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The Million Dollar Mermaid

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The Million Dollar Mermaid

Current Status:
In Season

We gave it a B+

Judging from this spirited memoir by Hollywood’s first aquatic movie star, Esther Williams didn’t know a man — from Johnny Weissmuller, her ”totally amoral” swimming partner in Billy Rose’s Aquacade, to Fernando Lamas, her domineering third husband — who wasn’t mightily well-endowed. But physicality was unavoidable for the athletic Williams, who as a sexually abused teen found safety in swimming. Forthright and affably ribald, Mermaid details her harrowing experiences (usually under the direction of Busby Berkeley) as a human commodity at MGM, where her intelligence navigating the choppy seas of stardom made her a true champion. B+