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
Wonderful film exhibiting the talents of Esther Williams portraying swimming Annette Kellerman at the turn of the 20th century.
The water sequences were never lovelier and the story of Kellerman, who overcame adversity as a young child, was remarkable.
Victor Mature is in fine form as her promoter and eventual lover, Frank Sullivan. Jesse White brings his comic relief as Sullivan's side-kick and Walter Pidgeon is endearing as her father.
Coming from Australia to star in the Hippidrome and other features, Kellerman exhibited outstanding talent in her swimming career while at the same time trying to maintain her dream of being a ballerina. Ballet star Maria Tallchief brief appears as the legendary Pavlova in the film.
When professional differences end her romance with Sullivan, Kellerman really makes it on her own thanks to the help of David Brian, as the head of the Hippidrome.
While the tragic accident she had while making "Neptune's Daughter" in Hollywood almost cost her her life, it brings on a wonderful moving ending.
This is a highly entertaining film.
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