Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid

Synopsis: As told to a psychiatrist: Mr. Peabody, middle-aged Bostonian on vacation with his wife in the Caribbean, hears mysterious, wordless singing on an uninhabited rock in the bay. Fishing in the vicinity, he catches...a mermaid. He takes her home and, though she has no spoken language, falls in love with her. Of course, his wife won't believe that thing in the bathtub is anything but a large fish. Predictable complications follow in rather tame fashion.
Director(s): Irving Pichel
Production: Universal
89 min


- Doctor.

- Now, just be easy, now.

Take your time.

Let's not worry too quickly.

- My husband...

- Yes?

- My husband's in love.

- Of course.

With a mermaid.

- I beg your pardon.

- Mermaid, M-e-r...

I can spell, thank you.

A mermaid, eh?

A blonde, I believe.

And when you say mermaid,

you mean, I take it, a sort of fish?

Only half, the other half,

I understand, is quite human.

Oh, yes, of course.

He caught her of the Island of St. Hilda's

in the British West Indies

shortly after we arrived there in November.

And since then... a whole woman

I could understand, I suppose, but...

Did you ever see this creature yourself?

- Only her tail.

- You saw her tail?

In the bathtub once.

- The mermaid was taking a bath?

- A bubble bath.

If you'll pardon me, Mrs. Peabody, which of

you is the subject of this consultation,

your husband or yourself?

Why, Mr. Peabody, of course!

Ah, yes, of course, I just wanted

to make sure, that's all.

- Which one is he?

- Directly opposite...

the tall, gloomy one.

What's the matter with him, Mommy,

is he crazy?

Sh, Darling!

How did he say he got

mixed up with this... thing?

He caught her in the bay.

Oh, really! Casting or trolling?

- Trolling, he says, with light tackle.

- How light?

- A twelve thread line.

- What did she weigh?

I'm sorry, I never weighed her.

Well, if she ran over a hundred pounds,

that sounds like very good fishing to me.

- May I?

- The one in the blue Cheviot.

- Did she give him much of a fight?

- Neither then nor since, apparently.

But, look at his eyes,

I bet he IS crazy.

Madam, unless that child is

a qualified psychiatrist

I'll thank him to keep

his opinions to himself.

Mr. Peabody.

Darling, this is Dr. Harvey.

- How do you do?

- How do you...

- Oh... how do you do?

- Well...

Well, what does he want to do? Operate?

Oh! He just wants to

talk to you, Dear, about Lee.

- Her name was Lenore.

- Lenore.


- Well, I'll wait outside.

- No, not out there, that's a human zoo.

Ya know, I think it'd be better if you

went back to the hotel and waited.

All right, goodbye, Doctor, and thank you.


- Goodbye, Dear.

- Goodbye.

Will you sit down?

Thank you.

Well, now, let's get this

straight at once, Doctor,

I'm quite willing to tell you everything that

happened, because Mrs. Peabody wishes me to.

But I'm not a Looney, and I'm not interested

in any opinion you may form on that subject.

I understand.

If you want to hear the story

on that condition, very well, if not...

Is it right, you caught

her on a 12 thread line?

- You fish?

- Some.

Well, to tell the truth, I didn't actually

hook her, I snagged her in the tail.

Did it hurt her?

No thank heaven, I don't think she even

felt it, never gave any sign of it, anyway.

- And her name was Lenore?

- It was to me!

Would you care to tell me about it?


We're Bostonians,

as Mrs. Peabody probably told you.

Born, bred and married there.

Well, last fall I had rather a bad case of

flu, kept me in bed for nearly a month.

Even then I was still weak and shaky.

And that's why we decided, both of us,

to put in the whole winter as a holiday...

for me to convalesce.

So we turned our youngster, Priscilla, over to

her grandmother and we went to St. Hilda's.

That's a small British

Island in the Caribbean.

Very tropical, very beautiful,

and no tourists... yet.

The house we rented on the beach,

The Villa Marina,

was more than we could afford, really...

it was all so wonderful...

like heaven to both of us.

And if you can find a little piece

of heaven, who cares what it costs.

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Nunnally Johnson

Nunnally Hunter Johnson was an American filmmaker who wrote, produced, and directed motion pictures. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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