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Ranking 24 Esther Williams Movies 6 Ways


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Want to know the best Esther Williams movies?  How about the worst Esther Williams movies?  Curious about Esther Williams box office grosses or which Esther Williams movie picked up the most Oscar® nominations?

 

 

In my case, the correct answer is A):  They don't get much exposure outside of TCM, and most of the disks, not being familiar favorites, are exiled to the Archive.  (And of those, Instant Archive only had "Jupiter's Darling", which is distinctly in the middle.)

 

After the, ahem, previously addressed issue of Williams being the straw-man whipping-girl for happy MGM Technicolor musicals for most of the previous decades, I've been trying to search out a few more, but don't really know which are the "essentials".

I know Dangerous When Wet has the Tom & Jerry fantasy, and Million Dollar Mermaid has the "one scene everyone remembers" where she comes out of the pool with reversed-footage sparklers, but apart from that, most are pretty well in obscurity.

Can any more experienced TCM guru go into more detail about the Must-See titles?

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Hey EricJ....her most famous lead role was in Million Dollar Mermaid.....she broke her neck filming that movie....as she was doing a dive of 50 feet.....I think the best movie she appeared in was A Guy Named Joe.....but she had a supporting role....with Spencer Tracy, Irene Dunne and Van Johnson doing the heavy lifting.  Her biggest box office hit was Bathing Beauty.....and her best reviewed movie was Take Me Out To The Ballgame.....which is the only Esther Williams movie that I have seen.....but for some reason she gets overshadowed by some little known actors Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra.....lol.

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Hello, ClassicMovieRankings--Two mistakes:  Williams was born in 1921 (your webpage says 1904); on

 

#17, the film is "Raw Wind in Eden"

 

EricJ--I would say you've seen one of her must-see movies (Take Me Out To the Ball Game) and mentioned one other ( "Million Dollar Mermaid).  Another would be "Neptune's Daughter" (1949), because that one won the "Best Song" Oscar (for "Baby It's Cold Outside").  "Easy to Love" (1954) has some spectacular choreography by Busby Berkeley;  "Pagan Love Song" is an overlooked film.  "Fiesta" (1947) has a nonsensical plot, but good dance numbers and music.

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EricJ--I would say you've seen one of her must-see movies (Take Me Out To the Ball Game) and mentioned one other ( "Million Dollar Mermaid).  Another would be "Neptune's Daughter" (1949), because that one won the "Best Song" Oscar (for "Baby It's Cold Outside").  "Easy to Love" (1954) has some spectacular choreography by Busby Berkeley;  "Pagan Love Song" is an overlooked film.  "Fiesta" (1947) has a nonsensical plot, but good dance numbers and music.

 

 

Never mind, I found that TCM Spotlight put out two whole boxsets of films on DVD, so just required a little library tracking.

https://www.amazon.com/TCM-Greatest-Classic-Films-Williams/dp/B00JKJSRHA/

It was Jupiter's Darling and Duchess of Idaho that were "exiled" to the Archive, although Dangerous is playing on the Instant now.

(And did I mention I'd seen Ball Game but didn't remember Esther in it?)

 

And only four movies to a Volume now, instead of the old OOP six-movie Spotlights, but managed to track down the earlier set.

I know it's preaching to the choir, but I love using our library system as the New Mail-Netflix.

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I only look at Esther's movies two ways...above water, below water.  I suppose I could add bathing suits so that would be four ways, in bathing suit, out of bathing suit.  That's the same way I look at George Brent; with moustache, without moustache.  There I've said it and I'll say it again. 

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I only look at Esther's movies two ways...above water, below water.  I suppose I could add bathing suits so that would be four ways, in bathing suit, out of bathing suit.  That's the same way I look at George Brent; with moustache, without moustache.  There I've said it and I'll say it again. 

You apparently look at George Brent differently from many others on these boards.

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