For Reel

Jupiter’s Darling (1955)
December 2, 2011, 7:59 am
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: George Sidney

Remembered only as a financial flop and one of the films that effectively ended the production of musicals at MGM, Jupiter’s Darling is a spectacle of camp involving battles, song and dance numbers, and a whole lot of implied sex. The film, obviously liberally revisionist with its history, makes use of Esther Williams’ aquatic talents in a lengthy, tangential hallucinatory sequence in which she dances with Roman statues in a public bath. From there on, the swimming sequences serve little function in the plot, and the spectacle is instead attributed to the many successions of painted elephants. The film charms as pure trash – in one lengthy sequence, a battle is continuously delayed so that Hannibal can continue to have sex, and in another, he seduces Amytis by reflecting on how he brought elephants over the Alps. Burton Lane and Harold Adamson contribute a preposterous score: “If this be slavery / then give me slavery / if this be slavery / I don’t want to be free!”

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