6.6/10
1,056
18 user 14 critic

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.

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(screenplay)
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On TV

Airs Fri. Jun. 22, 1:15 AM on TCM

ON DISC
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Annette Kellerman
... James Sullivan
... Frederick Kellerman
... Alfred Harper
... Annette - 10 years old
... Doc Cronnol
... Pavlova
... Aldrich
Charles Watts ... Policeman
... Garvey
... Prosecutor
... Judge
... 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:

Inspired by the true story of bathing beauties! (Million Dollar Mermaid) See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 March 1953 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

One Piece Suit  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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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

References Neptune's Daughter (1949) See more »

Soundtracks

The Washington Post
(uncredited)
Music by John Philip Sousa
Played as carnival music for the ninth week of the show
See more »

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User Reviews

Pretty, but one can get some false impressions from seeing it
28 July 2005 | by See all my reviews

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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