Classic Film Night — Dangerous When WetUSA | 1953 | 95 min. | Rated PG | Comedy, Musical, Romance
Starring Esther Williams and Fernando Lamas
Join us for our final Classic Film Night before the summer season kicks off! The Classic Film Series will return in the fall.
For our last hurrah we’re celebrating the late Esther Williams with the 1963 musical comedy classic Dangerous When Wet.
Dangerous When Wet marks an important milestone in the life and career of Esther Williams. It is the first and only movie in which Esther starred opposite future husband, Fernando Lamas. (Fernando, also, happens to be one of the only professional grade swimmers Esther ever co-starred with).
In the film, Esther plays Katie Higgins, the eldest daughter of an extremely athletic family. When a fast-talking salesman happens to witness the family’s skill in the water, he convinces them to enter a competition to swim the English Channel (with his company’s product, Liquapep, acting as their sponsor). But once the family get to England for training, Katie meets Andre (Lamas), a handsome and wealthy Frenchman. Although Katie is intrigued by the debonair Andre, this new relationship, also, threatens to distract her from the family’s crucial Channel race.
Esther gives an absolutely charming performance in this enjoyable aqua-musical, never more so than when Katie gets pleasantly tipsy at Andre’s chateau. But, it’s in the film’s climatic Channel race that Esther really shines. She registers Katie’s exhaustion so acutely, you’ll feel like you’re, actually, witnessing her muscles shutting down. But, the film’s most famous moment is an extended dream sequence featuring the famous cartoon characters, Tom and Jerry. In this sequence, Esther appears to swim in a cartoon ocean and the moment perfectly highlights one of Esther’s most underrated talents: the ability to act underwater. The scene is, also, sure to fascinate swimmers, as Esther manages the incredibly difficult feat of performing an Australian crawl beneath the surface of the water.
"the highlight...is the sequence in which Esther swims with Tom and Jerry."