Dangerous When Wet (1953)

95 mins | Romantic comedy | 3 July 1953

Director:

Charles Walters

Producer:

George Wells

Cinematographer:

Harold Rosson

Production Designers:

Cedric Gibbons, Jack Martin Smith

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

The working title of this film was Everybody Swims . A 2 May 1951 HR news item announced that Debbie Reynolds and Carleton Carpenter would star in the film. According to a 4 Aug 1952 item in M-G-M News , George Murphy and Una Merkel were originally cast as "Pa and Ma Higgins," and James Whitmore was to portray "Windy Webbe." HR news items include Tommy Edwards, Rex Dennis, Larry Glass and Olympic shot put champion William Parry O'Brien in the cast, but their appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. Portions of the film were shot on location at Cabrillo Beach, CA.
       Dangerous When Wet features an underwater sequence in which Esther Williams appears to swim with cartoon cat and mouse Tom and Jerry, along with a host of other animated characters. The film marked Charlotte Greenwood's first M-G-M screen appearance since Flying High in 1931. Williams and her co-star, Fernando Lamas, were married in Europe in ... More Less

The working title of this film was Everybody Swims . A 2 May 1951 HR news item announced that Debbie Reynolds and Carleton Carpenter would star in the film. According to a 4 Aug 1952 item in M-G-M News , George Murphy and Una Merkel were originally cast as "Pa and Ma Higgins," and James Whitmore was to portray "Windy Webbe." HR news items include Tommy Edwards, Rex Dennis, Larry Glass and Olympic shot put champion William Parry O'Brien in the cast, but their appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. Portions of the film were shot on location at Cabrillo Beach, CA.
       Dangerous When Wet features an underwater sequence in which Esther Williams appears to swim with cartoon cat and mouse Tom and Jerry, along with a host of other animated characters. The film marked Charlotte Greenwood's first M-G-M screen appearance since Flying High in 1931. Williams and her co-star, Fernando Lamas, were married in Europe in 1967. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
16 May 1953.
---
Daily Variety
12 May 53
p. 3.
Film Daily
22 May 53
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
2 May 51
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Sep 51
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Aug 52
p. 7, 10.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Aug 52
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Aug 52
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Sep 52
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Sep 52
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Sep 52
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Jan 53
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
12 May 53
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
23 May 53
p. 1845.
New York Times
19 Jun 53
p. 18.
Newsweek
20 Jul 1953.
---
Variety
13 May 53
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost des
SOUND
Rec supv
VISUAL EFFECTS
Mont seq
DANCE
Mus numbers staged by
Mus numbers staged by
MAKEUP
Hair styles
Makeup created by
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit mgr
Scr supv
Denise Darcel's swimming trainer
ANIMATION
Tom and Jerry cartoon seq by
Tom and Jerry cartoon seq by
Tom and Jerry cartoon seq by
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor col consultant
Col consultant
SOURCES
SONGS
"I Got Out of Bed on the Right Side," "I Like Men," "In My Wildest Dreams" and "Ain't Nature Grand," music by Arthur Schwartz, lyrics by Johnny Mercer.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Everybody Swims
Release Date:
3 July 1953
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 18 June 1953
Production Date:
early August--mid October 1952
Copyright Claimant:
Loew's Inc.
Copyright Date:
11 May 1953
Copyright Number:
LP2601
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
95
Length(in feet):
8,571
Length(in reels):
11
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
16230
SYNOPSIS

On their small dairy farm in Arkansas, the health-conscious Higgins family begins each day with a vigorous swim in the lake. When Windy Webbe, promoter of a health tonic called Liquapep, comes to town with a traveling show, the family attends, and eldest daughter Katy fends off Windy's advances while her sister Suzie sings for the crowd. That night, Windy comes by to deliver a prize for Suzie's performance and resumes his attempts to court the indifferent Katy. When Windy learns that the entire family swam the fourteen-mile Winapoochet River the previous year, he senses a promotional opportunity and tries to convince the family to enter a contest to swim the English Channel, with Liquapep as their sponsor. Hoping to win enough money to buy a prize bull for their farm, Katy consents, and "The Liquapep Family" goes to England. As they look out across the Channel from Dover, the family is dismayed to learn that the actual swimming distance, taking the current into account, is not the twenty miles they expected, but at least thirty miles. One day, while training for the event, Katy is separated from Windy's boat by a thick fog, and instead swims to a rowboat manned by dashing Frenchman Andre Lanet. While Andre rows Katy to his yacht, Windy picks up vivacious French swimmer Gigi Mignon, who is immediately smitten with him. Andre tells Katy that he works for his family's champagne company, and transports their product across the Channel twice a week. Andre persuades Katy to dine with him that night, promising to tell her more about the Channel. The following day, Katy and Windy ... +


On their small dairy farm in Arkansas, the health-conscious Higgins family begins each day with a vigorous swim in the lake. When Windy Webbe, promoter of a health tonic called Liquapep, comes to town with a traveling show, the family attends, and eldest daughter Katy fends off Windy's advances while her sister Suzie sings for the crowd. That night, Windy comes by to deliver a prize for Suzie's performance and resumes his attempts to court the indifferent Katy. When Windy learns that the entire family swam the fourteen-mile Winapoochet River the previous year, he senses a promotional opportunity and tries to convince the family to enter a contest to swim the English Channel, with Liquapep as their sponsor. Hoping to win enough money to buy a prize bull for their farm, Katy consents, and "The Liquapep Family" goes to England. As they look out across the Channel from Dover, the family is dismayed to learn that the actual swimming distance, taking the current into account, is not the twenty miles they expected, but at least thirty miles. One day, while training for the event, Katy is separated from Windy's boat by a thick fog, and instead swims to a rowboat manned by dashing Frenchman Andre Lanet. While Andre rows Katy to his yacht, Windy picks up vivacious French swimmer Gigi Mignon, who is immediately smitten with him. Andre tells Katy that he works for his family's champagne company, and transports their product across the Channel twice a week. Andre persuades Katy to dine with him that night, promising to tell her more about the Channel. The following day, Katy and Windy join Andre on his boat for lunch. While the seasick Windy is below deck, Andre declares his feelings for Katy, and they kiss. Feeling the need to devote more time to her training, however, Katy insists that they stop seeing each other. Several days later, the Higgins family moves on to France. The Channel swim is postponed because of bad weather, and Windy tells the family that only Katy will be allowed to compete. Pa takes the news badly, and when Katy tries to console him, he admits that he has gone heavily into debt to pay for improvements to the farm. That night, the troubled Katy dreams she is swimming the Channel with cartoon characters Tom and Jerry, as well as a French octopus that tries to keep her from completing the swim. In the morning, Ma convinces Katy to take the day off, and she visits Andre at his estate, where she becomes tipsy sampling the Liquapep. That evening, word comes that the Channel swim will begin the following morning. An exhausted Katy begins the swim in the pre-dawn darkness, with her mother and sisters following her in Andre's boat. Fourteen hours into the swim, Gigi grows too weak to continue, despite Katy's encouragement. Bad weather and rough waters plague the remaining swimmers, but Katy perseveres, and Andre jumps in and swims the last agonizing mile with her. Katy finishes the race and marries Andre, and Gigi becomes the new Liquapep girl. +

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

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.