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Million Dollar Mermaid Blu-ray Review

Mermaid

“Million Dollar Mermaid” is a biopic done right.

In this biopic of the multi-talented Australian swimmer turned stage star Annette Kellerman, the story chronicles her life from childhood to the beginnings of her film career. In this time period, we learn about her bond with her musician father Frederick, her champion swimming contests, her romance with manager/promoter/event organizer Jimmy, her one piece bathing suit brouhaha, and her rise to stardom in the water and on the stage.

Esther Williams carved out quite a unique niche for herself in Hollywood as the aquatic film star. Director Mervyn LeRoy’s “Million Dollar Mermaid” is often cited as Esther’s best work and I can’t argue this claim as this film really suits her talents. Not only is the glamorous star doing fine work portraying an inspiring and fascinating real life figure, but she’s also performing some truly showstopping numbers choreographed by the ever amazing Busby Berkeley. One will be hard pressed not to be mesmerized by the underwater dance ballet and the extravagant and cinematic sequence involving slides, swings and smoke. 

“Million Dollar Mermaid” is also a romantic drama and while I would tend to find that to be the least interesting element in a biopic/musical movie like this, the romantic storyline here works. The chemistry between Esther Williams and Victor Mature (who plays Jimmy) is both convincing and sweet. Everett Freeman deserves credit for the romance being a success too due to his absorbing screenplay. 

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.37:1 1080p. How does it look? An exquisite transfer with stunning Technicolor.

Audio Track: 2.0 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? This track is nothing if not lively.

Extras:
* “Million Dollar Mermaid” theatrical trailer
* A radio drama adaptation.
* A Hanna Barbera Tom and Jerry cartoon titled “Little Quacker.”
* “Vintage Pete Smith Specialty Short: Reducing”- A short film about weight.

July 26, 2020 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , , ,

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