ON AN ISLAND WITH YOU
(director: Richard Thorpe; screenwriters: from a story by Charles Martin and Hans Wilhelm/Dorothy Kingsley/Dorothy Cooper/Hans Wilhelm/Charles Martin; cinematographer: Charles Rosher; editor: Ferris Webster/Douglass Biggs; music: George Stoll; cast: Marie Windsor (Jane), Ricardo Montalban (Ricardo Montez), Jimmy Durante (Buckley), Esther Williams (Rosalind Reynolds), Peter Lawford (Lt. Lawrence Y. Kingslee), Cyd Charisse (Yvonne Torro), Kathryn Beaumont(Penelope Peabody), Dick Simmons (George Blaine ), Xavier Cugat (Himself), Leon Ames (Commander Harrisen); Runtime: 103; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Joe Pasternak; Warner Home Video; 1948)
“The lush Technicolor, great swimming numbers and high production values are all this stiff film has going for it.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Richard Thorpe (“Fun in Acapulco”/”Killers of Kilimanjaro“) flatly helms this inferior fluff MGM musical that features former Olympic swimming star Esther Williams playing an actress who swims (a part she can do in her sleep). The lush Technicolor, great swimming numbers and high production values are all this stiff film has going for it. It’s based on a story by Charles Martin and Hans Wilhelm. Writers Martin, Wilhelm, Dorothy Kingsley and Dorothy Cooper keep it sitcom friendly and uninspiring. Rosalind Reynolds (Esther Williams) while filming a romantic movie on a set on an Hawaiian island with her fiancée Ricardo Montez (Ricardo Montalban) playing her Naval officer lover, the film’s pushy Naval pilot, the technical adviser on Naval authenticity, Lt. Lawrence Y. Kingslee (Peter Lawford), schemes to steal away the beautiful actress for himself. In a scene where Larry pilots Rosalind around the set in his airplane, the pilot ignores the director’s (Dick Simmons) instruction and takes her to a nearby island. While walking around the island, looters steal the airplane wheels. This prevents them from returning to the set. When they manage to return because Larry befriends the natives, he’s given a court-martial. But Ricardo has since fallen in love with Yvonne (Cyd Charisse), Rosalind’s rival in the movie shoot. This leads to a happy ending for Larry and Rosalind. Jimmy Durante surfaces in this silly movie playing a silly harried assistant director, doing his usual loud comedy shtick. Xavier Cugat and his Orchestra play a few nightclub numbers. Naturally, the film was one of 1948’s top box office grossing films. Songs include: “On an Island with You,” “If I Were You,” “Taking Miss Mary to the Ball,” “Dog Song,” “Buenas Noches, Buenos Aires” (Nacio Herb Brown, Edward Heyman), “Wedding Samba” (Abraham Ellstein, Allan Small, Joseph Liebowitz), “I Can Do Without Broadway, But Can Broadway Do Without Me” (Jimmy Durante).
REVIEWED ON 7/26/2016 GRADE: C+