Friday, September 2, 2011

Mermaids, telling their very charming "tails".

Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid (1948). Directed by Irving Pichel. Cast: William Powell, Ann Blyth, Irene Hervey and Andrea King.

After Arthur, has fallen in love with a mermaid, that he caught in the Caribbean, Arthur's wife takes him to see the doctor and he tells him his story:

Arthur and Polly, head out for their vacation on a beautiful island resort, when Polly reminds him that he is turning fifty soon. Not wanting to think about it Arthur, decides to go for a walk, and that is when he hears singing coming from a deserted key. He takes a boat over to investigate and while hiking, he finds a woman's comb.

The next day, while fishing from his boat, Arthur feels something tugging on his line, and after a huge struggle, reels in a beautiful mermaid. He then carries the mermaid up to his hotel room and puts her in a bathtub full of water.

When Polly returns, she smells her perfume and confronts her husband who tells her his unbelievable story about a mermaid. When she sees the mermaid's tail in the bubble bath, she tells Arthur to get rid of the "fish." Arthur, does not want to take the mermaid, who he calls Lenore, back to the ocean, especially.. after he teaches her how to kiss. Arthur, releases Lenore into the resorts large fishpond.

Lenore's beautiful song lures Arthur back to the fishpond, when Polly sees her husband with another woman, she packs her bags and leaves. A week later, Polly's car is found near the beach, and Hadley tells everyone that he suspects Arthur has murdered his wife and the police are called. Arthur takes Lenore back to the key and tells her that he plans to go away with her. Just then, the police find Arthur and take him aboard their boat, and Mike tells him that Polly is safe back in Boston. When, Lenore's singing is heard by everyone, Arthur jumps overboard, into Lenore's arms and she nearly drowns him.

 Back in Boston, Dr. Harvey advises Arthur not to tell his story to anyone who has not yet turned fifty, and shares his own hallucinatory story when reaching 50. Later, Arthur gives Polly the comb he found on the key.

Powell, is always wonderful in comedy films. He steals the film, along with Blyth, who never speaks a word, but does some very beautiful underwater swimming, including a water ballet that would make even Esther Williams jealous. :)

Ann Marie Blyth (born August 16, 1928). Her first acting role was on Broadway in, Watch on the Rhine (from 1941 until 1942). She was signed to a contract with Universal Studios, and made her film debut in, Chip Off the Old Block(1944). In musical films: Babes on Swing Street, Bowery to Broadway (both 1944).

On loan to Warner Brothers, Blyth was cast against type as Veda Pierce, the scheming, ungrateful daughter of Joan Crawford in the film, Mildred Pierce(1945). Her dramatic portrayal won her outstanding reviews and she received a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

She played the part of Regina Hubbard in Another Part of the Forest, and she also performed playing a mermaid in Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid. Her other films include: Our Very Own, The Great Caruso, One Minute to Zero, The World in His Arms, Rose Marie, The Student Prince, Kismet, The Buster Keaton Story, and The Helen Morgan Story.

Beach Blanket Bingo(1965). In the fourth of the Frankie and Annette beach party movies, a motorcycle gang led by Eric Von Zipper kidnaps singing star Sugar Kane managed by Bullets, who hires sky-diving surfers Steve and Bonnie for a publicity stunt. With the usual gang and a mermaid named Lorelei. The mermaid sub-plot featuring Marta Kristen, who falls in love with Jody McCrea, maybe the best part of the movie.

Marta Kristen (born February 26, 1945). Her first success in acting was the role of Lorelei in the movie, Beach Blanket Bingo(1965). She would later star in, Lost in Space. When her daughter was born in 1969 she began making television commercials and appeared in more than 40. In recent years she has starred in the 1998 television movie, Lost in Space Forever and had a cameo role in the 1998 movie Lost in Space. She also appeared in the A and E Biography Jonathan Harris, Never Fear Smith Is Here in 2002.

Miranda (1948). Directed by Ralph Thomas. Cast: Glynis Johns, Donald Sinden, Anne Crawford and Margaret Rutherford.   A light comedy, the film is about a beautiful and playful mermaid played by Glynis Johns and her effect on Griffith Jones. Googie Withers and Margaret Rutherford are also featured in the film.
Please click here to view Miranda movie review.

Mad About Men(1954). Mermaid Miranda, swaps places with her human cousin, Caroline, when Caroline goes on vacation. Caroline, who is a schoolteacher, "looks likes" Miranda, so it is easy for Miranda to take her place. Caroline is engaged to be married but, Miranda does not like Caroline's fiance. When Miranda falls in love, she breaks off Caroline's engagement and has Caroline engaged to the man who she, is in love with.

A woman who wants to expose that Miranda is a mermaid, arranges for Caroline to sing at a concert. Caroline reads about the concert and rushes back to take the place of Miranda. Unfortunately, their singing voices are not the same.

Glynis Johns (born 5 October 1923), made her first stage performance in Buckie’s Bears as a child ballerina in 1935. She made her 1938 film debut in the movie, South Riding. In 1944, she performed with her father in, Halfway House, and in 1948 starred as a mermaid in Miranda (Johns later reprised the role in a 1954 sequel, Mad About Men). In 1952, she co-starred in the movie, The Card. She made a successful transition to Hollywood, performing in, Personal Affair (1953) starring Gene Tierney and in, The Court Jester (1956) as Danny Kaye's love interest. The following year, she starred in the Christmas film, All Mine to Give. Johns received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress for the 1960 film, The Sundowners. One of her best known film roles was that of Winifred Banks, the children's mother,  in Mary Poppins (1964). Her last film performance was in the 1999 film, Superstar.


  1. Oh, Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid is on TCM later today, and I have it scheduled on the DVR. It sounds adorable.

    I used to watch those Frankie Avalon/Annette Funnicello beach movies all the time when I was a little kid. I haven't seen one in years, but just thinking of them, brings back memories of my childhood home.

    Have a wonderful day, Dawn!

  2. Oh! Great angle for a post!! And: I am in love with Glynis Johns! Such a lovely lady..

  3. I'm so excited about Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid! I've never seen it before, it was on youtube but they took it off.
    This is such a great post. Love Glynis Johns too and her mermaid movie is great.

  4. Dawn, that has to be your best article title ever! Funny! My gosh, Ann Blyth makes me mad in that costume. Her whole lower torso is in there -- it might fit one of my legs! Ack! This was very enjoyable -- mermaids are a legend that has always intrigued me, the way they are portrayed with the flowing hair and of course those gorgeous fish fins, usually in sequins!

  5. Watched "Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid" for the first time today. Unusual & very enjoyable. Wm. Powell never disappoints. Ann Blyth was adorable as the mute mermaid and Irene Harvey did nicely as Polly Peabody. I was curious where the scene in which Mr. Peabody tries to buy half a bathing suit for Lenore was going - of course, the late '40s was a more innocent time - very amusing.

  6. Patti, Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid, is my favorite mermaid movie. William Powell and Ann Blyth, make very charming couple.

    Avalon and Annette, were always fun to watch and I always try to catch them whenever TCM has them on..

    Irene Palfy, Thank you, I think it is wonderful that, Glynis Johns, is in two mermaid movies.. I hope you get a chance to see all the mermaid movies.

    Jessica P, Thank you, I'm going to look to see
    if "Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid" are on DVD. I would love to have my own copy for my own DVD collection.

    ClassicBecky, Thank you, I always try and keep the titles of my posts simple, so they are easier to find. I agree.. Anne Blyth, looked amazing wearing her mermaid costume.

    The Lady Eve, I'm so glad that you were able to watch, "Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid" on TCM. Wm. Powell, is such a great actor, I don't think he has ever given a bad performance. It sounds like you enjoyed watching the film as much as I did..

  7. Dawn, you may have been going for 'simple' on your title, but I meant that is struck me as very clever and funny!

  8. Becky, Thank you for the wonderful complement. I think I miss spoke.. I usually try and keep it simple. This time... I just could not be stopped. :)


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