Bathing Beauty is a 1944 musical starring Red Skelton, Basil Rathbone and Esther Williams and directed by George Sidney.
Although this was not William's screen debut, it was her first Technicolor musical. The film was initially to be titled "Mr. Co-Ed" with Red Skelton having top billing. However, once MGM executives watched the first cut of the film, they realized that Esther Williams' role should be showcased more, and changed the title to "Bathing Beauty," giving her prominent billing and featuring her bathing-suit clad figure on the posters. The film is also Janis Paige's film debut.
In Los Angeles, popular songwriter Steve Elliott (Red Skelton) prepares to marry Caroline Brooks (Esther Williams), who has pledged to give up her job as a college swimming instructor once she has wed. Likewise, Steve plans to quit his songwriting career, even though New York producer George Adams (Basil Rathbone) has already hired him to write new songs for a water ballet show.
When George overhears Steve discussing his "retirement" with Caroline, he vows to prevent the marriage and enlists Maria Dorango (Jacqueline Dalya), an aspiring actress posing as a Latin-American singer, to help him.