August 8, 1921~ June 6, 2013 Esther Williams
The TCM Spotlight Collection of Esther Williams films offer up Esther Williams swimming into fame and fortune. So, I was surprised to see so very little swimming in Easy to Wed. This remake of the incomparable classic Libeled Lady, doesn’t boast stars that could actually compare to the originals, but instead who knowingly make their way through the storyline with their own special twist on character.
Esther, single handedly convinces as the cold-as-ice heiress suing The Morning Star, whose tagline is “ All the News that’s Fit to Read.” Her costars, on the other hand, tried, but that’s about it. Van Johnson, while perhaps attempting to come across as charming, succeeds at bumbling instead. And Lucille Ball, preceded by Jean Harlow in the same role, while not giving into pretenses, plays her slapstick with too much knowing- thus just looking ridiculous in parts. Esther, however, holds her own. As Olympian turned bathing Hollywood beauty, she alone is believable in her role. And while I won’t say it was as bad as On an Island with You( and that was during my Peter Lawford phase), I will say, it’s not nearly as good as Take Me Out to the Ballgame. So if you‘re not in the mood for the swimming, choose the latter- you’ll at least get top notch costars in Betty Garrett, Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly.
Thanks Esther for always bringing your A-game. Happy Birthday!