AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Neptune's Daughter
Director: Edward Buzzell (Dir)
Release Date:   Jun 1949
Premiere Information:   World premiere in Columbia, SC: 22 May 1949; New York opening: 9 Jun 1949
Production Date:   late Oct 1948--mid-Jan 1949; addl scenes late Feb 1949
Duration (in mins):   92-94
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Cast:   Esther Williams (Eve Barrett)  
    Red Skelton (Jack Spratt)  
    Ricardo Montalban (Jose O'Rourke)  
    Betty Garrett (Betty Barrett)  
    Keenan Wynn (Joe Backett)  
    Xavier Cugat   and His Orchestra
    Ted de Corsia (Lukie Luzette)  
    Mike Mazurki (Mac Mazolla)  
    Mel Blanc (Pancho [Julio])  
    Juan Duval (Groom[/Voice on record])  
    George Mann (Tall wrangler)  
    Frank Mitchell (Little wrangler)  
    Bill Lewin (Official)  
    Matt Moore (Official)  
    Harold S. Kruger (Coach)  
    Joy Lansing (Linda)  
    Danilo Valente (South American player)  
    Carl Saxe (Announcer)  
    Barton Fellows (Announcer)  
    Theresa Harris (Matilda)  
    Elaine Sterling (Miss Pratt)  
    Henry Sylvester (Headwaiter)  
    Lillian Molieri (Cigarette girl)  
    Dewey Robinson (Henchman)  
    Michael Jordan (Henchman)  
    Dick Simmons (Mr. Magoo)  
    Bette Arlen (Model)  
    Lonnie Pierce (Model)  
    Dorothy Abbott (Model)  
    Sue Casey (Model)  
    Diane Gump (Model)  
    Jackie Hammette (Model)  
    Roque Ybarra (Groom)  
    Heinie Conklin (Groom)  
    Pierre Watkin (Mr. Canford)  
    Clarence Hennecke (Gardner)  
    Georgia Clancy    
    Dee Turnell    
    Del Henderson    
    Kay Mansfield    

Summary: 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. 

Production Company: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp. (Loew's Inc.)
Distribution Company: Loew's Inc.  
Director: Edward Buzzell (Dir)
  Jack Greenwood (Asst dir, Buzzell unit)
  Charles O'Malley (Asst dir, Donohue unit)
Producer: Jack Cummings (Prod)
Writer: Dorothy Kingsley (Scr)
  Ray Singer (Addl dial)
  Dick Chevillat (Addl dial)
Photography: Charles Rosher (Dir of photog)
  Jack Nickolaus Jr. (Cam op)
  Frank Shugrue (Stills)
Art Direction: Cedric Gibbons (Art dir)
  Edward Carfagno (Art dir)
Film Editor: Irvine Warburton (Film ed)
Set Decoration: Edwin B. Willis (Set dec)
  Arthur Krams (Assoc)
Costumes: Irene (Women's cost)
Music: Georgie Stoll (Mus dir)
  Leo Arnaud (Orch)
  Albert Sendrey (Orch)
Sound: Douglas Shearer (Rec supv)
  Ralph A. Pender (Sd)
Dance: Jack Donohue (Mus numbers created and dir by)
Make Up: Sydney Guilaroff (Hair styles des by)
  Jack Dawn (Makeup created by)
Production Misc: William Kaplan (Prod mgr)
  Grace Dubray (Scr supv)
  Frank Barnes (Grip)
Color Personnel: Natalie Kalmus (Technicolor col consultant)
  Henri Jaffa (Assoc)
Country: United States

Music: "Jungle Rumba" by Tony Beaulieu.
Songs: "I Love Those Men," "My Heart Beats Faster" and "Baby, It's Cold Outside," music and lyrics by Frank Loesser.
Composer: Tony Beaulieu
  Frank Loesser

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number Passed By NBR:
Loew's Inc. 11/5/1949 dd/mm/yyyy LP2324 Yes

PCA NO: 13656
Physical Properties: col: Technicolor
  Sd: Western Electric Sound System

Genre: Musical
  Romantic comedy
  Romantic comedy
Subjects (Major): Impersonation and imposture
Subjects (Minor): Abduction
  Band leaders
  Bathing suits
  Mistaken identity
  South Americans

Note: 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 HR 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 (see above). 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Box Office   21 May 1949.   
Daily Variety   18 May 49   p. 3.
Film Daily   1 Jun 49   p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter   28 May 48   p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter   29 Oct 48   p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter   31 Dec 48   p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter   17 Jan 49   p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter   11 May 49   p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter   18 May 49   p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest   21 May 49   p. 4617.
New York Times   10 Jun 49   p. 32.
Variety   18 May 49   p. 8.

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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.
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