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TCM Spotlight: Esther Williams, Volume One (Bathing Beauty / Easy to Wed / On an Island with You / Neptune's Daughter / Dangerous When Wet) (2007)

Esther Williams , Lucille Ball  |  NR |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (111 customer reviews)

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Frequently Bought Together

TCM Spotlight: Esther Williams, Volume One (Bathing Beauty / Easy to Wed / On an Island with You / Neptune's Daughter / Dangerous When Wet) + TCM Spotlight: Esther Williams, Vol. 2 (Thrill of a Romance / Fiesta / This Time for Keeps / Pagan Love Song / Million Dollar Mermaid / Easy to Love) + Duchess of Idaho
Price for all three: $77.44

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Product Details

  • Actors: Esther Williams, Lucille Ball, Red Skelton, Cyd Charisse, Van Johnson
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Turner Classic Movie
  • DVD Release Date: July 17, 2007
  • Run Time: 506 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (111 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000PC8AL4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,277 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "TCM Spotlight: Esther Williams, Volume One (Bathing Beauty / Easy to Wed / On an Island with You / Neptune's Daughter / Dangerous When Wet)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Includes:
  • Bathing Beauty (1944)
  • Robert Osborne hosts TCM's "Private Screenings with Esther Williams"
  • Oscar-nominated short "Main Street Today"
  • Academy Award-winning cartoon "Mouse Trouble"
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Easy to Wed (1946)
  • Oscar-nominated Pete Smith Specialty comedy short "Sure Cures"
  • Classic cartoon "The Unwelcome Guest"
  • On an Island with You (1948)
  • Vintage Romance of Celluloid series short "Personalities"
  • Classic cartoon "The Bear and the Hare"
  • Neptune's Daughter (1949)
  • Outtake musical number "I Want My Memory Back" Esther Williams sequence from 1951's Callaway Went Thataway
  • Oscar-nominated Pete Smith Specialty comedy short "Water Trix"
  • Oscar-nominated cartoon "Hatch Up Your Troubles"
  • Promotional radio interviews with Esther Williams
  • Dangerous When Wet (1953)
  • Outtake musical number "C'est la Guerre"
  • Audio-only bonus: Johnny Mercer demo recordings of "Fifi," "I Got Out of Bed on the Right Side," and "I Like Men"
  • Promotional radio interview with Esther Williams
  • Pete Smith Specialty comedy short "This Is a Living?"
  • Classic cartoon "The Cat and the Mermouse"
  • Esther Williams musicals trailer gallery

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

TCM Spotlight: Esther Williams Collection Vol. 1 (DVD)

From the Back Cover

Laughs, romance, music--just add water! Get into the swim of Hollywood's Golden Era with musical number outtakes, classic shorts, cartoons, and more. Bathing Beauty: a big splash in her first starring role: Williams is a teacher at a women's college--and wacky Red Skelton enrolls to be near her. An astonishing flames-and-fountains aquatic finale. Easy to Wed: A spiffy remake of the screwball classic Libeled Lady, with Esther as the lady libeled. Van Johnson, Keenan Wynn, and Lucille Ball round out a funny four-sided love triangle. On an Island with You: Paradise for musical-comedy fans! Esther (in a series of swimsuits and sarongs) plays a film star on a tropical location shoot. With Ricardo Montalban, Cyd Charisse, and Jimmy Durante. Neptune's Daughter: The polo team's in town and so is the fun for Esther, Ricardo Montalban, Red Skelton, and Betty Garrett. Includes Frank Loesser songs and one of Esther's greatest splash-happy finales. Dangerous When Wet: Cartoon legends Tom and Jerry join Esther in the light-hearted extravaganza about a girl who swims the English Channel--and meets a dashing Frenchman (Fernando Lamas).

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
59 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally Esther is Surfacing...... July 17, 2007
Format:DVD
Finally we get to see Esther Williams flicks in radiant colors and updated sound! Not that the DVD transfers are perfect, Criterion-league: there are specks and scratches from time to time, and blacks tend to bleed, particularly in the early ones (e.g. Bathing Beauty). But what a pleasure it is to have this joyful entertainement back, put together with care and intelligence. There's bonus material galore, though not all of it dealing with the star.

Included in the Bathing Beauty disc is a substantial interview Ms. Williams did with Robert Osborne for Turner Classic Movies. Ms. Williams comes across as somebody who has always been level headed, with a realistic view of life, aware of alternatives and skeptical of show-biz, always marveled at her good fortune (wondering when it would end), with the self-assurance gained from awareness of her personal worth. Nothing delusional there: underneath the Hollywood glamour, throughout her career and beyond, she has retained the mindset and integrity of a committed, champion athlete, i.e., it's the hard work, constancy and achievement that count, not the glitz or the noise (she was slated to participate in the 1940 Olympics had WWII not interfered). All these personal qualities come across in her films, and probably made her a star, unique in her genre. Before, during and after, there was no other. Though she was a fine craftsman and learned her trade well as an actress, she really only played one character, Esther Williams. Audiences flocked to "Esther Williams movies," with all fantasy such would entail (of course, production values count). It is difficult not to feel that she'd be a great friend to have. During the interview Robert Osborne can barely contain his delight.

Suspend disbelief, just enjoy. I hope we don't have to wait as long for Volume 2, which would include Million Dollar Mermaid and Easy to Love.

For fans, I would also recommend reading her down-to-earth autobiography.
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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Seriously...when I think of actors / actresses who are L-O-N-G overdue for the DVD treatment, Esther Williams is at the top of the list. Kudos to TCM for putting 5 of Ms. Williams' amazing films...including my all-time favorite "On An Island With You"...in an affordable box set. I'm sure Volume 2 will be greeted with equal enthusiasm by her fans and I know I'll pre-order it the minute it's available.

So what's the big deal? Aside from the legendary aquatics and the intricately choreographed numbers, the films of Esther Williams are key examples of "They Don't Make Movies Like That Anymore" movies. They don't, and they can't, because the world is really a different place. The simplicity and innocence and sweetness are qualities that exist in a readically different form in 2007.

If your idea of cinematic romance is Tom Cruise telling Renée Zellweger that she "completes" him, or Renée telling Tom that he "had her at hello," these might not be the right films for you. They're more geniune, more honest, and warmer. They represent the absolute best that MGM had to offer.

While "On An Island With You" may not be Ms. Williams' signature film, it has all of the elements that made her films great. Ricardo Montalban, dressed in full navy uniform, strumming a guitar under a tropical tree and crooning the opening theme as Esther swims in a shady lagoon? Genius! The four-way, star-crossed lovers subplot featuring Williams, Montalban, Peter Lawford and Cyd Charisse? The Montalban / Charisse dance number? Jimmy Durante and Xavier Cugat? What's NOT to like in this movie?

The other four films are just as good, but "Island" is a personal favorite.

Thanks to TCM. Can't wait to see which films are included in Volume 2.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
These films are something like underwater Busby Berkeley films, so if you like the MGM musicals of the 40's and 50's, and/or you like Busby Berkeley's work you'll likely appreciate this collection. I rate this set as five stars for those people who appreciate the light-hearted romantic comedy and music of these types of films. If you are looking for gut-wrenching drama or film noir and are not open to these kinds of films, look elsewhere. Also, if you like the comedy of Red Skelton or Lucille Ball, they both show up in some great comic performances in a couple of these films.

Bathing Beauty (1944)
Costars Red Skelton in a comedy about a songwriter who enrolls in a women's college to win back his estranged swimming-teacher wife. Highlights include music from both Harry James and his Music Makers and Xavier Cugat and his Orchestra, Skelton in a pink tutu doing unforgivable things to Tchaikovsky and a spectacular, trendsetting `chlorine-and-chorine' finale.
Special Features:
Robert Osborne hosts "TCM's Private Screenings with Esther Williams"
Oscar-nominated Short "Main Street Today"
Academy Award-winning cartoon "Mouse Trouble"
Theatrical trailer
Subtitles: English (feature film only)

Easy To Wed (1946)
This is a remake of the 1930's screwball comedy Libeled Lady, although outside of the skeleton of the plot the comparisons are few. Particularly funny is Van Johnson afloat with a baleful spaniel who knows a lot more about duck hunting than he does, and a drunken scene featuring the antics of Lucille Ball. Actually, Lucy steals the show in more than a few scenes here. When the local paper runs an untrue story claiming an heiress (Esther Williams) is a husband stealer, she prepares to sue for libel.
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Jun 29, 2007 by David Horiuchi |  See all 2 posts
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