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Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid

Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid title card

Year - 1948
Studio - Universal Studios
Stars - William Powell, Ann Blyth, Irene Hervey, Andrea King, Clinton Sundberg, Art Smith, Hugh French, Lumsden Hare, Fred Clark
Director - Irving Pichel
Writing Credits - Guy Jones, Constance Jones
Music - Robert Emmett Dolan


Arthur Peabody (William Powell) is taken to a psychiatrist by his wife Polly (Irene Hervey), because he is in love with a mermaid. Arthur tells the doctor his story, in flashback, about his vacation trip to the Caribbean with Polly, to help him mentally adjust to turning age 50.

Hearing the sound of a haunting female voice in song, he takes a small sailboat to a nearby island, where he finds an ornate piece of jewelry. Later, fishing from his boat in the bay, he gets a strong "bite" and struggles to reel the catch in. When he gets it on the boat, it turns out to be a mermaid (Ann Blyth). She wears the jewelry that he had previously found, in her hair. Arthur excitedly takes her back to his hotel room and puts her in the bathtub. When his wife arrives, she sees only the tail emerging from the bubble bath, and orders Arthur to take his "fish" out of their room. He puts her in the hotel pond where exotic fish are kept.

Mr Peabody and the Mermaid poster

There, Arthur periodically visits his mermaid, who he gives the name of "Lenore", and finds himself enchanted by the silent beauty. Seeing them embrace from her hotel room balcony, Polly believes he is having an affair with another woman, and she angrily drives off. After her empty car is found by the local police, they suspect that Arthur has murdered his wife. Their investigation reveals that Polly has gone to stay with friends, but they have heard rumors about Arthur's "visitor". He is fearful that they will discover Lenore, so he takes her back to the safety of the Island.

The pursuing police arrive on the island, and take Arthur back on their boat. As they are returning to the mainland on the fog shrouded water, Arthur hears Lenore's mournful singing, and he dives into the icy waters. Lenore swims to him and saves him from drowning.

Arthur finishes telling the psychiatrist his story, explaining that he was hospitalized for three days after the incident. The doctor tells him that the entire event was a hallucination, brought on by Arthur's trauma of turning age 50.

Later, Arthur tells Polly that he is now "cured" of his hallucinations, and he gives her a gift. It is the jewelry that Lenore had worn in her hair.

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