This Time for Keeps

  • MGM, 1947, Color, 105 minutes, ***½
  • Released October, 1947

One of my favorite Esther Williams movies. Esther is a swimming star (duh) and Johnston is the son of opera star Melchior. Johnston has just returned from the war and is a bit confused about what he wants to do with his life now. Father Melchior is trying to push his son into opera, but Johnston is not so sure that’s what he wants to do. Johnston meets Williams, and they fall in love, but Melchior interferes again when he allows Johnston’s future mother-in-law to publish the wedding announcement of Johnston and fiancé Mary Stuart in the newspaper. Johnston no longer has any intention of marrying the girl, and of course Esther sees the announcement before he has a chance to explain.

Loads of music with Durante performing three of his classics: “A Little Bit of This and a Little Bit of That,” “Inka Dinka Doo” and “The Man Who Found the Lost Chord;” Melchior sings some opera, including “M’Appari;” Johnston sings “Why Don’t They Let Me Sing a Love Song” and “Un Poquito de Amor;” Esther has a big water ballet number with Jimmy, “Ten Percent Off;” Cugie and his Orchestra have several numbers, and even little Sharon McManus gets into the act with “No Wonder They Fall in Love.” Fun film loaded with good music!

Details

  • Produced by: Joe Pasternak
  • Directed by: Richard Thorpe
  • Screenplay by: Gladys Lehman
  • Story by: Erwin Gelsey and Lorraine Fielding
  • Music Direction by: Georgie Stoll
  • Dances and Water Ballet by: Stanley Donen
  • Art Direction: Cedric Gibbons and Randall Duell
  • Set Decorations: Edwin B. Willis
  • Associate: Henry W. Grace
  • Costume Supervision: Irene
  • Men’s Costumes by: Valles
  • Make-Up Created by: Jack Dawn
  • Recording Director: Douglas Shearer
  • Director of Photography: Karl Freund
  • Special Effects: A. Arnold Gillespie, Photographed in Technicolor
  • Technicolor Color Director: Natalie Kalmus
  • Associate: Henri Jaffa
  • Film Editor: John Dunning

Cast

  • Esther Williams [Nora Cambaretti]
  • Lauritz Melchior [Hans Herald]
  • Jimmy Durante [Ferdi Farro]
  • Johnnie Johnston [Dick Johnson]
  • Xavier Cugat [Himself]
  • Dame May Whitty [Grandma]
  • Sharon McManus [Deborah]
  • Richard Simmons [Gordon Coome]
  • Mary Stuart [Frances]
  • Ludwig Stossel [Peter]
  • Dorothy Porter [Merle]
  • Tommy Wonder [Himself]
  • Nella Walker [Mrs. Allenbury]
  • Holmes Herbert [Norman]
  • William Tannen
  • Robert Strickland
  • Kenneth Tobey
  • Don Garner [Soldiers]
  • Herbert Heywood [Doorman]
  • Nan Bennett [Luci LeRoy]
  • Esther Dale [Mrs. Fields]
  • Duncan Richardson [Duncan]
  • Chris Drake [Soldier at Pool]
  • Anne Francis [Bobby-Soxer]
  • Richard Perrin (aka Jack Perrin) [Bobby-Soxer]
  • Harry Tyler [Bartender]

Musical Program

  • [0:00] This Time for Keeps (sung by Chorus behind titles)
  • [0:01] Excerpt from “Victorious Emperor” Opera (sung by Lauritz Melchior and Ensemble)
  • [0:08] A Little Bit of This and a Little Bit of That (sung by Jimmy Durante)
  • [0:18] I Love to Dance (sung by unidentified female vocalist, danced in silhouette by the female vocalist and an unidentified male dancer, accompanied by Xavier Cugat and His Orchestra)
  • [0:24] Why Don’t They Let Me Sing a Love Song (Johnnie Johnston with Xavier Cugat and His Orchestra)
  • [0:29] M’appari tutt’ amor (from the opera MARTHA, sung by Lauritz Melchior)
  • [0:31] M’appari tutt’ amor (from the opera MARTHA – traditional and swing version sung by Johnnie Johnston)
  • [0:35] Ten Percent Off (production number: Jimmy Durante sings, Esther Williams and Chorus Girls Swim, includes instrumental interlude of “Beautiful Lady”)
  • [0:42] Inka Dinka Do (sung by Jimmy Durante with Xavier Cugat and His Orchestra)
  • [0:57] I’ll Be with You in Apple Blossom Time (sung by Johnnie Johnston)
  • [1:01] Jingle Bells (sung by Sharon McManus)
  • [1:01] No Wonder They Fall in Love (sung by Sharon McManus, Johnnie Johnston and Esther Williams)
  • [1:04] aria (sung by Lauritz Melchior)
  • [1:11] The Man Who Found the Lost Chord (sung by Jimmy Durante)
  • [1:16] En Yo Lo (?) (Xavier Cugat and His Orchestra with unidentified female vocalist)
  • [1:20] Un Poquito de Amor (sung by Johnnie Johnston with Xavier Cugat and His Orchestra)
  • [1:32] Chiquita Banana (sung by unidentified female vocalist with Xavier Cugat and His Orchestra)
  • [1:33] Easy to Love (sung by Johnnie Johnston and unidentified female vocalist with Xavier Cugat and His Orchestra)
  • [1:39] Un Poquito de Amor (sung by Johnnie Johnston and unidentified female vocalist with Xavier Cugat and His Orchestra)
  • [1:42] La Donna è mobile (from the opera RIGOLETTO, sung by Lauritz Melchior with Xavier Cugat and His Orchestra)
  • [1:43] Easy to Love (sung by Lauritz Melchior with Xavier Cugat and His Orchestra)