Scatterbrained Betty Barrett mistakes masseur Jack Spratt for Jose O'Rourke, the captain of the South American polo team. Spratt goes along with the charade, but the situation becomes more complicated when they fall in love. Meanwhile, Betty's sensible older sister Eve fears Betty's heart will be broken when Jose returns to South America. She arranges to meet with the real O'Rourke and love soon blossoms between them as well.Written by
Daniel Bubbeo <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Not many people today seem to know much about Esther Williams' fabulous films of the mid and late 1940s and early 1950s. The later 1950s is such a well known era with the birth of rock'n'roll and Elvis, but the immediate post WW2 years 1945-1954 are in general bit less known to the under 60 year old age group today (a 60 year old this year would've just been born in 1957, and many people can only relate so much to the time periods before they were even born). Some of the best Golden Age films (there are many wonderful films in the 1928- 1945 period too) are from 1945-1954 such as "Singing in the rain", "Easter parade", "A streetcar named Desire", and many others. And of course Esther Williams' films, all of them were between 1944 and 1955.
"Neptune's daughter" was great. Esther here is owner Kenan Wynn's assistant of a large clothing and swimsuit company. Red Skelton has a funny role as a masseur of the South American polo team, which includes star player Ricardo Montanan. I like the early scene with Red almost winning top prize in a radio show contest but barely missing out due to one little reason, that scene was funny due to how it was played out. This film has the great "Baby it's cold outside", first verse Esther and Riccardo, second Betty and Red.
Red lies about being Latino to attract Esther's sister Betty. That idea was played out like a joke, since Red has red (no pun intended) hair, fair skin, and is not too talented at acting Hispanic. Betty was also not too bright for completely falling for it. There were a few sexual tones in this film; when Ricardo compares a woman to a horse and says "but one cannot make love to a horse, unless one is another horse". That line in a more modern movie would've certainly come with some perverted smart*** comebacks, and people wouldn't use the term "make love", they would've used dirtier language. I liked the scene with Betty and Red with Xavier Cougat's orchestra (this is another of numerous Esther films with Xavier) Since Red lied about understanding Spanish, he had to play his way out of a situation during a song where he was thought to know how to play several different instruments. There was also another great old fashioned exotic samba type song with Xavier, orchestra, and beautiful exotic Latin girls.
I loved the addition of Mel Blanc and his Speedy Gonzales voice, the Bugs bunny reference with Red saying "Albaquerque" and saying "he went thataway" while pointing two fingers in two different directions, and the whip and cigarette in the mouth trick and Mel's cousin "No nose". I also found funny a scene with several men trying to get Red onto a horse, and it almost looked like the horse was looking at the camera and thinking "what a maroon".
I also loved the scenes with Esther and Riccardo such as the dialogue between them in the car while driving, Riccardo had some amusing lines there such as his comments on the sites Esther was trying to show him ("you've showed me pirates cove with no pirates, inspiration point with no inspiration, and lovers lane with no love"). Also funny was Riccardo's comment on the detour sign ("quote, a detour is to take the bad road cause the good road's unavailable, unquote") bringing up Esther's earlier detour remark (then comically says "you also implied I am a blackmailer, and several other unpleasant things".). I like how Esther tells Ricardo before reluctantly taking him on a date "I will show you the most boring evening of your life". That sort of reminded me of in "Bathing beauty" Esther's reluctantly accepting Red into the college showing him his room saying "I hope you will be very uncomfortable here". Kenan's comment over seeing Riccardo with Esther at the club was also funny ("There he goes feathering his nest, unfeathering mine"). I also loved the part in Esther's clothes factory when Riccardo and Esther were talking in her office. I don't know how many people caught the "Naked gun" reference; Riccardo got a thin piece of glass stuck on the end of his finger in the same way Frank Drebin (Leslie Nielsen) got a thin tropical biting fish stuck on the end of his finger in Ludwig's (played by Riccardo) office in "The naked gun". Esther also had a tropical fish tank in her office that Riccardo noticed in this film much like in "Naked gun" the tropical fish tank in Ludwig's office that Drebin got the fish stuck on his finger out of. Also the same was how in both films they were trying to pull it off their finger and then quickly hiding that hand behind their back whenever someone looked at them. Good referencing. I'm guessing the "Neptune's daughter" referencing in "Naked gun" was Riccardo's idea since he was in both films and in both scenes I just mentioned (he did not look as much as 40 years older in "Naked gun", he aged well). The only thing is that there are likely a good amount of Naked gun fans who hasn't known what film they were referencing in the scene in Ludwig's office.
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