Thrill of a Romance (1945)

Genres - Romance  |   Release Date - May 23, 1945 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 105 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

Modern audiences may find Thrill of a Romance more than a bit hokey -- and with good reason -- but many will also find themselves enjoying this lightweight aquatic musical. With Esther Williams on hand, of course, that means there's going to be plenty of scenes in, on and around some sort of swimming area, and Thrill sets it up naturally enough by making Williams not only a swimming instructor but one who is on her honeymoon at a lovely spa. Plot is not usually a strong point in the Swimming Queen's films, and Thrill is no exception; the story really exists only so there will be something to fill the screen time between the water escapades and the songs. Williams is reunited with frequent co-star Van Johnson, with whom she has a genuine rapport, and the two stars make their time on screen pleasant and diverting. Neither one is turning in a great performance, but great performances are aside the point in this kind of flick. There's some welcome musical support from Lauritz Melchior and Tommy Dorsey (including a killer Buddy Rich drum solo), beautiful Technicolor, plenty of costumes and efficient Richard Thorpe direction. No classic, Thrill is simply featherweight entertainment, and entertaining as such.