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Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid [Blu-ray]
(Irving Pichel, 1948)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Nunnally Johnson Productions
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 19,690,155,063 bytes
Feature Size: 19,500,417,024 bytes
Video Bitrate: 26.86 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: July 8th, 2014
Aspect ratio: 1.33:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 855 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 855 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
Description: Things seem to be going swimmingly for Mr. Peabody (William Powell, The Thin Man) – then one day his life takes a whimsical turn. While fishing, he snags a beautiful mermaid (Ann Blyth, Mildred Pierce). In a flight of youthful fancy, the stodgy Bostonian falls for the mermaid and takes her to a pond at his villa. The seemingly harmless crush creates all sorts of comical mix-ups! When Mr. Peabody’s jealous wife’s car (Irene Hervey, The Lucky Stiff) is found abandoned, the discovery leads the police to believe he bumped off his own wife! Irving Pichel (The Miracle of the Bells) directed this whimsical comedy with an uproarious screenplay by legendary Nunnally Johnson (The Dark Mirror, The Dirty Dozen).
The film stars William Powell as Arthur Peabody, who is undergoing a mid-life crisis as he approaches his 50th birthday. Much of the story is shown in flashback as Peabody tells his skeptical doctor the source of malaise. Peabody goes on vacation with his wife Polly (Irene Hervey) to a Caribbean resort. While there, he hears singing coming from a distant key (small island) and takes his boat to do a little fishing. To his surprise, he reels in Lenore, a beautiful mermaid played by Ann Blyth. Although mute, Lenore is mischievous and childlike and more than a little bit alluring – so much so that before long Peabody has taught her to kiss. He hides Lenore by letting her soak in a suds-filled bathtub and then in the resort’s fish pond. But confusion ensues as his wife thinks he has a big fish in their bathtub and later suspects him of infidelity with Cathy Livingston (Andrea King), a vacationing singer. Things get even more complicated when, after Polly returns home without Peabody, police suspect him of murder. But by the film's conclusion, Peabody and his wife are happily back at home in Boston with only Lenore’s comb left to prove the reality of his adventure.Excerpt from Wikipedia located HERE
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.Excerpt from TCM located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid looks quite good on Blu-ray from Olive Films. Typically single-layered with a modest bitrate. Contrast is nicely layered but there are plenty of speckles and a few notable vertical scratches that pop up from time to time. The detail is impressive and there are plenty of instances exporting depth. There is also consistent grain textures and aside from the minor marks - is a very pleasing image. The Blu-ray improved the presentation over an SD rendering and I was surprised at how strong this cute film looked.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Olive utilize a DTS-HD mono track at 855 kbps. There is no depth or range to speak of but it seems a faithful transfer without flaws. The score is by Robert Emmett Dolan (The Bells of St. Mary's, My Son John, The Three Faces of Eve) but sounds quite unremarkable - even via the lossless. There are no subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.
No supplements - not even a trailer which is the bare-bones route that Olive are going with, pretty much, all of their Blu-ray releases.
June 21st, 2014
About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.
Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who
focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I
find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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