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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
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 »
Excellent Esther Williams film is biography of Annette Kellerman...
Annette Kellerman was an Australian swimming star who created a scandal in 1902 by introducing the one-piece bathing suit at a public beach. Her rise from obscurity is chronicled here, after a bout with a childhood illness that left her crippled for awhile. America's swimming sweetheart Esther Williams was the obvious choice to play the champion swimmer and she does a fine job. She gets solid support from Victor Mature as a cocky promoter with Walter Pidgeon and David Brian in good supporting roles.
The main ingredients are the swimming numbers--and the highlight is the acquacade spectacular choreographed by none other than Busby Berkeley. With exceptional color photography, good script and more than competent performances, this one is a winner.
Victor Mature has a colorful performance as the cocky promoter.
As for Esther Williams, it's easy to see why she was a top box-office draw at MGM during the '40s and '50s.
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