Movie Diary 10/22/2009

Easy to Love (Charles Walters, 1953). Maddeningly dumb storyline with Esther Williams surfing between Van Johnson and Tony Martin, featuring much of the action set in Cypress Gardens, Florida, also a location in This is Cinerama.

Million Dollar Mermaid (Mervyn LeRoy, 1952). Supposed biopic of Australian swimmer Annette Kellerman, with Esther Williams (duh) in the lead role; really it fits into a pattern of nostalgia-heavy period flicks of the era, which have a female star torn between career and a roguish, unavailable man (here, Victor Mature). Some incredible and frequently excerpted production numbers in this one (Busby Berkeley had a hand in there), complete with water slides, trapeze dives, every damn thing you can think of.