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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.

Director:

Mervyn LeRoy

Writer:

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

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Esther Williams ... Annette Kellerman
Victor Mature ... James Sullivan
Walter Pidgeon ... Frederick Kellerman
David Brian ... Alfred Harper
Donna Corcoran ... Annette - 10 years old
Jesse White ... Doc Cronnol
Maria Tallchief ... Pavlova
Howard Freeman ... Aldrich
Charles Watts Charles Watts ... Policeman
Wilton Graff ... Garvey
Frank Ferguson ... Prosecutor
James Bell ... Judge
James Flavin ... Conductor
Willis Bouchey ... 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:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 March 1953 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

One Piece Suit See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Immediately following Esther Williams's entrance in the smoke number, a swimming double is utilized for her precarious slide down toward the water. Upon close inspection, the double can be seen submerging into the water followed by Williams emerging several yards closer to the camera so as to avoid their collision underwater. 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

Referenced in Queer as Folk: Hard Decisions (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

An der schönen, blauen Donau, Op. 314 (On the Beautiful Blue Danube)
(uncredited)
Music by Johann Strauss
Played when Jimmy says he'd be a sucker to make big plans
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Esther Williams swimming in glorious Technicolor can never be a bad thing
16 August 2016 | by utgard14See all my reviews

Entertaining biopic of Annette Kellerman, an Australian swimmer turned vaudeville and early Hollywood star. Esther Williams is a natural fit for the role and does a fine job. Of course, it's an old-school Hollywood biopic so there's more fiction than fact in their telling of Kellerman's story. That sort of thing never really bothers me but it does some so be advised ahead of time this isn't a documentary. Esther is lovely as ever and has some excellent aquatic numbers choreographed by the great Busby Berkeley. A couple of these numbers are classics that every Esther fan will want to see. The rest of the cast, including Walter Pidgeon, Victor Mature, and Jesse White, is solid. The only problems are that the movie is overlong and the romance with Mature is less than exciting. But it's Esther Williams swimming in Technicolor and that definitely needs to be the headline.


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