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
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 »
Pretty, but one can get some false impressions from seeing it
This film is very interesting and expensively mounted. I recommend it with a few caveats. For instance, the water ballets could not have looked the way they looked in the film because they simply did not have the electrical devices necessary in the 1910s and 1920s to create these effects. They did in the 1950s, of course.
Secondly, Annette's former flame, Mr. Sullivan, was not the guy who raised and trained Rin-Tin-Tin and got him started in Hollywood. For the life of me, I cannot understand why this was in the film. Lee Duncan, a former Army airman, was Rinty's owner and trainer, and as far as I know he had no connection to Annette. I don't know why 1950s biographical film had the tendency to do this sort of thing, but it is very common.
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