Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

RIP Esther

One of my Sunday matinee treats as a kid in Ireland was a 1955 musical: JUPITER'S DARLING which is still a delirious treat now. It was the last of the Esther Williams swimming spectaculars, directed by veteran George Sidney, and I love it. I have not seen much of her other ones, but they looked terrrific blown up for THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT. Esther (1921-2013) lived to be 91 and was the swimming star of the '40s and early '50s, as Fanny Brice said: "Wet, she was a star"!. JUPITER'S DARLING is great fun with those elephants, Marge & Gower Champion, Howard Keel as a terrific Hannibal (its sent in Ancient Rome), George Sanders as the emperor who wants to marry Esther, but who is afraid of his bossy mother Norma Varden! Then there is prissy Richard Haydn (from SITTING PRETTY)  - Esther swims of course. Highly recommended. Its a good peplum too.
Esther's book THE MILLION DOLLAR MERMAID (title of one of her films) is an enjoyable read, particularly on how she bagged Fernando Lamas from Lana Turner (Esther's dressing room was next to Lana's on the MGM lot and she heard Fernando and Lana making out, seemed he was so good at it she decided she wanted him too .... they later married and he wanted her to keep her children at a different house! She also - untruly now it seems - outed Jeff Chandler as a cross-dresser with a penchant for polka dots! But she was a successful businesswoman and seemed to have a ritzy life. One of her later dramatic roles RAW WIND IN EDEN - the one with Jeff - is fairly amusing now. 

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