Million Dollar Mermaid

Synopsis: 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.
Director(s): Mervyn LeRoy
Production: MGM
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination.
115 min

This is lovely city harbor

in the year 1900,

when the Australia

was still thought of

by the rest of the world

as the home

of the bush and boomerang.

But with the

growing town of Sydney,

culture had moved in.

And the sounds of those

three famous B's

Bach, Brahms and Beethoven,

were being

heard here in the land.

Mozart is very quiet

and you hear, isn't it?

Oh-ho, Daddy.

Baby, you mustn't

be envious of the others.

I know how much

you would like to be out there

playing and dancing,

but music can be a source

of happiness, too.

It's given me great happiness.

Yes, Daddy.

That's my girl.

No. C-shape, Mr. Kramer. C-sharp.

Mr. Kellerman, Annette is gone.

she has disappeared again.

But I just left her upstairs.

Excuse me, Mr. Kramer, will you?

I can't understand.

Where the world

is that child wandered?

Mr. Kellerman, I can not

look out after her every minute

and take care of the house

at the same time.

I have my chores...

Mary, please,

I'm not blaming you.

Tell Mr. Kramer

I'll be back shortly.

I'm going to find out once and

for all where that child goes.




Annette, what are you doing?

Hello, Daddy.


you come right back here.

Come right back here.

Annette, my baby.

In heaven's name,

whatever possess you?

You might have drowned.

I can't drown, Daddy.

And why not?

Because I've learned to swim.

Is this where you've been

coming everyday?


Darling, I've got to be

very cross with you.

You know what the doctors said,

that your legs would never

be strong enough for...

for what other children do.

But my legs are strong.

The strongest ever since

I've been sick.

I can even walk better

and without my braces. Watch.

Swimming can't hurt me.

How can anything hurt

when it makes you feel so good.

Please let me come back here

and swim again.

Darling, we'll come back here

and swim everyday.

By your victory today,

Miss Kellerman,

you attain permanent

possession of this trophy.

Emblematic of the amateur

freestyle championship

of New South Wales.

Thank you.

This is getting to

be a habit, Annette.

What are you

going to do with all these cups?

They're crowding Dad

right out of his study.

This is a blow to us,

Mr. Kellerman.

I knew you'd understand.

Only too well, Mrs. Grays.

This financial crisis

has affected all of us.

I hope that John won't have to

give up his music permanently.

I hope not. Good bye.

Good bye, Mr. Kellerman.

Good bye.

Good bye. Good luck.

Dad? Look.

The amateur championship.

Permanent possession.

Wonderful, darling.

I'm so proud of you.

Yeah, why does it

always have to be a cup?

We could use a new key service.

I'll fix some tea.

Would you like some?

No, I don't think so. Thank you.

Annette, I'm closing

the conservatory.

The few pupils

we have left hardly pay expenses.


No... We're not charity cases yet.

I wrote my old friend,

Thomas Crocker of

Crocker Conservatory in London.

He has offered me a post

as his assistant.

It's a big move for all of us,

but I know there are times

when we have to make decisions.

This is the biggest

decision of my life.

Dad, if it's money,

you don't have to.

I could teach swimming

or maybe even turn professional.

There were nearly a thousand

people there at the place...

Darling, swimming is your hobby

and I want it

to remain just that.

It has blessed you with good

health and this I'm grateful.

But as a career, no,

your music and ballet come first.

London will give you the chance

to go on with your studies.

It may be the best thing

for both of us.

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