard Keel, Marge Champion

Cast: George Sidney, Esther Williams, Howard Keel, Marge Champion

     
 

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Esther Williams' long association with MGM came to an abrupt end with Jupiter's Darling, which even she will admit was her silliest film. Based on Robert Sherwood's satirical play The Road to Rome, the film cast as Williams as Amytis, fiancee of vacillating Roman statesman Fabius Maximus (George Sanders). When it appears as though the forces of Hannibal

Overview

Esther Williams' long association with MGM came to an abrupt end with Jupiter's Darling, which even she will admit was her silliest film. Based on Robert Sherwood's satirical play The Road to Rome, the film cast as Williams as Amytis, fiancee of vacillating Roman statesman Fabius Maximus (George Sanders). When it appears as though the forces of Hannibal (Howard Keel) will conquer Rome, Amytis takes it upon herself to halt the invasion. In the process, she and Hannibal embark upon a tempestuous romance, much to the consternation of the barbarian general's aide-de-camp Mago (William Demarest) and the bemusement of Hannibal's official chronicler Horatio (Richard Haydn). A subplot concerns the romance between Varius (Gower Champion), who tends Hannibal's fabled elephants, and spunky slave girl Meta (Marge Champion). Somewhere along the line Williams performs a water ballet with "living statues," and Varius and Meta come up with a herd of pink elephants. The Burton Lane-Harold Adamson songs are as forgettable as the film itself. Curiously, Jupiter's Darling opened to good reviews, but the film was killed by word of mouth.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
An enormous financial failure that resulted in many of its principals being released from their contracts, Jupiter's Darling is a curious mixture of styles and genres that just doesn't come together -- but which nonetheless provides a moderate amount of entertainment value. As in most Esther Williams vehicles, the aquatic sequences (in this instance, a living statues ballet and an underwater chase) are highlights. Seen by themselves, they're quite impressive; unfortunately, they're surrounded by a musical that lumbers more than it dances, unsure of exactly what it is doing and, even more so, why it is doing it. Thus, there's a little bit of everything but not a whole lot of something. The Burton Lane-Harold Adamson score is serviceable but so-so; the screenplay has a few witty lines but not enough. The cast is generally good, although Williams and Howard Keel fail to really click; much better are George Sanders, smooth as always, and a supporting cast of reliable character actors such as Richard Haydn and William Frawley. Marge and Gower Champion aren't given enough to do, but they work a little magic with what they have; those who view the version of the film that includes the deleted "I Have a Dream" reprise will get to enjoy some stunning, hot work from the duo, as well as the surprisingly attractive vocals of Sanders. Any version, however, features the lavish production values -- that even include colored elephants!

Product Details

Release Date:
06/18/2013
UPC:
0883316797679
Original Release:
1955
Rating:
NR
Source:
Warner Archives
Presentation:
[Full Frame]
Time:
1:36:00
Sales rank:
13,984

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Esther Williams Amytis
Howard Keel Hannibal
Marge Champion Meta
Gower Champion Varius
George Sanders Fabius Maximus
Richard Haydn Horatio
William Demarest Mago
Norma Varden Fabia
Douglas Dumbrille Scipio
Henry Corden Carthalo
Michael Ansara Maharbal
Martha Wentworth Widow Titus
John Olszewski Principal Swimming Statue
Chris Alcaide Ballo
Morris Ankrum Actor
Michael Dugan Guard
Richard Hale Auctioneer
Mitchell Kowal Sentry
Paul Maxey Lucullus
Mort Mills Guard
Tom Monroe Outrider
Alberto Morin Arrow Maker
Paul Newlan Roman Captain
Gene Roth Guard
Jack Shea Drunken Guard
William Tannen Roman Courier
Bruno Ve Sota Bystander
Frank Jaquet Senator

Technical Credits
George Sidney Director
Saul Chaplin Musical Direction/Supervision
Dorothy Kingsley Screenwriter
Burton Lane Score Composer
Hermes Pan Choreography
Walter Plunkett Costumes/Costume Designer
Helen Rose Costumes/Costume Designer
David Rose Score Composer
Charles Rosher Cinematographer
Paul Vogel Cinematographer
George Wells Producer
Ralph Winters Editor

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Jupiter's Darling
1. Chapter 1
2. Chapter 2
3. Chapter 3
4. Chapter 4
5. Chapter 5
6. Chapter 6
7. Chapter 7
8. Chapter 8
9. Chapter 9
10. Chapter 10
11. Chapter 11
12. Chapter 12
13. Chapter 13
14. Chapter 14
15. Chapter 15
16. Chapter 16
17. Chapter 17
18. Chapter 18
19. Chapter 19
20. Chapter 20
21. Chapter 21
22. Chapter 22
23. Chapter 23
24. Chapter 24
25. Chapter 25
26. Chapter 26
27. Chapter 27
28. Chapter 28
29. Chapter 29
30. Chapter 30
31. Chapter 31
32. Chapter 32
33. Chapter 33
34. Chapter 34

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