Ellen Hallet is in love with her playboy boss, Douglas Morrison, but is too timid to do anything about it. To help her, her roommate Chris decides to step in and devises a plan. Chris ...
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A contrived misunderstanding leads to the breakup of a songwriter and his fiancée. She returns to work as a gym teacher at an all-girls school, but a legal loophole allows the man to enroll as one of her students.
A swim teacher and a wealthy businessman are married after a brief courtship. A charming war hero falls in love with this newly-married woman, after her husband abandons her on their honeymoon for the sake of a business meeting.
Johnny Brett and King Shaw are an unsuccessful dance team in New York. A producer discovers Brett as the new partner for Clare Bennett, but Brett, who thinks he is one of the people they lent money to gives him the name of his partner.
Eric Wainwright (Van Johnson), a busy impresario, is besieged by hordes of wannabe concert stars, eager for their big break. One of them is Cynthia Potter (June Allyson), a talented pianist... See full summary »
Max and his father are both looking to marry wealthy women. The task would be far easier if either one of them had any money of their own. Max decides on Martha, but Martha says no when he ... See full summary »
Ellen Hallet is in love with her playboy boss, Douglas Morrison, but is too timid to do anything about it. To help her, her roommate Chris decides to step in and devises a plan. Chris follows Morrison on his trip to Sun Valley, Idaho and plays the over-attentive female in hopes that he will send for Ellen who often plays his "fiancée" when he has a female he can't discourage otherwise. Complications arise when Chris catches the eye of band leader Dick Layn and finds herself caught in a triangle between the two men.
"Warm Hands, Cold Heart" (music and lyrics by Al Rinker and Floyd Huddleston), sung by Mel Tormé, was deleted from this film, leaving The Velvet Fog tuneless and with only a bit of dialogue. The prerecording can be heard on the Rhino CD, "Mel Tormé in Hollywood." See more »
When Christine first spots Ellen dancing with the robe, the boom mic is barely visible. See more »
In the opening credits, each actor's name is sung as part of the opening song. See more »
If the ski slopes of Sun Valley in Idaho seem a most unlikely place to find Esther Williams, for those of you who are fans fear not, for she does get a couple of numbers in a swimming pool.
Duchess Of Idaho casts Esther Williams and Paula Raymond as a pair of sisters who were once in the army. Esther is of course an aquatic star and Paula has settled down to work as a secretary for playboy millionaire railroad tycoon John Lund who uses Raymond to fend off the advances of females with marriage on their minds.
The rest of the film plays like a plot from I Love Lucy. Raymond is first elated to get an invitation from Lund for a working vacation in Sun Valley, but then she's told Lund is going it alone. Then Williams gets the Lucy Ricardo like idea to go to Sun Valley on the same train and play up to Lund with the idea that he'll send for Raymond to bail him out again and Raymond can finally get Lund.
It starts to work out that way, but Williams also meets bandleader Van Johnson on the same trip and she starts falling for him. But true to her sister and her mission she still plays for Lund. It all ends a bit happier than Lucy Ricardo's schemes did.
Nothing terribly memorable music wise comes from Duchess Of Idaho. The best number is from Lena Horne as a guest star who sings Baby Come Out Of The Clouds. Eleanor Powell has a specialty dance number and this turned out to be her farewell appearance on the big screen. Clinton Sundberg has a nice bit as Lund's valet, but for the life of me I could not see casting Mel Torme in a film as a bellhop and not giving him at least one number. My guess is they did and it ended up on the cutting room floor.
The film opens and closes with an Esther Williams water ballet for her fans. And it certainly establishes a reason for her to be in the Duchess Of Idaho. Her many legion of fans will like the film and it's a pleasant diversion for the rest of us.
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