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.

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Jupiter's Darling, 1955

"Esther Williams stars as the beautiful woman whose love saves Rome in this whimsical musical delight. The year is 216 BC and almost all of the known world has fallen to the mighty Hannibal of Carthage (Howard Keel). In a bold and daring move, Hannibal has crossed the Alps with his army of men and elephants and is prepared for his final assault on Rome. As the new Roman dictator Fabius Maximus (George Sanders) frets about what to do, his fiancĂ©e the spirited and wilful Amytis (Esther) decides to visit the legendary barbarian general herself. Captured and accused of being a spy, she is brought before the formidable Hannibal who orders her to be executed. Amytis’s plea to “spare Rome” intrigues Hannibal and, inevitably, he falls under her spell. Now the might general must decide which he covets more: the conquest of Rome or the heart of the woman he loves. “A spectacular musical” JUPITER’S DARLING is sure to win you over."
This is my original review in 2010:
JUPITER'S DARLING. Another '56 musical
peplum  the only Esther Williams movie I saw in the cinema, its her last musical too [directed by George Sidney]. Set in Ancient Rome Esther is promised to emperor George Sanders (who is dominated by his mother Norma Varden! above); 
enter Howard Keel as a splendid Hannibal - he is as good here as in his other musicals like KISS ME KATE, KISMET or CALAMITY JANE. Marge and Gower Champion are terrific too and do a great number with painted elephants (real ones, not CGI). Esther does a bit of swimming (with moving statues, right) and saves Hannibal's life - he can't swim! This cheerful farrago would be a great double bill with MGM's other ridiculous costumer THE PRODIGAL where Lana is the pagan priestess and Edmund Purdom that prodigal son, great MGM production values though you have to laugh when Edmund wrestles with the stuffed vulture and Lana has some ritzy barely-there outfits before being stoned by the mob ...

I am now taking a week or so off, as moving house, going up in the world, in a new apartment block, 10 floors up - great views, especially at night!. We will return with more reviews, including a modern noir double bill: Fritz Lang's HUMAN DESIRE with MAN TRAP, Lester's hilarious and very gay THE RITZ from 1976, the original SHOWBOAT from 1936, and KILL YOUR DARLINGS .... 

1 comment:

  1. Never saw JUPITER'S DARLING. It never seems to appear on the schedules.