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The Esther Williams Collection Volume One DVD

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Distributor: Warner Home Entertainment

Region 1 | NTSC | Not Rated
Available to buy

Extras: Yes

cast
Esther Williams, Red Skelton, Cyd Charisse, Jimmy Durante, Fernando Lomas (Esther’s real life husband)

See this is why the golden age of Hollywood beats hands every movie made today, where else would you get a collection of musicals featuring a champion swimmer turned glamour girl actress. The gorgeous Williams made quite a splash (pardon the pun) during the 1940’s and 1950’s in a whole raft of fun filled musical excursions that saw her become of the top ten box office stars of the day.

Fox had previously hit big with skating star Sonja Henie so MGM thought they’d have a try with a swimming star (Williams was a world champion swimmer and would have probably won gold at the 1940 Olympics which of course were cancelled with the outbreak of world war II) and in the process coined the phenomenon of Aqua Musicals!

From the start her movies were big budget Technicolor specials (her debut had been planned as a small scale black and white movie called Mr Co-Ed but the studio quickly realised her star potential and Bathing Beauty was born. Her biggest hit was probably 1953’s Dangerous When Wet (which is included in this box set and features Tom and Jerry amongst the co-stars) and she retired with great grace in 1961 to be a housewife and only emerged in the late 80’s and 90’s to participate in a few select projects (That’s Entertainment 3 amongst them).

If you like Hollywood musicals then you are going to love these, and like all the recent Warner’s classic movie releases they all come packed with vintage extras that help re-create that whole night at the movies feel.

THE MOVIES
Bathing Beauty (1944)
Rambunctious funnyman Red Skelton joins Esther Williams in this buoyant (literally) comedy about a lovesick songwriter who enrolls in a women’s college to woo his estranged swimming-teacher wife. Highlights include music from both Harry James and his Music Makers and Xavier Cugat and his Orchestra, Skelton in a pink tutu doing unforgivable things to Tchaikovsky and a spectacular, trendsetting ‘chlorine-and-chorine’ finale.

Special Features:
Robert Osborne hosts TCM’s Private Screenings with Esther Williams, Oscar nominated Short Main Street Today, Academy Award winning Cartoon Mouse Trouble and the Theatrical trailer

On an Island with You (1948)
Moonlight swims, swaying palms, Technicolor sunsets and…cannibals?! Esther Williams, Peter Lawford, Ricardo Montalban and Cyd Charisse get the swimming, swaying and sunsets and Jimmy Durante gets the cannibals in this tune-filled paradise for fans of musical comedy. The frothy plot follows a swimming movie star (Williams, who else?) pursued by two handsome suitors on the set of her latest film, but the main point is mostly the songs, romance and Esther in a sizzling series of swimsuits and sarongs.

Special Features:
Vintage Romance of Celluloid series short Personalities, Classic cartoon The Bear and the Hare, Theatrical trailer,

Easy To Wed (1946)
In this fast-paced, romantic comedy – a remake of the screwball 1930’s classic Libeled Lady – the comic bits are legion, with two standouts: Van Johnson afloat with a baleful spaniel who knows a lot more about duck hunting than he does, and a laugh-out-loud drunk scene that uncorks the incomparable lunacy of Lucille Ball. When the local paper runs an untrue story claiming an heiress (Esther Williams) is a husband stealer, she prepares to sue for libel. So a newspaper honcho (Keenan Wynn) devises a counter scheme to compromise her image: He’ll arrange a sham wedding between his fiancée (Lucille Ball) and a newsroom Romeo (Van Johnson), send the Romeo to woo the heiress, and make the phony story come true!

Special Features:
Oscar nominated Pete Smith Specialty comedy short Sure Cures, Classic cartoon The Unwelcome Guest, Theatrical trailers of This Movie and Libeled Lady

Neptune’s Daughter (1949)
Longing for a Latin lover, boy-crazy Betty Barrett (Betty Garrett) mistakes girl-shy Jack Spratt (Red Skelton) for the South American polo team captain José O’Rourke (Ricardo Montalban). Meanwhile, the real O’Rourke pursues Betty’s elegant sister Eve (Esther Williams). Soon mistaken identities and romantic complications spin into a dizzy mix of slapstick and flirtatious fun. All is set to terrific Frank Loesser songs, including Baby, It’s Cold Outside, winner of the 1949 Best Song Oscar®. The film ends not only happily-ever-after but with (would a Williams fan expect anything less?) a stupendous water ballet.

Special Features:
Outtake musical number I Want My Money Back, Esther Williams cameo sequence from 1951’s Callaway Went Thataway, Oscar Nominated Pete Smith Specialty comedy short Water Trix, Oscar nominated cartoon Hatch Up Your Troubles, Theatrical trailers of this movie and Take Me Out to the Ball Game

Dangerous When Wet (1953)
The “just add water” formula works again in this lighthearted mix of romance, music and comedy directed by Charles Walters (Easter Parade). Williams plays Katy, a farm girl who finds romance (with Williams’ future real-life husband Fernando Lamas) while training for a swim across the English Channel. In the film’s key sequence, Williams swims, swirls and swoops with cartoon stars Tom and Jerry in a concoction “brimful of attractive people and attractive performances” (Clive Hirschhorn, The Hollywood Musical).

Special Features:
Outtake musical number C’est La Guerre, Pete Smith Specialty comedy short This Is a Living?, Classic cartoon Name to Come, Esther Williams musicals trailer gallery

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Reviews

Dave Saint Show, The (UK Play 2000, John Thomson, Alexander Kirk)

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UK Play Logo

The Dave Saint Show was a comedy about a useless heavy metal DJ on a local radio station. As was usual with with shows on extra terrestrial channel UK Play music videos were interspersed throughout the show.

production details
UK / UK Play – Channel X / x30 minute episodes / Broadcast 2000

Writers: Alexander Kirk, Simon Messingham / Script Consultant: Stacy Herbert / Music: Steve Cripps, Dan Mendford / Costumes: Pookie Russell / Producer: Jim Reid / Director: Mark Mylod

cast
JOHN THOMSON as Dave Saint
ALEXANDER KIRK as AK
KATE LOUSTOU as Jeneane

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Reviews

Game of Thrones Season Six Opener reviews from around and about

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Assorted reviews from the interweb of the season six opener for Game Of Thrones.

Game of Thrones is back, with a premiere full of shocks, bloody acts and creepy reveals – but no definite answer about the fate of Jon Snow.

Season six is the first time the TV series has moved ahead of George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire book series, so even dedicated readers have no idea what will happen. Reviewers say the first episode, The Red Woman, resolved some of the cliffhangers from the last series, but also has a few shocks in store, including one very creepy reveal involving a leading lady.

“The tension was incredible,” says Ed Power in the Daily Telegraph.

Season six opened with the camera swooping low over Castle Black and pausing on noble Jon Snow after his bloody run-in with the traitorous Night’s Watch.

“Alas, the Bastard of Winterfell (Kit Harington) was, for the time being at least, staying very dead indeed,” says Power. This was confirmed by “a haunting close-up of his waxy visage and the pool of scarlet arranged like a skewed halo”.

Short of spelling out: “He’s dead!” in huge flaming letters, the writers couldn’t have driven the point home harder, adds the critic, who asks whether this was “a sadistic riposte to fans” who have waited a year to see if their heart-throb will return or “a sleight-of-hand intended to make his eventual reappearance all the more dramatically satisfying”.

Christopher Hooton in The Independent writes: “The last season of Game of Thrones didn’t so much end on a cliff-hanger as a splat on the beach below. Jon Snow is unequivocally dead,” or so we’ve been repeatedly told over the past few months.

However, he adds, the sheer amount of screen time given to his body “suggested more than just a ‘funeral then we all move on with our lives’ narrative”.

With the “obligatory Jon Snow death check” out of the way, this episode was mostly about setting up the playing field for the rest of the season, continues the critic.

Indeed, it was “a sombre, sturdy opening”, says Matt Fowler on IGN. While “not a high watermark for the show”, the series’ opener resolved some cliff-hangers and included “a big creepy reveal regarding Melisandre right at the end”.

It also set up the pieces on the chessboard and managed to touch upon just about every character in the ensemble, says the journalist, a much easier task these days, “now that the herd is so thin”.

Yes, it was a “table-setting episode”, says Daniel Fienberg at the Hollywood Reporter, as premieres are supposed to be. The episode did what it needed, putting this mammoth locomotive back on the track.

Being Game of Thrones, however, there were a few shockers, including some gory violence and nudity that is “more shocking in its narrative ramifications than its gratuity or titillation”. And while the answer to Snow’s wellbeing comes quickly, says Fienberg, “it needn’t necessarily be permanent, because what things are?”

Source: The Week

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Reviews

Columbo Series Three Region 1 DVD Review

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Distributor: Universal Home Entertainment

Certificate: Not Rated | 11 Hours and 24 minutes
Available to buy

Extras: Yes

ANYONE IN IT WE KNOW?
Peter Falk, Martin Sheen, Vincent Price, Deidre Hall, Jackie Cooper

WHAT’S IT ABOUT THEN?
The Columbo releases from Universal are now upto the third season and of course by now it is full steam ahead as Columbo really hits its stride, of course the basic premise of the show dictates that we know who the killer is right from the get go but by the third season the audience was lapping up the way the Superlative Peter Falk as Lt Columbo doggedly pursued

his villain who were always lulled into a false sense of security by Columbo’s grubby mac, battered old car and down at heel demeanour, all tactics designed to throw the suspect off guard before he lets them know that he knows they did it.

Spread over two double sided discs this nicely put together set features all 8 feature length season three episodes, Columbo’s cases include the mysterious death of a well known author, a country singer who is prime suspect in a murder case, he also finds time to uncover police corruption and political skullduggery. Columbo also always managed to attract a high level of guest and this series includes the legendary Johnny Cash in the episode Swan Song as well as the likes of

Jose Ferrier, Vincent Price, Martin Sheen, Dana Elcar and Robert Culp. A classy slice of 1970’s Tec TV Heaven, Columbo always entertains and should be on any Classic TV fans must have list.

ANY SPECIAL FEATURES?
There’s a great bonus episode from the series Mrs Columbo (which many have claimed isn’t a spin off from Columbo but having now seen an episode it clearly is) this is called Murder Is A Parlour Game (from 1979) and features Kate Mulgrew as Kate Columbo, journalist on a small local paper and married to a never seen Lt Columbo, she investigates when a suicide case appears to be murder, the excellent Donald Pleasance guest stars, this is great fun and is hopefully a precursor to the whole series getting a release.

Please note: This article predates the published date and is from the old HTML version of Memorable TV and is part of our From The Archives collection.

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