Athena (1954): Thorpe’s Romantic Musical Comedy, Starring Jane Powell and Debbie Reynolds

MGM contract director Richard Thorpe directed Athena, a B-level romantic musical comedy, starring Jane Powell, Edmund Purdom, and Debbie Reynolds.

The film tells the story of an old-fashioned conservative lawyer who falls in love with a daughter of a fitness fanatic family.

Attorney Adam Calhorn Shaw (Edmund Purdom), who hopes to be elected to office, like his father and his grandfather, is engaged to sophisticated society lady Beth Hallson (Linda Christian).

Arriving at a nursery to complain about the peach trees he had previously purchased, Adam meets the energetic Athena Mulvain (Jane Powell), the oldest of seven sisters in a family of vegetarians who follow astrology and numerology.

After offering him advice, Athen announces her intention to marry Adam, and also decides, based numerological calculation, that Adam’s friend Johnny Nyle (Vic Damone) would be perfect for her sister, Minerva (Debbie Reynolds).

Despite the bizarre ways of the family, and although Adam initially tries to resist Athena, he eventually succumbs to her charms, and breaks up with Beth.

Jane Powell as Athena Mulvain
Edmund Purdom as Adam Calhorn Shaw
Debbie Reynolds as Minerva Mulvain
Vic Damone as Johnny Nyle
Louis Calhern as Ulysses Mulvain
Linda Christian as Beth Hallson
Evelyn Varden as Salome Mulvain
Ray Collins as Mr Tremaine
Carl Benton Reid as Mr Griswalde
Howard Wendell as Mr Grenville
Virginia Gibson as Niobe
Henry Nakamura as Roy
Nancy Kilgas as Aphrodite
Dolores Starr as Calliope
Jane Fischer as Medea
Cecile Rogers as Ceres
Kathleen Freeman as Miss Seely
Steve Reeves as Ed Perkins


TCM showed the movie on June 8, 2020.