Jupiter's Darling (1955)

95-96 mins | Musical | 18 February 1955

Director:

George Sidney

Producer:

George Wells

Cinematographers:

Paul C. Vogel, Charles Rosher

Production Designers:

Cedric Gibbons, Urie McCleary

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

The opening credits contain the following written prologue: "In 216 B.C., Hannibal the Barbarian marched on Rome. The history of this great march has always been confused. This picture will do nothing to clear it up." The Carthaginian general Hannibal began his march into Rome in 218 B.C., with the outbreak of the Second Punic War, using a caravan of elephants to ferry supplies over the Pyrenees and the Alps. Despite losing several key battles to Hannibal's army, the Romans, under the leadership of dictator Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus Cunctator, kept the invaders at bay long enough to rebuild their military strength. In 201 B.C., Carthage capitulated to Rome.
       According to the HR review, M-G-M originally bought the rights to Robert E. Sherwood's play in 1926, intending to film it with Greta Garbo. HR production charts include James Whitmore in the cast, but he was not in the film. According to Mar and Apr 1954 HR news items, stunt swimmer Vicki Mann and body builder Art Maltsman were cast in the film, and Frank Schoen, Vic Merito and Richard Sabre were testing for roles, but the appearance of these actors in the final film has not been confirmed. Portions of the film were shot on location in Silver Springs, FL, and at Santa Catalina Island and Sky Valley Ranch, CA. According to a 17 Jun 1954 HR news item, cinematographer Charles Rosher withdrew from the production and was replaced by Paul Vogel. Both men are credited onscreen. Jupiter's Darling marked the last feature film of long-time cinematographer Rosher (1885--1974), whose son, Charles Rosher, Jr. also became a cinematographer.
       ... More Less

The opening credits contain the following written prologue: "In 216 B.C., Hannibal the Barbarian marched on Rome. The history of this great march has always been confused. This picture will do nothing to clear it up." The Carthaginian general Hannibal began his march into Rome in 218 B.C., with the outbreak of the Second Punic War, using a caravan of elephants to ferry supplies over the Pyrenees and the Alps. Despite losing several key battles to Hannibal's army, the Romans, under the leadership of dictator Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus Cunctator, kept the invaders at bay long enough to rebuild their military strength. In 201 B.C., Carthage capitulated to Rome.
       According to the HR review, M-G-M originally bought the rights to Robert E. Sherwood's play in 1926, intending to film it with Greta Garbo. HR production charts include James Whitmore in the cast, but he was not in the film. According to Mar and Apr 1954 HR news items, stunt swimmer Vicki Mann and body builder Art Maltsman were cast in the film, and Frank Schoen, Vic Merito and Richard Sabre were testing for roles, but the appearance of these actors in the final film has not been confirmed. Portions of the film were shot on location in Silver Springs, FL, and at Santa Catalina Island and Sky Valley Ranch, CA. According to a 17 Jun 1954 HR news item, cinematographer Charles Rosher withdrew from the production and was replaced by Paul Vogel. Both men are credited onscreen. Jupiter's Darling marked the last feature film of long-time cinematographer Rosher (1885--1974), whose son, Charles Rosher, Jr. also became a cinematographer.
       In a 14 Nov 1954 article written for NYT , director George Sidney reflected on the technological advancements that had taken place in film since he directed swimmer Esther Williams in her first starring role, the 1944 M-G-M film Bathing Beauty (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-50 ). Citing various improvements in the photography of underwater sequences, Sidney recalled that although the camera operator on the earlier film had to work with his head above the surface of the water, "for Jupiter's Darling the entire crew wore aqualungs and had as much freedom beneath the water as above." In her autobiography, Williams wrote that she ruptured her left eardrum during filming and was fitted with an ear and nose prosthesis "made out of French latex and glued on with eyelash adhesive that completely covered my aural and nasal openings." Jupiter's Darling was Williams' last swimming role, and her last film for M-G-M. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
American Cinematographer
1 Sep 54
pp. 440-41, 458, 460.
Box Office
29 Jan 1955.
---
Daily Variety
24 Jan 55
p. 3.
Film Daily
25 Jan 55
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Mar 54
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Mar 54
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Mar 54
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Apr 54
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Apr 54
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Apr 54
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
10 May 54
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
14 May 54
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
17 May 54
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Jun 54
pp. 5-6.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Aug 54
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Oct 54
p. 17.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Jan 55
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Feb 55
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
24 Jan 1955.
---
Motion Picture Herald
29 Jan 1955.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
29 Jan 55
p. 305.
New York Times
14 Nov 1954.
---
New York Times
18 Feb 55
p. 18.
Variety
26 Jan 55
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost
MUSIC
Mus arr and cond
Mus supv
Vocal supv
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
DANCE
Choreog
MAKEUP
Hair styles
Makeup created by
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
STAND INS
Singing voice double for Esther Williams
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col consultant
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play Road to Rome by Robert E. Sherwood (New York, 21 May 1928).
SONGS
"Horatio's Narration," music by Saul Chaplin, lyrics by George Wells, Harold Adamson and Saul Chaplin
"If This Be Slavery," "I Have a Dream," "Hannibal's Victory March," "I Never Trust a Woman," "Don't Let This Night Get Away" and "The Life of an Elephant," music by Burton Lane, lyrics by Harold Adamson.
DETAILS
Release Date:
18 February 1955
Premiere Information:
World premiere in Milwaukee, WI: 10 February 1955
New York opening: 17 February 1955
Production Date:
17 May--early August 1954
Copyright Claimant:
Loew's Inc.
Copyright Date:
31 January 1955
Copyright Number:
LP4444
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Color
Eastman Color
Widescreen/ratio
CinemaScope
Duration(in mins):
95-96
Length(in feet):
8,644
Length(in reels):
11
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
17155
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

In ancient Rome, Horatio the historian recalls the day that Fabius Maximus was crowned dictator: Addressing the crowd, Fabius vows to slay the ruthless invader Hannibal of Carthage, whose legions have devastated the country's northern provinces. Fabius' intended bride Amytis is not present to hear his victory speech, however, having spent the morning happily racing her chariot through the countryside. Summoned for the rest of the day's festivities, Amytis goes to the temple with her slave Meta, but they are too late to attend the ceremony and decide to go shopping instead. While strolling through the marketplace, they come across a slave auction, and Meta is immediately smitten with Varius, a handsome slave captured from Hannibal's army. Amytis buys him for Meta, and Varius rejoices in his new servitude. Fabius arrives in the marketplace, with his domineering mother Fabia, who criticizes Amytis on the way home for every aspect of her behavior. Fabius presses Amytis to set a date for their wedding, pointing out that they have been engaged for seven years, but despite the dictator's obvious devotion, she feels no passion for him. Fabius declares that they will marry that evening, or Amytis must enter the temple of the Vestal Virgins. Their wedding banquet commences but is interrupted by the news that Fabius' army has been defeated by Hannibal, who is now only twenty miles from the gates of Rome. Amytis is intrigued by talk of the powerful, manly barbarian, and she and Meta sneak outside the walls of the city to get a look at him. They are soon captured and brought before Hannibal, who orders the women executed as spies. Amytis asks for time alone with ... +


In ancient Rome, Horatio the historian recalls the day that Fabius Maximus was crowned dictator: Addressing the crowd, Fabius vows to slay the ruthless invader Hannibal of Carthage, whose legions have devastated the country's northern provinces. Fabius' intended bride Amytis is not present to hear his victory speech, however, having spent the morning happily racing her chariot through the countryside. Summoned for the rest of the day's festivities, Amytis goes to the temple with her slave Meta, but they are too late to attend the ceremony and decide to go shopping instead. While strolling through the marketplace, they come across a slave auction, and Meta is immediately smitten with Varius, a handsome slave captured from Hannibal's army. Amytis buys him for Meta, and Varius rejoices in his new servitude. Fabius arrives in the marketplace, with his domineering mother Fabia, who criticizes Amytis on the way home for every aspect of her behavior. Fabius presses Amytis to set a date for their wedding, pointing out that they have been engaged for seven years, but despite the dictator's obvious devotion, she feels no passion for him. Fabius declares that they will marry that evening, or Amytis must enter the temple of the Vestal Virgins. Their wedding banquet commences but is interrupted by the news that Fabius' army has been defeated by Hannibal, who is now only twenty miles from the gates of Rome. Amytis is intrigued by talk of the powerful, manly barbarian, and she and Meta sneak outside the walls of the city to get a look at him. They are soon captured and brought before Hannibal, who orders the women executed as spies. Amytis asks for time alone with Hannibal to make a last request, then beseeches him to spare Rome. Hannibal angrily refuses and sends for the guard, but is stopped short when Amytis points out errors in his map of Rome. Desperate to buy time, Amytis offers to take him to a temple overlooking the city, and Hannibal is surprised to discover that the bridges leading into Rome are still intact. As they survey the city in the moonlight, Hannibal and Amytis begin to fall in love, but their romantic moment is shattered by the arrival of Fabius' forces. After doing battle with the Romans, Hannibal escapes, taking Amytis with him. Back at his camp, Hannibal accuses Amytis of leading him into a trap and prepares to kill her. Amytis admits that she came to his camp to see him, and they kiss. The following morning, Hannibal emerges from his tent in a euphoric mood and, after telling his troops their invasion of Rome will be postponed until noon, returns to his tent to have an intimate breakfast with a beaming Amytis. He continues to delay the attack, and when dusk arrives, the besotted Hannibal still shows no interest in making war. Varius arrives, having escaped disguised as a Roman guard, and reports that there are only two legions left guarding the city. Meta rushes to Varius and begs him to say nothing about Amytis' betrothal to Fabius, and they begin to explore romantic feelings toward each other. Meanwhile, Hannibal shows Amytis his army of elephants, which she proclaims "drab," adding that she would brighten them up a bit if they were hers. Hannibal asks Amytis if she would accompany him back to Carthage if he were to spare Rome. Without disclosing anything about her personal life, Amytis replies that she must think it over. Just then, Fabius arrives with a delegation from Rome, and Amytis conceals her face as the two leaders meet in Hannibal's tent. Fabius beseeches Hannibal to call off his attack, and in parting gives the general a medallion, remarking that it contains a likeness of his betrothed. After Fabius leaves, Hannibal examines the medallion and is outraged to see a likeness of Amytis, whom he again accuses of spying. The two quarrel bitterly, and Hannibal vows to destroy Rome, then has Amytis put in chains. Late that night, Varius frees Meta and proposes to her, but she knocks him unconscious and escapes with Amytis on horseback. Hannibal's men set off in pursuit, but Amytis dives off a cliff into the sea and swims to safety. She rejoins Fabius in Rome, and he says they will marry the following day. Amytis sadly tells Fabius that she does not love him and would rather enter the temple of Vesta than marry him, and he accepts her decision. The following day, Hannibal's army approaches the gates of Rome and begins a savage attack. The Romans fight back with catapults and boiling oil, but Hannibal's power is too much for them. Fabius throws down the sword of truce, and Hannibal demands Amytis. Fabius refuses to hand her over, but Amytis, feigning reluctance at her noble "sacrifice," insists on going with Hannibal. Amytis is lowered over the wall on a rope, and Meta happily follows suit to join Varius. As the army begins its return to Carthage, Hannibal points out a column of brightly painted elephants, which he has "brightened up" for Amytis. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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