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Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid

Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid(1948)


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After Polly Peabody tells a skeptical Dr. Harvey that her husband Arthur has fallen in love with a mermaid that he caught in the Caribbean, Arthur joins the doctor for a private consultation and describes what happens: Arthur and Polly leave their home in Boston for a winter vacation at an island resort, and Polly stuns her husband, who has been recuperating from a lengthy bout of the flu, by reminding him that he is turning fifty the following week. Arthur wanders the grounds, depressed over his age, and hears singing coming from a distant key. He takes a boat to the deserted key and while climbing the rocks, finds a woman's comb. Later, at a beach party, Arthur meets Mike Fitzgerald, press agent for the resort, who introduces him to singer Cathy Livingston. Eager to know if hers was the haunting voice he heard earlier, he asks Cathy to sing for him, and her seductive behavior arouses Polly's jealousy. The next day, while fishing from his boat, Arthur feels something powerful tugging at his line, and after a mighty struggle, reels in a beautiful mermaid. He carries the creature up to his hotel room and puts her in a bathtub full of water. When Polly returns from shopping, she smells her perfume wafting out from the bathroom and confronts her husband, scoffing at his story about a mermaid. She enters the bathroom but sees only the mermaid's tail poking through the bubbles in the tub and orders Arthur to get rid of the "fish." However, Arthur cannot bring himself to return the silent mermaid, whom he names Lenore, to the ocean, and after he teaches her how to kiss, Arthur accidentally releases Lenore into the resort's large fishpond. The following morning, Arthur goes to a boutique and buys the top half of several bathing suits, which he brings to the love-struck mermaid. Arthur is greatly pleased to be the object of the simple creature's adoration, and happy that his age means nothing to her. Later that night, Polly implores Arthur to break off all contact with Cathy, promising to end her friendship with suave Englishman Major Ronald Hadley in exchange. Lenore's siren song soon lures Arthur back to the pond, however, and when Polly sees her husband embracing a woman, she angrily packs her bags and leaves. A week later, Polly's car is found near the beach, and Hadley tells Colonel Mandrake and Mike that he suspects Arthur has murdered her. Mike tells Arthur that rumors about the mermaid have been printed in the gossip column of a Miami paper, and Arthur admits that he is in love with Lenore. Mike reports everything to Hadley and Mandrake, and the police are dispatched at once. Arthur takes Lenore back to the key and tells her that he plans to run away with her. Just then, the police reach the key and take Arthur aboard their boat, and Mike tells him that Polly is back in Boston with their child. Lenore's singing is heard by all of the men, and when Arthur jumps overboard, Lenore pulls him into a passionate underwater embrace and 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 a story about his own hallucinatory reaction to reaching that age. Later, Arthur gives Polly the comb he found on the key, and the couple makes plans for a romantic evening together.