Film & Water #153 – Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid



This week on The Film & Water Podcast, Rob takes a look at the 1947 comedy/fantasy MR. PEABODY AND THE MERMAID, starring the great William Powell, and who better to join him than Laura von Holt, host of THE MERMAID PODCAST!

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6 responses to “Film & Water #153 – Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid

  1. I expected a super genius, time-travelling dog, but what the hey, this sounds fun. Some serious Universal connections with the director, who played the very creepy Sandor in Dracula’s Daughter, and that famous image of Glenn Strange and Ann Blythe! Some days, it was good to be Frankenstein’s monster.

    I learned more about mermaid lore than I ever thought possible.

    Very fun show!


  2. Here’s a recent interview with Ann Blyth for TCM. She’s one of the great all-time screen villains in Mildred Pierce. Thanks for a fun episode on a film with which I was unfamiliar!

  3. Laura was a great guest, and clearly knows her stuff, when it comes to mermaids. My daughter is more into fairies than mermaids, so I’m less knowledgeable about the latter. As a result, this was a very educational episode for me.

    In the spirit of Universal movie monster team ups, I think they should have done “The Mermaid Meets the Creature from the Black Lagoon.” After leaving Peabody, the Mermaid comes across the Creature, injured after one of his encounters with the surface world. She would nurse him back to health, and the two of them would fall in love. It would be like a classic wartime romance story, only set underwater, and with neither of the main characters being able to speak.

  4. I was thinking I’d seen this, and wondered why you weren’t mentioning the mermaid’s role as the mother in “Mary Poppins.” Turns out I wasn’t thinking of Blyth, but of Glynis in 1948’s “Miranda.” I hope I haven’t been missing opportunities to watch this movie thinking I’d already seen it. The beer. …er, film that made Weeki Wachee famous!

  5. After listening to this podcast, I found the movie on YouTube. My 14 year old decided would watch with me. She went to a mermaid camp a few years back so she was familiar with the swimming style Laura was talking about and pointed out some of them to me during the underwater scenes.
    Being a lot closer to 50 than I like to admit, I did think William Powell did a good job portraying a man hitting this milestone. I’ve always been a big fan of his, especially in the Thin Man movies. Because of all the talk about ages, my daughter kept asking how old the characters were. Like Rob mentioned, William Powell was actually 56 when this movie came out. Irene Hervey (Mrs. Peabody) was 39, and Ann Blyth (the mermaid) turned 20 the year the movie was released. I guess the tradition of pairing much younger actresses with the leading man has been going on for quite a while.
    I have to say, in my opinion, the funniest scene had to be when Colonel Mandrake and went to ‘raid’ the house to investigate Mrs. Peabody’s disappearance. He didn’t answer the knock? Let’s go back and think about our next course of action. That made me laugh out loud.
    Rob, I know you are a fan of old time radio shows. I just read on IMDB that Lux Radio Theater did an adaptation of this movie in 1948 with William Powell reprising the role. I will have to see if a recording of that episode is online.

  6. I used to comb the tv guide for anything remotely resembling fantasy or sci-fi content. That’s how I first encountered Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid. I remember being really excited to watch it and then promptly confused. It created vague memories for me and I’ve only remembered pictures from it all these years—The rocky outcroppings where Peabody found the mermaid, images of the mermaid swimming in the pool, and the trip to the department store. Over a year ago I discovered it was available in its entirety on YouTube. I reminded myself to watch it again, but never did. Needless to say, I was SUPER excited to see this obscurity from my childhood had managed to become the subject of a Film and Water Podcast. I really enjoyed your discussion of this film! I can’t tell if I want to watch the movie again or make a fan art piece. Or both. Or neither. Haha. Thanks for the trip down memory lane either way!

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