- SKU: 28619275
- Release Date: 08/04/2015
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Ratings & Reviews
Who else but Esther Williams could star in a romantic drama (with musical numbers) bearing a title like this? In Million Dollar Mermaid, Williams plays Annette Kellerman, a real-life Australian swimming star who took up the sport as a child to strengthen her legs, which were severely weakened by a birth defect. The treatment proves effective, and as she grows to adulthood, Annette shows that she has the talent to be a champion swimmer, though she prefers to follow her dream of becoming a ballet dancer. When Annette's father Frederick (Walter Pidgeon) accepts a position in London teaching music, Annette opts to go with him, and along the way she meets James Sullivan (Victor Mature) and Doc Cronnol (Jesse White), the joint-owners of a boxing kangaroo they intend to exhibit in London. James is already aware of Annette's abilities as a competitive swimmer, and he offers to be her manager and help her earn a living from her aquatic skills. At first Annette isn't interested, but when Frederick's job falls through and she can't find work as a dancer, Annette reluctantly agrees to work with James. He arranges a publicity stunt in which Annette swims 30 miles down the Thames River, which attracts the avid attention of the British press and wins her some work as a dancer. Convinced that the big money is in America, James persuades Annette to travel with him to the U.S., where she creates a scandal in Boston by staging another long swim in a one-piece bathing suit, considered shockingly-revealing at the turn of the Century. The stunt nearly lands Annette in jail, but she escapes the long arm of the law and becomes the star of a water ballet revue. Annette had fallen in love with James, but after an argument, he resigns as her manager and Annette takes up with Alfred Harper (David Brian), the male lead in her show. Annette and Alfred agree to marry while working on a movie together, but James returns on the last day of shooting, determined to win back the heart of the woman he loves. Legendary choreographer Busby Berkeley staged the film's elaborate water-ballet sequences. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
Esther Williams moves from the swimming pool to the bull ring in this musical drama. Antonio Morales (Fortunio Bonanova) was once a champion bullfighter; now in retirement, Antonio and his wife (Mary Astor) have high hopes that their son Mario (Ricardo Montalban) will follow in his father's footsteps as a matador. However, Mario's great passion is music, and he longs to pursue a career as a composer. But there is a budding toreador in the family: Mario's sister Maria (Esther Williams), who has learned the basics of bullfighting from her sibling. Not wanting to be thought a coward, but with no desire to enter the ring, Mario allows Maria to disguise herself as him and take his place in the bullring, allowing her to compete in a traditionally male sport while Mario devotes his time to his music. Fiesta gave Ricardo Montalban his first English-speaking role, with Cyd Charisse appearing as Conchita, his love interest and dancing partner. Classical music buffs might notice that Mario's composition "Fantasia Mexican" is actually Aaron Copland's "El Salon Mexico." ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
Pagan Love Song
Pagan Love Song derives its title from a 1929 tune written by Arthur Freed and Nacio Herb Brown. The plot is cut from the same cloth as MGM's previous Esther Williams musicals. Sporting a black wig and deep tan, Williams plays American lass Mimi Bennett, who while on vacation in the South Seas is mistaken for a native girl by visiting schoolteacher Hazard Endicott (Howard Keel). Instantly falling in love with Mimi, Hazard attempts to court her according to Tahitian traditions. And that's about it for the plot; the rest of the film consists of Esther Williams swimming and Howard Keel singing. Based on the novel Tahiti Landfall by William S. Stone, Pagan Love Song was to have been directed by Stanley Donen, but Williams vetoed Donen in favor of Robert Alton. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Thrill of a Romance
This aquatic musical is set at a mountain resort in the beautiful Sierra Nevadas where a heroic Army Air Corpsman has come for a vacation. There he falls in love with the lovely swimming instructor, who is unfortunately newly married to a rather stodgy businessman. The mayhem begins when her new husband is called to Washington on urgent business. Songs include: "Please Don't Say No, Say Maybe," "I Should Care," "Lonely Night," "Vive L'Amour," "Schubert's Serenade" and "The Thrill Of A Romance." ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi
Cast & Crew
- Esther Williams - Annette Kellerman
- Victor Mature - James Sullivan
- Walter Pidgeon - Frederick Kellerman
- David Brian - Alfred Harper
- Donna Corcoran - Annette Kellermann (younger)
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