The Unguarded Moment (1956)

US Universal TCM Vault Collection DVD

Esther Williams and George Nader, a great looking couple

Text below written 2016-09-09


A pretty good and suspenseful B melodrama thriller with juvenile delinguency and some noirish elements, and a welcome
dramatic role for the Queen of the Swimsuits, Esther Williams. The former elite swimmer that 20 years old signed a film
contract with MGM in 1941 to do Sonja Henie type of films. Henje, the famous Norwegian figure-skater was a huge film
star then doing show numbers on ice in nowadays forgotten movies. As i remember Henie films have never been shown
ever on Swedish TV so i haven't seen any of them, but Esther Williams films, musicals with elaborate show numbers in the
swimming pool - i guess the prototype for synchronized swimming - were shown a lot when i was a child .... yes, some
years ago now, but still .... and i remember seeing them and liking them. I also remember being attracted to her as she
for sure was a beautiful woman and a likeable actress. So, just like Henie and Belita (read about her on my Film Noir page
and the film Suspense) Esther did a lot of high quality Show Numbers in her films.

In this film however Esther changed lane and did a dramatic role in a suspenseful thriller, and she's good. She was still only
35 years old when doing this but soon afterwards she left the movie business for marriage duties to some stuck-up asshole.
You freak, keeping her for yourself locked up into some fu--ing mansion. Esther looked great in this film, HOT, and proved
that she really was a fine actress. Her asshole husband should've persuaded her that she would continue playing interesting
roles like this. But, probably she soon wouldn't have got any great parts any way due to the nasty youth orientated film
business where middle-age women are considered obsolete, cooked and done and don't get any good parts anymore

Esther Williams having a serious talk with a young John Saxon

Esther plays Louise Conway, a music teacher in a small town Highschool. There has been a series of assaults on women
near the school, with one ending in murder and the police are surveying the area. Attractive 1950's bullet bra voluptuos
Louise (a strange fashion as women's breasts looked like cones pointing straight out) does get some annoying unwanted
attention from one of her male students. She receives nasty threatening notes with a sexual undertone to them, and she is
even molested one night. The guilty perp is Leonard Bennett (John Saxon) the school's big sports star, the football hero
and the principal (Les Tremayne) don't really want to believe her when she tells him about Leonard's actions.
The Police however, they do and inspector Graham (George Nader) is interested in young Leonard as a possible suspect
for the attacks and the murder .... yes, and he obviously also wants to get into the panties of the Hot music teacher



Edward Andrews, Les Tremayne and Esther Williams in a nasty scene - poor Louise

But, even though Leonard is guilty as hell he denies, and soon the blame is put on Louise. The school gossip starts
and the rumour says she's the one stalking Leonard, an unmarried woman .... tssst, so unsuitable in the male
chauvinistic 50's, there must be something wrong with her. And, then there's Leonard's father, Mr. Bennett, played
by the GREAT Edward Andrews and boy does he steal this film, WOW! An AMAZING performance that don't
resemble any other i've ever seen on film. Such a fucked up misogynistic mess of a monster father.
In every scene he appears the air itself in the room you sit trembles with tension and unease, an unforgettable and
quirky performance. The Scene at the almost end of this film are really, REALLY suspenseful even though the
absolute last scene with an un-appropriate happy end sucks
widescreen 1.85:1 english audio mono, no extras as this is an archive edition and made on order

 

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