The movie stars a cast of real favorites of mine, Esther Williams, Ricardo Montalban, and Betty Garrett.
The plot is some nonsense about a swimsuit designer (Williams) who's pursued by a polo player (Montalban), while the designer's goofy, man-hungry sister (Garrett) mistakes a masseuse (Red Skelton) for the polo player, with amusing results.
I'm not usually much of a Skelton fan, but he's quite good in this one, perfectly teamed with Garrett in one of her best film roles. They have a number of amusing moments. The juxtaposition of Montalban and Williams' sophisticated rendition of "Baby, It's Cold Outside" with the giddy performance by Skelton and Garrett is delightful.
The other songs by Frank Loesser include the lilting "My Heart Beats Faster" and the bouncy "I Love Those Men." There's also a truly spectacular "Jungle Fantasy" orchestra sequence staged at "Casa Cugat." This number and the final swim ballet are each reminiscent of Busby Berkeley numbers.
The supporting cast includes Xavier Cugat, Keenan Wynn, Theresa Harris, Ted de Corsia, and Mike Mazurki. There's also the fun of seeing Mel Blanc performing onscreen; the voice is unmistakeable! Bit parts are played by recognizable faces such as Dee Turnell and Bess Flowers.
NEPTUNE'S DAUGHTER was directed by Edward Buzzell from a screenplay by Dorothy Kingsley and others. Charles Rosher (SCARAMOUCHE) was responsible for the attractive Technicolor cinematography. The especially lovely wardrobe for this film was by Irene.
The movie was released on VHS in 1995. Most recently it was released to DVD as part of the TCM Spotlight Collection titled Esther Williams, Volume 1. The DVD can be rented from Netflix or ClassicFlix.
It's also available for streaming rental from Amazon Instant Video.
NEPTUNE'S DAUGHTER is also shown on Turner Classic Movies, where it will next air on October 14, 2012. The trailer can be seen here.
I've been recovering from some surgery this week, and as was the case a few years ago, I've found that MGM musicals, which I first came to love as a child, are great "go to" films when I'm not feeling 100%! There's just nothing like MGM fun to perk up the spirits. But there's certainly no need to wait for illness or surgery in order to enjoy one of these wonderful films! Highly recommended for 95 minutes of Technicolor bliss.