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  • In her first nonaquatic role, Esther Williams plays a school teacher who's the victim of sexual assault. She gives a fine performance, proving she could be highly effective out of the swimming pool. As the detective out to solve the case, George Nader gives perhaps his finest performance. And he is so handsome it hurts! John Saxon is the student under suspicion, and although he gets impressive billing in the credits, it's Edward Andrews as his overly-protective father who is the standout.

    Bathed in glorious Technicolor, The Unguarded Moment is irresistible hokum and at times compelling drama.
  • This is an AMC, Tuesday afternoon flick that you CANNOT STOP WATCHING! Great trash! Here we see Esther Williams (and not a glimpse of a swimming suit) as a sexually harassed high school teacher. The object of her harrassment... a young, and not hair challenged John Saxon. Great sets, great love interest in the cop who comes to her aid... This is a very interesting time capsule about sensibilities in the 1950s. It is implied, if not stated, that if poor ole Esther would only give up her crazy career notions and settle down, she's not be in so much trouble!

    While Saxon gives a wooden performance (in more ways than one), veteran character actor Edward Andrews shines as the boy's demented father. What a champ he was to go into this B-movie and give it his all. It's not as if he wasn't in demand as a character actor. (He was second only to Whit Bissel as the guy you knew, but couldn't name in the movies.) He was always turning up as the client on "Bewitched" or in a small supporting film role. He was perfect as the big, rotund, Babbitt-like small town banker who got his in the end.

    The sets are perfect 50's, especially the school. Esther Williams gives a good performance in a Rosalind Russell script, although after this one, she hung up her bathing suit and retired to a life of luxury. Still, isn't it odd that her character is so naive? She walks about in a daze, wondering how a teenage boy could have a sexual interest in her. Even in middle age, she was quite an attractive woman. Why is this so surprising to her? Of course, this film does what ALL good, exploitive trash films do... it opens doors, says one thing while doing another and asks us to stretch our sensibilities a bit.

    Next time you're home, sick from work, flip on AMC on TV. It might be 9am or 1 in the afternoon. If it's "The Unguarded Moment', the trash flickering in front of you will keep you captivated. You'll still be thinking about it at dinner time too!
  • Wow, what a great piece of 50's trash! Lush, colorful sets, great old cars and Esther walking around in sexy 50's tight dresses. The plot has already been mentioned above so I won't rehash. One question that sticks out in my mind, who would say no to John Saxon, he is a sex god in this movie, like an hunkier, hornier Sal Mineo! If they had gotten George Nader to take his shirt off more in this it would have been a 50's wet dream! Sexual repression doesn't get any better than this movie! Even Saxon's dad played by Edward Andrews is an old perv..everything was so subtle in this era...Esther Willaims actually was a pretty good actress here, they should have used her in more movies like this!
  • The "unguarded moment" seems to come from the forties ,when the Freudian movie was so trendy: "secret beyond the door" "cat people" " "spiral staircase" "the dark mirror" ,the list is endless.

    Unfortunately it's marred by a providential love story between the teacher and the cop.Had it focused on the father/son relationship,the movie could have renewed the genre.The character of the father is by far the most interesting of the screenplay: he must have failed professionally as well as sexually in his own life and he wants his whizz kid (a young John Saxon) to be all that he could not be .If he disappoints him,he will break him!Esther Williams is an attractive teacher ,but to be interesting ,such a character needed to show some ambiguousness.After the first thirty minutes ,there's no real surprise.

    Watch it for Edward Andrews' offbeat performance.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I remember seeing the movie THE UNGUARDED MOMENT during my early days of collecting movies when the VCR was just hitting the height of its popularity, so unfortunately I do not have a copy of the film. There has never been a commercial release of this movie on VHS or DVD for that matter. It is surprising because it marks a very different role for Esther Williams. She actually stayed dry in the movie, and the plot which actually was pretty dark and realistic for 1956 audiences.

    Lois Conway (played by swimmer Esther Williams) is an attractive high school music teacher who has a 1950s bullet bra figure that attracts the attention of lustful sexual psycho student, Leonard Bennett (John Saxon). At home Leonard's father (Edward Andrews) is a creepy repressive misogynistic who lectures his son about the dangers of all women, like his dirty, dead mother.

    Lois begins to receive secret notes slipped into her purse and school papers. Quickly the notes become more obscene, and after receiving one asking her to meet at night in the locker room, she goes, hoping to discourage her admirer. Bad move! In the darkness a flashlight glares in her face and she is sexually molested by her unidentified predator. With the help of police lieutenant Harry Graham (George Nader), Lois does her best to fend off future attacks, while trying to keep from suffering a nervous breakdown herself! Look for 1950s teenage haircuts and clothes. Cool-looking teen hangout, "The Sugar Shop" is where all the cool cats and kittens go to dance to the rock and roll jukebox! Lots of boogie woogie tunes and jiving at the high school dance. It's rare to see a 50's teenage JD film in color! Esther Williams, George Nader, John Saxon, Edward Andrews, Les Tremayne, Jack Albertson, Dani Crayne, John Wilder, Edward Platt, Eleanor Audley, Robert Williams, Diane Jergens.

    Esther Williams gets her first post MGM starring role and gets off to a good start. This film is a well acted entertaining suspense with a mature theme that would be repeated a million times more in the future - innocent girl stalked creepy woman hater. Esther looks great and if she wanted to, probably could have gone on to do more and better films but according to her autobiography,pretty much gave up working for marriage. Either way she is so likable and engaging that its fun to see her in a totally different role outside of the 'swimming musical'.

    Universal was fabulous for making films with former MGM stars after that studio began dropping its biggest names as it began to slide down hill. Stars like Lana Turner, June Allyson and others got to make quality first rate films at Universal that MGM would not allow them to make. I wish Esther had made more but since she didn't, it makes this one all the more special. The movie really changed my opinion of the acting ability of Esther Williams.If you get the rare chance to see THE UNGUARDED MOMENT, I recommend it...
  • An extremely enjoyable film which sees Esther Williams battle the stereotype of the single woman in the not-so-fabulous '50s. For anyone who prefers the noir side of 1950s cinema (ie Cape Fear as opposed to Oklahoma) it portrays both the dark side of human nature and the seething naivety of the decade. After hearing about Esther's biography it was amusing to see her in a role which so strongly defended her sexual innocence!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    That's the saving grace of this film-they saw it coming where principals wouldn't believe their teachers, but would take the part of the students. Of course, there is irony in this film because of the way it turns out who the true culprit is.

    People are being assaulted in a town; a murder results and a teachers begins receiving notes from a student looking for a good time.

    Naturally, love blossoms between Esther Williams, who really shows some depth in acting. Perhaps, it was finally time for Miss Esther to get out of the water and tackle other areas. She does succeed here.

    Edward Andrews, who always was the sneaky, crafty, nasty person in films steals the show as a guy sexually hung-up. No wonder his wife left him. John Saxon makes an interesting appearance as his conflicted son.

    Not a bad film at all.
  • Esther Williams is a hot teacher. So it's natural for her boys to have a crush on her. But to act on it! John Saxon, in his screen debut, is the boy in question. Goerge Nader is the law, who's brought in, when she is coaxed by a series of letters to meet the boy in the boys' locker room at night! In the scuffle, she is shaken up and her clothes a bit torn, and the officer, who is quite taken by her, is out to get the boy, despite the fact she wants to forget the whole thing and put it behind her. He's just a boy! But if you don't punish the behavior, they don't learn, says George Nader. Then there's the question of whether Saxon is the suspect they are looking for in the case of a young girl murdered. Despite the facts that the movie starts out really melodramatic with corny dialogue and that George Nader has practically no screen personality, I got really engrossed in the film. I thought I had heard that this film was really bad. It does have some parts that were overdone or done to extreme, like Edward Andrews' performance as Saxon's father. But, costarring good supporting actors like Jack Albertson and Les Tremayne, the film certainly delivers a punch. '7' is still a little generous, but for pure entertainment and camp value, it sure fits the bill.
  • Laughable melodrama featuring Esther Williams--straying too far from the swimming tank--as a totally innocent music teacher who attracts the unwanted advances of a lustful (and, I would say, psychologically damaged) teenage student (John Saxon, who admirably doesn't go too far with the wild-eyed bit). Saxon would like to teach Esther a thing or two about the birds and the bees, and judging from her complacent demeanor she could probably use it! Worse, when she complains to the boy's father, the snarling wolf sexually harasses her too! Strictly B-grade stuff, although Edward Andrews is impressively creepy as Saxon's father, Williams OK in a fairly hopeless role. Actress Rosalind Russell co-wrote the story, but perhaps was too old to play the lead herself. *1/2 from ****
  • The Unguarded Moment is directed by Harry Keller and adapted to screenplay by Herb Meadow and Larry Marcus from a story by Marcus and Rosalind Russell. It stars Esther Williams, George Nader, John Saxon, Edward Andrews and Les Tremayne. Music is by Herman Stein and cinematography by William H. Daniels.

    Music teacher Lois Conway (Williams) starts receiving notes from a secret admirer, it's merely the start of something that will have severe consequences for all involved.

    It's a little tricky to say exactly what the intentions of the story's creators were for this one. Is it meant to be a sharp observation on sexism, misogynism, some other ism? or maybe just a caustic warning on the dangers that can lurk in teacher/student relations? Whatever the case may be, and it really isn't all together clear, it's a quirky, yet dramatic, trashy slice of entertainment.

    Opening with a wonderfully Hitchcockian type score (Hitch could have done wonders with this material), pic serves us up the dead body of a woman and then thrusts us into the sexually charged atmosphere of an all action college. It's a school where the girls swoon over the jocks and where the main teacher of the tale is one of the sexiest and most beautiful teachers ever! From here there's mysteries to be solved, who is stalking teacher? who is the murderer? is it the same person? and so on.

    Narrative revels in lurid teasings, with the Technicolor photography vividly aiding the cause. Keller's direction is sadly plodding, but he does show a keen eye for shadow play and tension mounting sequences. Perfs are good, especially an out of type Williams in a thankless role, while a brilliantly creepy Andrews steals the show.

    It's all a bit wild and rickety, but I have to say I really liked it. Newcomers will have to roll the dice and take their chances with it. 7/10
  • Although Esther Williams got out of the pool in her first film outside MGM one look at this must have had her longing for her own set with water tank that MGM gave her.

    Esther plays a high school music teacher who starts getting mash notes that are getting more and more explicit. They seem to be coming from a popular jock at her high school played by John Saxon. You'd think this kid could get about any girl in the school, but Saxon has issues, specifically dad issues and dad is played by the self righteous and repressed Edward Andrews.

    Things aren't really handled well in fact the investigating detective who believes Esther is in danger is the only one who really has her back. George Nader is the detective, but he shouldn't have gotten involved with Williams while there was an active case. Not professional behavior, he should have been reprimanded or worse.

    Next to her swim suit spectaculars at MGM, The Unguarded Moment comes off as distinctly second rate. Best in the film by far is Edward Andrews. He will really creep you out.

    Esther's fans might be disappointed.
  • st-shot8 July 2011
    Warning: Spoilers
    As clueless but compassionate high school educator Esther Williams is a fish out of water in this sensationalized hot for teacher drama featuring a variety of lurid fetishes and poor performances. A contemporary of Blackboard Jungle and Rebel without a Cause it finishes dead last in the teen angst genre of its day, setting the bar so low it defies any other glossy flic to limbo under it.

    Attractive Lois Conway (Williams) is a high school boy's daydream and fantasy who begins to get unwanted attention through mash notes and stalking. A woman has been murdered in the generally crime free suburban setting but Conway brazenly agrees to meet her stalker under the football stands at night without back-up. A firm believer in coddling youth she is rewarded by being assaulted. Detective Harry Graham (George Nader) handling the murder case tries to talk some sense into Conway who brusquely ignores his warnings with bullheaded charges back into harm's way.

    It's bad enough Conway spends most of the film displaying the common sense of a teen in a hacker film going into dark places by herself especially with the pedestrian dramatic acting abilities of Ms. Williams. In dry dock and without her signature aquatic acrobatics her performance is one long dive. Nader's detective is just as unemotive as Williams and John Saxon debuting as the latest entry in the new Brando sweepstakes seems to catch what the leads have; lack of conviction. Only Edward Andrews as the restrained at first misogynistic father of Saxon offers a performance of interest. An iconic figure of condescending authority in television and film he's allowed to stretch with a disturbed detachment and runs away with the film.

    Director Charles Kelleher is no Sirk or Ray but he does have William Daniels lensing and there are some excellently lit and photographed evening scenes that build maximum suspense in a film however that can only be enjoyed for the wrong reasons.