Monday, October 28, 2019

1944...I dream of being Esther Williams

75 years later and I still think that Esther Williams is the epitome of what the “all American“ girl should be. No shoulder pads needed here ! She was strong, healthy and beautiful ... not a bit like the scrawny females that seem to be the norm today. 

I was 11 years old and I absolutely loved going to the movies. I would have lived there if my parents had allowed it. In 1944 our theater would usually play a newsreel and then the featured movie. There might be a cartoon and a preview of next week’s film; but very little in the way of advertising as there is today. Also, the same movie would be shown over and over. If you missed the beginning it was no big just sat on and watched it again.

This was my favorite way to spend a Saturday. I would get my ticket in the morning, when it cost just 10 cents, and then stay on for the rest of the day. This was especially satisfying when an Esther Williams film was featured. Her beautiful underwater sequences were breathtaking and I could watch them forever. I would imagine myself as Esther, leading the rest of the girls in those choreographed water ballet moves. The camera would follow us under water and then switch to an overhead shot. The viewer would be enchanted to see a flower appear on the surface of the pool and would then realize that it was eight gorgeous bathing beauties perfectly spaced and moving in sync…their legs and arms intertwined to simulate colorful petals and leaves.

Then Esther would suddenly appear, rising up and out of the water in the center of the group like a bud unfolding. The music would rise to a crescendo and I would be riveted to my seat. She seemed to be suspended in air and I would hold my breath until she took her final graceful dive. 

Most of the films had weak plots but the water ballet sequences, usually choreographed by Busby Berkeley, have never been surpassed. My dream of being the next Esther Williams wasn't the least diminished by the fact that I could barely dog paddle across a shallow wading pool !


Blogger Marie Smith said...

I saw those movies when I was growing up too. Such a wonderful actress.

6:24 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Good morning. You enjoyed wonderful times and a fantasy. Everything was cowboys for me. :)

3:48 AM  
Blogger Arkansas Patti said...

I do remember those 10 cent movies. I also remember at the lake where I lived that we were taught synchronized swimming along with life saving courses. We never made it look like she did but we tried.

9:13 AM  
Blogger Beatrice P. Boyd said...

How I agree, Ginnie, that Esther Williams was wonderful to watch in those water sequences. While I never went to the movies very much in my childhood, I would watch many of the older films when they were on TV and now online. Movies and today's performers are simply not in the same league in so many ways.

1:22 PM  
Blogger troutbirder said...

I remember well those movies in the mid and late forties especially the one for kids on Saturdays.... I' finally catching up afterBarb funeral and my subsequent total knee replacement. Thank you so very much on your kind comment on my loss...ray

1:01 PM  
Blogger NCmountainwoman said...

I loved the movies as well. My brother and I went every Saturday morning. We each had fifty cnts that would get us into the movie, popcorn, and drink. There was a serial before the movie and if you attended all 15 episodes and kept the ticket stubs, you could turn them in for a free pass.

1:14 PM  

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