Million Dollar Mermaid (1952)

Approved  |   |  Biography, Drama, Musical  |  15 April 1953 (Japan)
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Biopic of Australian swimming champ and entertainer Annette Kellerman. After overcoming polio, Kellerman achieves fame and creates a scandal when her one-piece bathing suit is considered indecent.



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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
Annette Kellerman
James Sullivan
Frederick Kellerman
Alfred Harper
Donna Corcoran ...
Annette - 10 years old
Jesse White ...
Doc Cronnol
Charles Watts ...
Wilton Graff ...
James Bell ...
James Flavin ...


Million Dollar Mermaid tells the story of Australian swimming sensation Annette Kellerman, who overcame childhood polio to go on and achieve fame as a professional swimmer and film star in the early decades of the 20th century. At the same time, she scandalized the world by wearing a one-piece bathing suit on public beaches long before the style was accepted in polite company, and made waves in other ways as well. The story was a perfect vehicle decades later to showcase the star quality of Esther Williams in the 1950s, and Kellerman's moniker was picked up by Life Magazine when it named Ms. Williams the "Million Dollar Mermaid" herself. Written by Tedosan

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Inspired by the true story of bathing beauties! (Million Dollar Mermaid) See more »


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

15 April 1953 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

A Rainha do Mar  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


In an interview Esther Williams said that she met and spoke with Annette Kellerman before filming began while attempting to get Kellerman's approval of Williams in the lead role. After the meeting Kellerman gave her complete approval and said she was pleased with the casting choice. See more »


Annette Kellerman (Esther Williams) tells the judge that her swimsuit "will cover the entire body except the *forearms* and the head." However, the swimsuit she exhibits in court and which she wears in the following scenes does not cover *any part of her arms*. See more »


Featured in That's Entertainment! III (1994) See more »


Music by François-Joseph Gossec
Played while Young Annette watches the girls dance on the lawn
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User Reviews

Esther Williams, doing her thing
2 September 2015 | by (Houston) – See all my reviews

A nice color film of a certain age. The plot is formula melodrama, but so were most dramas of the day. In this world of Meryl Streeps, it was interesting that the filmmakers made absolutely no effort at Australian or English accents in spite of the characters, or the settings. It seems that many liberties were taken with the story of Annette Kellerman, the Aussie swimming phenom, who became the first real international swimming star. Esther Williams, who owned swimming in Hollywood in those days was very good, her acting thoroughly credible, and her theatrical swimming unparalleled. Victor Mature and Walter Pidgeon round out the cast.

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