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Million Dollar Mermaid (1952)

Approved  |   |  Biography, Drama, Musical  |  15 April 1953 (Japan)
6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 830 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 15 critic

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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Airs Sun. Sep. 06, 10:00 PM on TCM

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Title: Million Dollar Mermaid (1952)

Million Dollar Mermaid (1952) on IMDb 6.5/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Annette Kellerman
...
James Sullivan
...
Frederick Kellerman
David Brian ...
Alfred Harper
Donna Corcoran ...
Annette - 10 years old
Jesse White ...
Doc Cronnol
...
Pavlova
...
Aldrich
Charles Watts ...
Policeman
Wilton Graff ...
...
Prosecutor
James Bell ...
Judge
James Flavin ...
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:

M.G.M's Miracle Technicolor Musical! (Million Dollar Mermaid) See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 April 1953 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

A Rainha do Mar  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

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 The 100 Greatest Musicals (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

The Fountain in the Park
(uncredited)
aka "While Strolling Through the Park One Day"
Music by Ed Haley
Played during the Revere Beach scene
See more »

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User Reviews

 
You Know, Being a Million Dollar Mermaid Today Sounds Kinda Cheap
25 November 2014 | by (New Zealand) – See all my reviews

Even though (at the beginning of the story) pretty Esther Williams had to compete with the endearing charm of a cute, boxing kangaroo named Sydney - Soon enough, Million Dollar Mermaid (MDM, for short) became Esther's, and only Esther's, picture. And that's the way it continued to stay, right through to its final, closing credits.

Being a typical glamour production from a 1950's Hollywood, MDM was clearly only a partially accurate account of the life of early-20th Century swimming sensation, Annette Kellerman, who was a native Australian (born in 1886).

Of the half-dozen, or so, Esther Williams' vehicles which I've now seen. MDM was certainly one of the rare ones that used just about any old excuse it could to get our glamorous star into a form-fitting bathing suit and splashing around in the water.

But, whether she was wet or dry, Esther could always be counted on the have a dazzlingly fresh, Pepsodent smile to flash at all of her adoring fans.

It was famed, veteran choreographer, Busby Berkeley (definitely long past his prime) who was responsible for staging the elaborate aqua-musical numbers in MDM.

As the story goes - In the final fantasy sequence, Williams was required to dive off a 115 foot tower into the water below. Having no stand-in to take on such a dangerous stunt as this, Esther, of course, did it herself.

And, as a result, Williams ended up sustaining a fairly serious spinal injury which made it necessary that she wear a body cast for 7 months.

Oh, well - There's no business like show business - Right?

Born in 1921, Esther Williams' career as MGM's prize Aqua-star petered out by the end of the 1950s. In real-life - Williams lived to a ripe, old age of 91.


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