Athena

1954

Comedy / Drama / Musical / Romance

150
IMDb Rating 6 10 433

Synopsis


Downloaded times
January 12, 2021

Director

Cast

Debbie Reynolds as Minerva Mulvain
Jane Powell as Athena Mulvain
Kathleen Freeman as Miss Seely
Ray Collins as Mr. Tremaine
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
881.32 MB
1280*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
95 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.6 GB
1920×1080
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
95 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by sdiner82 8 / 10 / 10

Sparkling MGM musical. Jane Powell & Debbie Reynolds dazzle.

Unlike MGM's expensive, classic musicals of the 1950s, the modest, light-hearted but equally delicious "Athena" has been all-but-forgotten. A shame, because this lilting, lively melodious lark is not only a wryly amusing satire on an eccentric family of health-food nutritionists/numerologists, but, most importantly, a dazzling showcase for some of the most tuneful musical numbers to grace any film of its era. The score, by Ralph Martin and Hugh Blane (of "Meet Me in St. Louis" fame), offers such treats as Jane Powell singing the poignant, haunting ballad "Love Can Change the Stars" (which should have become a popular hit); Powell, Debbie Reynolds and their 5 sisters performing a breathtakingly energetic, knockout song-and-dance production number "I Never Felt Better"; and Ms. Powell (never more bewitchingly alluring) setting off vocal fireworks with her superb rendition of Donizetti's "Chacun Le Sait" from the operetta "Daughter of the Regiment." The plot, wherein Powell & Ms. Reynolds defie their nutritionist fanatic grandfather's (a delightful Louis Calhern) dictums by falling in love with, respectively, Edmund Purdom and Vic Damone (two carnivores with the wrong "signs") is decades ahead of its time in its wise, gentle and good-humored satire of life-styles and fads (culminating in a body-builder contest where one of Calhern's proteges is Steve Reeves, who would a mere 4 years later attain international screen stardom as "Hercules"). Amusing as it is, the plot rightfully takes second-place to the wondrous cast of MGM's most gifted young musical talents of the day--in their full vocal and dancing glory captured in glistening pasteled Technicolor. (Sadly, they were all soon to be given their walking papers when Television became the new national rage, and the first of the terrified studio's contract players to be dismissed were the stars of its taken-for-granted musicals. Indeed, Powell, Reynolds and Damone would co-star in only one more MGM songfest, "Hit the Deck"--as warm, charming, and tuneful as "Athena"--as well as a boxoffice disappointment.) Meanwhile, tune in "Athena" the next time TCM shows it--and don't be surprised if, weeks later, you find yourself humming, whistling or singing Ms. Powell's glorious delivery of what is perhaps this delectable movie's most rousing, catchy tune--the zesty, jubilant "Vocalize"!

Reviewed by shrine-2 10 / 10 / 10

Matching muscles and music

Bodybuilding had a disreputable allure in the Eisenhower and Kennedy years. Few would admit to its hold on them, but how else could you explain the box-office success of movies like "Hercules Unchained" and subsequent gladiator trash with a fleet of amply-endowed stars like Gordon Scott, Mark Forrest, Dan Vadis, Mickey Hargitay, and Brad Harris bulging flagrantly in front of the camera? The premiere member of this elite group was a former Mr. Universe--the dark, statuesque Steve Reeves. Before the days when he was sporting a leather loincloth, chained at the wrists, tensing his biceps, and literally bringing the house down, Reeves was introduced for the public's delectation in the 1954 musical "Athena." In it, he plays Ed Perkins, the prize stallion of a stable of physical culturalists groomed by the barrel-chested Louis Calhern--handlebar moustache, bluster and all--as Ulysses Mulvain, a septagenarian who espouses to a neo-Spartan approach to life, replete with vegetarian diet, and plenty of fresh air and exercise. Reeves vies for the affection of the title character, Mulvain's granddaughter (Jane Powell), who, much to the chagrin of the "stars," has eyes for a stuffy, young lawyer (played by the impossibly handsome Edmund Purdom--if there ever was an actor with a silky-milky-white complexion, it's him), himself being primed and tweaked for a U.S. senate seat. Reeves settles for a supporting role in his first major outing on the screen and sits on the sidelines while Powell charts her inevitable course with Purdom glowering at her incessantly. The body beautiful has his big scene with taking the title at a re-creation of the Mr. Universe contest that for insiders must have seemed pretty hokey. That aside, if you're willing to go with it, "Athena" can be fun--a kind of stilted mixture of numerology, prurient interest, and music--all served up by the not-so-discerning minds of writers William Ludwig ("The Student Prince"), Leonard Spigelgass, and the by-then renowned songwriting team of Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane. Their classic "The Boy Next Door" changes sex with Vic Damone singing it, and their "Love Can Change The Stars" is just syrupy enough for the sweet tooths of hopeless romantics. (My favorite is the spry "I Never Felt Better.") But none of these compares with the grandeur of blazingly blonde Powell's rendition of "Chacun Le Sait" from Donizetti's "La Fille du Regiment." It's full of passion and indignation and fire, and Powell has never achieved so high a note of glory on screen as she has in these few much-too-short minutes. Also on the sidelines--Debbie Reynolds as Athena's sister Minerva, and, descending from the clouds of Hollywood movie mysticism, Evelyn Varden as Salome Mulvain, grandmother of the nymphs, greeting everyone with something that sounds like "Namari gongo par" and coming out trances every so often to bestow upon her loved ones the will of the stars.

Reviewed by overseer-3 10 / 10 / 10

Time for a DVD release!

Athena is a musical that grows better with time. Starring lovely Jane Powell, handsome Edmund Purdom, lively Debbie Reynolds, and cute Vic Damone, this story of a new age family living in the hills of California, whose tenants include numerology, spiritualism, vegetarianism, no smoking or drinking, astrology, weight building, group singing, etc. manages to be a delight today, whereas other musicals of that era look rather dated. At the time it premiered it was considered rather a flop, but today it looks fresh and sparkling and topical. It's time for an official DVD release so we can obtain the film in a nice crisp digital print, instead of fuzzy VHS. The few songs in the film are all beautiful and snappy, with a touch of irony and humor. I wish they were available in sheet music form, so that those of us who love "Love Can Change The Stars" can warble it while playing on our pianos or guitars. I'm glad TCM plays it occasionally, it's always a treat, and nice to know that, at the time of this writing, all the major stars still seem to be alive and kicking. There was just something about the early training of the stars at MGM that helped the performers achieve longevity. Look at most of the major MGM musical stars of the 1940's and 1950's and many lived into their 80's or 90's, or are still with us. I guess it taught them endurance. So much better than being a couch potato! ;) I wish the old fashioned musical would come back to our theaters, but failing that, we always have these golden oldies to dream upon, whenever we need a break from this cruel world.

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