JoelA

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My copy arrived today. I've been through just about every iteration of this film through the years. Watched it on television first, on the big screen, then VHS, Laserdisc and DVD followed and never have I seen Million Dollar Mermaid look as stunning as this. I've only had a chance to spot check so far, but this is an amazing presentation and I felt as though I was watching it for the first time. Prior to this the film had a brownish, muddy look. Not anymore. Now, George Folsey's Oscar nomination for Best Cinematography, Color makes total sense. Another triumph for the WBMPI team.
 
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M90GM

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Another sterling review, Mr. Harris, but, speaking of Australian accents, can you really imagine Walter Pigeon saying to Ms. Williams, "Let's have a brewskie at the barbie, mate"?
Mate I read that Miss Kellerman had wanted an Aussie to play her part. She visited the set and was given final edit of the screenplay by M-G-M although she decribed the finished film as “a namby pamby attempt” to show her life.
Robert Harris' review is a fair and positive assessment of the film which achieved considerable success breaking records (of sorts) at the Music Hall where it was the 1952 Christmas Attraction. Most reviews have been fairly negative and positive only regarding the spectatcular swimming extravaganzas directed by Busby Berkley. Another great Warner Blu ray restoration ...in the midst of many still "strange" blue ray upgrades...Kentucky Kernals? Romance on the High Seas? Cannery Row...not exactly "hits" or in any way 2020 "savvy"....but we do get some special treats like "Waterloo Bridge" just announced ...
 
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lark144

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Mate I read that Miss Kellerman had wanted an Aussie to play her part. She visited the set and was given final edit of the screenplay by M-G-M although she decribed the finished film as “a namby pamby attempt” to show her life.
Robert Harris' review is a fair and positive assessment of the film which achieved considerable success breaking records (of sorts) at the Music Hall where it was the 1952 Christmas Attraction. Most reviews have been fairly negative and positive only regarding the spectatcular swimming extravaganzas directed by Busby Berkley. Another great Warner Blu ray restoration ...in the midst of many still "strange" blue ray upgrades...Kentucky Kernals? Romance on the High Seas? Cannery Row...not exactly "hits" or in any way 2020 "savvy"....but we do get some special treats like "Waterloo Bridge" just announced ...
Yes, if you approach "Million Dollar Mermaid" as a biography of Annette Kellerman, "namby pamby" is a fairly rosy, not to mention kind, assessment. I think that's the reason this film has always been looked down upon historically and critically. I never liked it either, until I watched it late one night on TCM when I couldn't sleep, and to my surprise, found myself loving it. But you have to ignore the historical context of the film.

If you look at it as an MGM Esther Williams vehicle and a Mervyn LeRoy production, it's one of their very best. No, it's not great art, but it has amazing warmth. As an example of the Hollywood dream machine, it's impeccable. And while the character Esther Williams plays has little to do with Ms. Kellerman and almost nothing to do with Australia--it's Culver City all the way--Ms. Williams gives what I consider her best performance; it's warm and human and fairly real, within the context of the fantasy world the film exists in. I also think this is one of Mervyn LeRoy's best later directorial accomplishments at MGM. It's the cinematic equivalent of a triple fudge sundae at the old corner soda shoppe, but within that unreality, there's a humanity as well as a specificity, empathy and yes...artistry, that is genuine. And Warner Archive's Blu-Ray (from the original 3-strip nitrate, no less) brings out all of those attributes in a manner that's spectacular.
 

Matt Hough

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Hard to find many biographies of famous people made in the 1940s and early 1950s that hewed closely to the truth. Kellerman was in good company. Did she think Cole Porter was really like Cary Grant portrayed him in Night and Day? I guess things started getting a little closer to the truth with Somebody Up There Likes Me and Fear Strikes Out, but the world was beginning to change by then, too.
 
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lark144

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You mean Monty Woolley was straight?!!
Monty Wooley was the most authentic aspect of "Night and Day" other than he was 40+ years older than the character he was supposed to be playing. But then, I like the inauthenticty and especially the potluck aspect of the whole enterprise, with all these incompatible actors and styles and ideas thrown togther willy-nilly. It's seriously inept and inapt but in such an over-the top, uncompromising way (which I suspect is Michael Curtiz' contribution) it's fairly entertaining.
 

AnthonyClarke

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Totally innacurate and totally wonderful. I love the very final shot where, Alexis Smith advances towards Cary Grant whose face freezes in a rictus of fear !
And I love the scene where Cary Grant struggles out of his wheelchair and shouts 'I Can walk. I can walk!'. Or am I confusing that with another movie?
 
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lark144

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Totally innacurate and totally wonderful. I love the very final shot where, Alexis Smith advances towards Cary Grant whose face freezes in a rictus of fear !
And I love the scene where Cary Grant struggles out of his wheelchair and shouts 'I Can walk. I can walk!'. Or am I confusing that with another movie?
Yep! That's the movie. I'd forgotten that scene.
 
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B-ROLL

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Bryan
Currently dead today maybe ... but what about tomorrow?
Well ...
Tomorrow's only a day away:D!

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Just don't get this guy to get the brain for you ...
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Sadly, Esther Williams the star of Million Dollar Mermaid is also currently dead! As well as Generalissimo Francisco Franco who is still dead ...
 
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lark144

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James Whale, Cecil B DeMille, the Johns (Ford & Huston) and Alfred Hitchcock might object to that opinion if they were not currently dead ... :rolleyes:
The specific lines and riffs that made Mel Brooks famous (in THE PRODUCERS & BLAZING SADDLES), such as the wheelchair and the barroom brawl were taken from Curtiz' Warners output. The rest came later, when he could anything he wanted.
 

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