pdf The Million Dollar Mermaid: An AutobiographyAuthor Esther Williams – Vivefutbol.co

interesting ish i didnt finish it although i was terribly interested to read it when i picked it up i got less interested the further into the book i read unfortunately i dont think esther williams was much of a writer she was obviously a way better swimmer than author and perhaps should have stuck to swimming.the book is written in a very jump around, informal speaking fashion, almost like an uneducated person s writings which annoys me asi read it i want it to be worded preoperly and grammatically correct, and it s not.and, there is way too much triviality in it i kept skipping paragraphs of names and dates and who worked for who on what film in which year.i ll probably send it back to the op shop from whence it came i am sure i wont bother to try read it again. This book reminds me why I don t read many autobiographies, which isn t to say that it s bad It s actually fairly likeable I m a sucker for anything having to do with Old Hollywood and you really have to use the caps, I m sorry and the insider scoop is interesting Still, sometimes you get a little weary of the running litany of everything that she knew better than everyone else, all the snap on judgment calls, all the shrewd business moves, the cads she sidestepped on the way to fameall the requisite autobiographical preening Some of the conversations feel a bit scripted, though I suppose when you re reflecting on events and interactions from long ago, you re bound to do a little rewriting of the screenplay of your life Still, if even half of what she says is true, there is than enough to retain a reader s interest Also, one has to give her credit I was only a lukewarm Esther Williams fan before, but now I find myself having a strong desire to go back and watch some of those movies again now that I have an idea of what went into making them Since swimming movies were really a new concept, a lot of innovative camera and makeup techiques were created as a result of the trial and error from filming them, and since very few people could do what she could do she was basically her own stuntwoman and often took her life in her hands to swim pretty as she put it, and carry off some of the elaborate Busby extravaganzas As someone who has a lot of respect for movie history, I have to appreciate that. During Hollywood S Heyday, Big Studios Battled Over The Next Box Office Attraction While Gene Kelly Danced And Judy Garland Sang, Esther Williams Swam Into The Heart Of America With Her Dazzling Smile, Stunning Aquabatics, And Whole Some Appeal Hand Picked For Stardom By Movie Mogul Louis B Mayer, Esther Shed Her Wide Eyed Innocence At What She Affectionately Calls University MGM, A Unique Educational Institution Where Sex Appeal And Glamour Were Taught, A School Where Idols Were Born Once A National Swimming Champion And Struggling Salesgirl, Overnight She Became One Of The Most Bankable Stars In Hollywood And Though Fame Came Quickly, Esther S Personal Life Was Often Less Than Joyous Through Troubled Marriages, Cross Dressing Lovers, Financial Bankruptcy, She Shares The Ups And Downs Of Her Extraordinary Career In The Million Dollar Mermaid, A Wildly Entertaining Behind The Scenes Account Of One Of Tinseltown S Classic Dream Factories What kept me reading were the details about Williams s competitive swimming, the logistics of her underwater choreography, and the gossip of which I believe about 64% What irritated me as I kept reading were many Williams s constant contradictions about herself, MGM, and the world around her she was constantly painting herself as both the victim and the hero of this story, but I didn t feel she had any real self awareness to be either, it was only what suited the anecdote the self important way she continued to place herself her personal struggles and her professional struggles alongside other much famous actresses she really, really needed the reader to know that she kept company with Elizabeth Taylor and Grace Kelly and the dialogue oh, Jesus, the dialogue I don t know whose fault the dialogue was, hers or Digby Diehl s, but their editor should have stepped in and the editor also should have clarified to Williams the definition of ironic But whoever was responsible should be pelted with Crayons because this dialogue is bad Like, bad.And of course autobiographies can be embellished with dialogue, and of course the reader is aware that the dialogue in an autobiography is an approximation who can remember what they said forty years ago I can t remember what I said ten minutes ago seriously But come on, Esther She writes herself these bits of dialogue that are stilted and self aggrandizing, and she always has the last word I actually laughed out loud during some of her bits.I wish she d spent time talking about her work with the Olympics, and I wish she d had than one note the voice she uses to tell the story doesn t give her much of a character arc or any real emotional journey But it s fun to know some of the behind the scenes stuff, and you can laugh at how important she thinks she is but how much of a jerk she is, too I did not feel okay about her Jeff Chandler anecdote , and then be a bit disappointed that she didn t hire a real biographer instead of trying to write this herself. I wouldn t read this if you have any fondness or nostalgia for the golden age of Hollywood, because this book destroys it and pours salt over the ruins Johnny Weissmuller, of Tarzan fame Liked to show off his genitalia and try to repeatedly molest a young Esther when the two of them starred together Her husbands All fine at the first, all uniformly terrible at the end Marlene Dietrech Shocked a young Esther by showing up in the nude Lana Turner Liked to hit herself with a knotted roped and egged her lover to beat her Virtually every male in this book is some form of insufferable prick when they aren t an alcoholic, lothario, or dead The women only fare slightly better.Ordinarily you d really dislike Esther Williams for this, but her life seems so sad that I found I couldn t There are times when I think the real woman comes through, times like when she mourns the brother she loved and who died young Or times when she realizes that she s simply not there to be any kind of real actor instead, she s showing up to be a swimmer, a pin up girl, a star in formulaic movies that are just there to make money There s no shortage of sorrow in her life, and I don t think it s entirely due to Esther s own personality or personal failings.It makes for a depressing read, especially considering Esther s career centered around light, fluffy, mostly happy films I don t think I could really watch the titular film, Million Dollar Mermaid, knowing that it nearly killed her by breaking her neck from a wrong dive Behind all those alluring romantic comedies apparently was a lot of grit, grime, and pain It makes for a depressing read when you re expecting a light one Sometimes you wonder if she would have been happier never even bothering with Hollywood. Esther just died this June, and I always wondered what her backstory was It was interesting I enjoy old classic movies, and I know some of the stories of the stars during the old studio days What I found most interesting was that she didn t get the chance to participate in the Olympics because of Hitler and the war I m glad her talent was captured on film as she pineered water choreograpy and underwater staging Like so many other actors, she was continually surrounded by people that siphoned off her money and took advantage of her Overall, I think she was a good hardworking person, but I m sorry she didn t have a stronger faith to help her make decisions ONe last note I always thought Fernando Lamas was good looking, but now that I know about him I think I ll stick with Davey Jones I haven t read his biography yet. I bought this to read later but the day it came in the mail I started skimming and had a hard time putting it down She tried LSD therapy after reading Cary Grant s praises of it in Life magazine She saw her body as half hers and half her dead brother s and realized she was trying to take his place with her parents She was a young swimmer who couldn t go to the Olympics because they weren t held in 1940 due to W.W.II She started in water shows with Johnnie Weismiller that would be considered attempted rape now, let alone sexual harassment When the movie industry decided to put on some water spectaculars, they came after her She wasn t all that interested in the movies so she drove a hard bargain but eventually relented Four marriages 1 a young medical student who wanted his wife at home, but didn t mind her paying the bills in the meantime 2 the father of her children who liked to play and spend her money 3 Fernando Lamas a complete male chauvinist pig and 4 an executive for Arco who she met while planning the synchronized swimming event for the 1984 Olympics It was an interesting life and later when they had an Ester Williams Day on one of the channels, I watched her movies all day She was right, they were all the same movie with different people playing the same parts with different names. A book that reminded me of an MGM movie name dropping for promotion, rehearsed scripts on a well used theme, juicy gossip All of the photos in the book were staged publicity shots There were no snapshots of her real life, mirroring the way the book was written Just chapters of carefully worded publicity fodder I enjoyed the details of how the swimming sequences of her movies were made, yet I did not appreciate the continuous ramble about how horrible her relationships became over time Esther stalwartly remained in them as the heroine victim, passing off responsibility for all her personal and financial woes to the men whom she allowed to control her Perhaps it was because MGM contracts compelled her to do exactly as they wished, no matter what the price, so the shackles in her mind extended to every aspect of her life I felt sorry for her, that she could not seem to learn anything from the experiences she went through I just didn t like the book 2 stars. What an amazing woman Easily one of the best autobiographies I ve ever read Fascinating insights into that Golden Era of MGM, as well as some of its icons that Esther worked with I had no idea that Gene Kelly was so rude though He was very cruel to her Anyway, I d recommend this book, hands down, to anyone. Esther Williams aside, this book deals extensively with behind the camera M G M, and the horrors of the studio system,including an amazing story of Joan Crawford on an empty soundstage.A different kind of fun is in sharing what two of her husbands had in common.