6.6/10
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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

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
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

According to contemporary stories in the Los Angeles Times and Australian newspapers, director Mervyn LeRoy met with Kellerman to discuss producing a sequel to this film that would cover her career in movies and her work with the Red Cross during WWII, but no such film was made. 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 To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

London Bridge Is Falling Down
(uncredited)
Traditional
Played at the Christmas party
See more »

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User Reviews

 
It Could Have Been Better If It Had Stuck To The True Story
24 June 2015 | by atlasmbSee all my reviews

This is another Esther Williams film where her character meets a male promoter who wants to make money off her talents. But this one is based upon a true story--the story of Annette Kellerman, the Australian swimming champion who parlayed her athletic abilities and physical beauty into a career in entertainment.

Unfortunately, this version of her story contains numerous digressions from the truth in the name of dramatization. The real story would have been interesting enough.

Once Annette gets on the publicity radar, she becomes a sideshow act featuring her swimming and diving. Then she becomes a feature act at New York's Hippodrome. Eventually, she stars in silent films.

This film is praised for its Technicolor. Esther does her usually solid job of acting and swimming. Victor Mature plays her promoter/husband with an oily charm befitting a sideshow promoter, but the real Annette's husband was probably nothing like that.


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