January 16, 2011

Movie Monday: Neptune's Daughter

You know that really popular Christmas song, "Baby, It's Cold Outside"? Did you know it originally had nothing to do with Christmas?
Ha ha. Now that I have your attention....

This weekend we watched one of my all-time favorite old movies: Neptune's Daughter, starring Esther Williams, Ricardo Montalban, Red Skelton and Betty Garrett.

The story is pretty simple: Esther Williams is a business-owner with a man-crazy sister, Betty Garrett. The South American polo team, led by Ricardo Montalban, is coming to town, and Williams has made it her mission to make sure Garrett doesn't run off with one of the players.

Of course, Garrett is not to be deterred, and through a crazy mix-up, thinks that masseuse Red Skelton is actually the captain of the polo team, a South American named Jose O'Rourke. (Yeah, I know. It was the 50s, okay?) The real Jose O'Rourke, the dashing Ricardo Montalban, falls in love with Esther Williams, who thinks he's a slimeball trying to romance her sister. You still with me?

Naturally, nothing causes hilarity like some mistaken identity, and even with all its cheesyness, it's a funny movie that, yes, brought us the song "Baby, It's Cold Outside." It's done really well. Below is a clip of part of the scene involving the song. First, we see it sung the traditional way with Esther Williams being coerced by Ricardo Montalban. Then it is reprised by Betty Garrett and Red Skelton, as seen below:

Is that not too cute?? Notice there is no snow anywhere. This takes place in the dead of summer. That's part of the irony of the song.

This movie actually came out in 1949 but has a very 50's feel to it with the fashion and style, which I love. I especially love the swimsuit styles showcased in the movie.

Esther Williams was, by this point, already a swimsuit fashion designer, so her character in the movie was really very close to her in real life. For those of you who don't know, aside from being drop-dead gorgeous and a very talented actress, Esther Williams was also a world-class athlete swimmer. And even today, at 80-something years old, she's still designing and selling her own line of bathing suits, similar to the style above. Of course, they are $$$$ so I won't be getting one any time soon. :) But I love them!
Kind of an interesting piece of history for you: This movie was made during a big push in Hollywood to promote the US's Good Neighbor Policy to improve diplomatic and trade relations with South American countries. A good number of movies came out during this time period showcasing South American characters, locales, fashion and music - in a very idealized Hollywood style, naturally! :) Ironically, Ricardo Montalban was not from South America - he was Mexican. :)

This is on Netflix (not instant watch) and really should be on your list. It's really cute and fun and


  1. I had no idea that it was originally a non-Christmas song. Loved the clip! Thanks for posting!

  2. Haha! That was a great clip! So cute. =) Thanks for the little history lesson.

    Wouldn't you love to own a bathing suit like that?! Gorgeous.

  3. I love old movies and this sounds like something I'd enjoy!

  4. Oh my gosh! I love this movie!

    ♫"I Love those men who go"♫ - my favorite

  5. I love this movie!!! I have almost all her movies!


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