6.6/10
949
18 user 14 critic

Million Dollar Mermaid (1952)

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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(screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Annette Kellerman
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James Sullivan
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Frederick Kellerman
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Alfred Harper
...
Annette - 10 years old
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Doc Cronnol
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Pavlova
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Aldrich
Charles Watts ...
Policeman
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Garvey
...
Prosecutor
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Judge
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Conductor
...
Director
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 March 1953 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

A Rainha do Mar  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

An excerpt from this film appears in The Tender Trap (1955), starring Debbie Reynolds and Frank Sinatra. When Reynolds is trying to avoid necking with Sinatra, she turns on the TV and they watch a scene of the movie in which Esther Williams and Victor Mature swim and kiss. The film excerpt does nothing to dissuade Sinatra's urge to smooch. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Connections

Featured in That's Entertainment, Part II (1976) See more »

Soundtracks

The Washington Post
(uncredited)
Music by John Philip Sousa
Played as carnival music for the ninth week of the show
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User Reviews

 
Million Dollar Mermaid A ****Honey
18 February 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

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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