The health conscious, dairy-farming Higgins family begin each day with an invigorating swim. One day, traveling health-tonic salesman, Windy Weebe, comes to town and suggests they could swim the English Channel. Sponsored by “Liquapep” and coached by Windy, the family arrive in Europe. There it is decided that daughter Katie is the only one strong enough to enter the contest. But while she should be focused on the difficult and risky task ahead, Katie is pursed by dashing Frenchman, André Lanet… This comedic musical is well remembered for the scene when Katie dreams she is swimming with cartoon characters Tom & Jerry!
Fans of Esther Williams, swimming and Tom and Jerry will be in heaven
Even in films with not-much-to-write-home-about stories (though a good deal of her films are still worth watching), Esther Williams was always watchable and more, with her swimming talent on film second to none. Tom and Jerry are two of my favourite animated characters, as a lifelong fan of animation, and a legendary animated-comic duo. Have always loved musicals too.
Williams is captivating in how fetching she is and she radiates in charm, her swimming talent hardly wasted. She has very clear chemistry with Fernando Lamas (though she has had partners with a little more charisma than he), and wonderfully supported by a peppy Barbara Whiting, an energetic Jack Carson and a perfectly cast William Demarest and Charlotte Greenwood.
‘Dangerous When Wet’s’ highlight is the sequence with Williams and Tom and Jerry, which is simply ingenious in every sense. Very close behind are Whiting’s “I Like Men” and the very determined and moving English Channel swim scene.
Furthermore, ‘Dangerous When Wet’ looks great, being beautifully photographed and designed and the colours are rich and colourful. The songs are not exceptional but they are very pleasant and put one in a good mood, but it’s the way they’re staged that elevate them to a better level.
The script is lively and perky enough, while Charles Walters directs competently. The story while meandering a little in pace towards the end makes for by far one of the more eventful, more plausible and more atmospherically warm and likable Esther Williams films.
Overall, great fun and charming, anybody who like Williams and Tom and Jerry shouldn’t miss it.