Neptune's Daughter


1h 35m 1949
Neptune's Daughter

Brief Synopsis

Mistaken identity complicates a polo player's romance with a bathing suit designer.

Photos & Videos

Film Details

Genre
Comedy
Romance
Musical
Release Date
Jun 1949
Premiere Information
World premiere in Columbia, SC: 22 May 1949; New York opening: 9 Jun 1949
Production Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Distribution Company
Loew's Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 35m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1

Synopsis

Although she initially rejects an offer by Joe Backett to become his business partner at the Neptune swimming suit design company, aquatic ballet dancer Eve Barrett changes her mind when she considers the publicity potential of the job. One day, Joe learns that a South American polo team will be playing a big match in town, and he and Eve begin planning a swimming spectacle for the event. Eve tells her man-crazy sister and roommate Betty about the South American team, and Betty immediately seizes upon the idea of finding herself a date among the players. Meanwhile, Jose O'Rourke, the handsome playboy captain of the polo team, seeks relief for his injured arm from Jack Spratt, a bumbling masseur, who complains to Jose about his lack of success with women. During the massage, Jose gives Jack advice on how to attract women, stressing the importance of speaking to women in Spanish, which he calls the "language of love."

Later, while looking for the famed South American team captain, Betty accidentally mistakes Jack for Jose. Jack does not reveal his identity to Betty and accepts her invitation to visit her at her house. On their date, Jack secretly plays a Spanish language instruction record while pretending that he is speaking romantic Spanish phrases to Betty. At the end of the evening, Betty tells Eve about her date, and Eve tries to dissuade her from pursuing a romance with any of the visiting polo players. The following day, while giving a tour of the Neptune bathing suit factory, Eve meets Jose and warns him to stay away from her sister. Jose is confused by the warning but because he is attracted to Eve, he pretends to understand and agrees to break his presumed date with Betty. When Jose asks Eve to go on the date with him, she reluctantly consents and does so only to prevent him from pursuing her sister. Despite her best attempts to make her date with Jose a failure, Eve finds him attractive and enjoys her evening. Confusion abounds the following day, when Eve's maid, Matilda, tells her that Betty has gone on another date with Jose. Furious at the news, Eve goes to Jose's apartment and demands to see her sister. She searches Jose's apartment to no avail and does not understand why Betty is not there.

Later, when crooked nightclub owner Lukie Luzette learns that a man named Jose is the polo team's most valuable player, he decides to kidnap Jose and keep him out of the game to ensure that his bet against his team will pay off. Lukie sends one of his henchmen to abduct Jose, but the henchman mistakenly abducts Jack instead. Jose, meanwhile, proposes marriage to Eve, and she, having found no evidence of further wrongdoings, accepts. However, just as Eve is about to tell Betty that she intends to marry Jose, Betty informs her that she and Jose are now engaged. When Jose shows up at Eve and Betty's house, Eve, convinced that he has deceived her, shuts the door in his face. Moments later, Jose is abducted by Lukie's men and placed in captivity.

Jack, meanwhile, manages to escape from his captors just as the big polo match begins. Betty, who still believes that Jack is Jose, insists that he save his team from defeat and helps him mount a horse. While Jack inadvertently scores a victory for the South American team, the police find Jose and free him. Jose arrives at the polo field in time to accept the team's trophy and to clear up Eve's confusion. Jack admits to Betty that he is an impostor, but she forgives him and assures him of her love. All ends happily as a double wedding is planned for both couples.

Photo Collections

Neptune's Daughter - Publicity Stills
Here are a few Publicity Stills from Neptune's Daughter (1949), starring Esther Williams and Red Skelton. Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
Neptune's Daughter - Movie Poster
Here is an original-release American movie poster for Neptune's Daughter (1949), starring Esther Williams and Red Skelton.

Film Details

Genre
Comedy
Romance
Musical
Release Date
Jun 1949
Premiere Information
World premiere in Columbia, SC: 22 May 1949; New York opening: 9 Jun 1949
Production Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Distribution Company
Loew's Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 35m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1

Award Wins

Best Song

1949

Articles

Neptune's Daughter


The high point of the Esther Williams swim-musical Neptune's Daughter (1949) is her performance with Ricardo Montalban of the delightful Frank Loesser patter song "Baby It's Cold Outside." The number has Latin lover Montalban trying to entice swimsuit designer Williams into a cozy evening of lovemaking. In a comic reprise of the tune, Betty Garrett, as Williams' man-hungry sister, tries the same seductive strategy on Red Skelton, playing a zany masseur from Montalban's polo club.

Neptune's Daughter was a big hit, praised by even The New York Times as "a great big beautiful musical, full of slickness and Technicolor plush, models and Xavier Cugat rhythm and Esther Williams in a water ballet." To no one's surprise, "Baby, It's Cold Outside" won Loesser the Academy Award as Best Song. The award was presented by Cole Porter, no less.

In a film career that spanned 30 years, Loesser (1910-1969) was Oscar®-nominated for four other songs: "Dolores" from Las Vegas Nights (1941), "They're Either Too Young or Too Old" from Thank Your Lucky Stars (1943), "I Wish I Didn't Love You So" from The Perils of Pauline (1947) and "Thumbelina" from Hans Christian Andersen (1952). He also composed the scores for some of Broadway's brightest musicals; among those recreated as films are Where's Charley? (1952), Guys and Dolls (1955) and How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (1967).

At the Oscar® ceremonies on March 23, 1950, "Baby, It's Cold Outside" was sung by its original performers in the movie - except that Arlene Dahl subbed for new mom Esther Williams, who had become pregnant during filming of Neptune's Daughter. In her recent autobiography, Million Dollar Mermaid, Williams recalled that because producer Jack Cummings was given to "fits of nervous hysteria," she had kept her condition a secret. "I stayed small," she wrote. "But my shape did give Irene, my costume designer and co-conspirator, some extra headaches in her struggle to keep my swimsuits fitting properly."

Loesser wrote "Baby, It's Cold Outside" at least five years before it was used in the film, and the number was familiar to many in Hollywood because the songwriter and his wife enjoyed performing it at parties. After the Oscar® win, there were suggestions by other songwriters that the song should have been disqualified because it was not written specifically for Neptune's Daughter. The Academy responded that, because the song's professional debut was in the movie, it had been perfectly eligible and the award would stand.

Producer: Jack Cummings
Director: Edward Buzzell
Screenplay: Dorothy Kingsley
Cinematography: Charles Rosher
Art Direction: Edward C. Carfagno, Cedric Gibbons
Costume Design: Irene
Editing: Irvine Warburton
Original Music: Frank Loesser
Principal Cast: Esther Williams (Eve Barrett), Red Skelton (Jack Spratt), Ricardo Montalban (Jose O'Rourke), Betty Garrett (Betty Barrett), Keenan Wynn (Joe Backett), Xavier Cugat (Himself), Ted de Corsia (Lukie Luzette), Mel Blanc (Pancho).
C-93m.

by Roger Fristoe
Neptune's Daughter

Neptune's Daughter

The high point of the Esther Williams swim-musical Neptune's Daughter (1949) is her performance with Ricardo Montalban of the delightful Frank Loesser patter song "Baby It's Cold Outside." The number has Latin lover Montalban trying to entice swimsuit designer Williams into a cozy evening of lovemaking. In a comic reprise of the tune, Betty Garrett, as Williams' man-hungry sister, tries the same seductive strategy on Red Skelton, playing a zany masseur from Montalban's polo club. Neptune's Daughter was a big hit, praised by even The New York Times as "a great big beautiful musical, full of slickness and Technicolor plush, models and Xavier Cugat rhythm and Esther Williams in a water ballet." To no one's surprise, "Baby, It's Cold Outside" won Loesser the Academy Award as Best Song. The award was presented by Cole Porter, no less. In a film career that spanned 30 years, Loesser (1910-1969) was Oscar®-nominated for four other songs: "Dolores" from Las Vegas Nights (1941), "They're Either Too Young or Too Old" from Thank Your Lucky Stars (1943), "I Wish I Didn't Love You So" from The Perils of Pauline (1947) and "Thumbelina" from Hans Christian Andersen (1952). He also composed the scores for some of Broadway's brightest musicals; among those recreated as films are Where's Charley? (1952), Guys and Dolls (1955) and How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (1967). At the Oscar® ceremonies on March 23, 1950, "Baby, It's Cold Outside" was sung by its original performers in the movie - except that Arlene Dahl subbed for new mom Esther Williams, who had become pregnant during filming of Neptune's Daughter. In her recent autobiography, Million Dollar Mermaid, Williams recalled that because producer Jack Cummings was given to "fits of nervous hysteria," she had kept her condition a secret. "I stayed small," she wrote. "But my shape did give Irene, my costume designer and co-conspirator, some extra headaches in her struggle to keep my swimsuits fitting properly." Loesser wrote "Baby, It's Cold Outside" at least five years before it was used in the film, and the number was familiar to many in Hollywood because the songwriter and his wife enjoyed performing it at parties. After the Oscar® win, there were suggestions by other songwriters that the song should have been disqualified because it was not written specifically for Neptune's Daughter. The Academy responded that, because the song's professional debut was in the movie, it had been perfectly eligible and the award would stand. Producer: Jack Cummings Director: Edward Buzzell Screenplay: Dorothy Kingsley Cinematography: Charles Rosher Art Direction: Edward C. Carfagno, Cedric Gibbons Costume Design: Irene Editing: Irvine Warburton Original Music: Frank Loesser Principal Cast: Esther Williams (Eve Barrett), Red Skelton (Jack Spratt), Ricardo Montalban (Jose O'Rourke), Betty Garrett (Betty Barrett), Keenan Wynn (Joe Backett), Xavier Cugat (Himself), Ted de Corsia (Lukie Luzette), Mel Blanc (Pancho). C-93m. by Roger Fristoe

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

This film marked the motion picture acting debut of radio comic, voice specialist and musician Mel Blanc. Although Blanc's character name is listed in the screen credits as "Pancho," he is called "Julio" in the film. Portions of the film are narrated by Keenan Wynn's character. A May 1948 Hollywood Reporter news item indicates that production on the film, which was set to begin in the spring of 1948, was postponed for several months pending Red Skelton's recovery from a "nervous condition" attributed to overwork. Frank Loesser received an Academy Award for his song "Baby, It's Cold Outside." According to information contained in the MPPA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, songs that were at one time intended for inclusion in the film were "(I'd Like to Get You) On a Slow Boat to China" and "Tunnel of Love," both of which were written written by Frank Loesser. "Tunnel of Love" was included in the 1950 Paramount film Let's Dance.