William Powell(The Thin Man) is in top form playing Mr. Peabody, a man who just turned 50 (or 46 or 48, no one is too sure) as he goes through a mid-life crisis in this fantasy directed by Irving Pichel(The Most Dangerous Game) and with a screenplay adapted by Nunnally Johnson(The Dirty Dozen) from the novel Peabody's Mermaid written by Guy and Constance Jones. Ann Blyth(Mildred Pierce) puts in a winning turn as the object of Peabody's affections.
Distributed By: Olive
Video Resolution and Encode: 1080P/AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Audio: English 1.0 DTS-HDMA (Mono)
Rating: Not Rated
Run Time: 1 Hr. 39 Min.
Package Includes: Blu-rayAmarat
Disc Type: BD25 (single layer)
Release Date: 07/01/2014
Mr. Peabody(William Powell) takes a fishing getaway with his wife Polly (Irene Hervey) and discovers a mermaid(Ann Blyth). Since mermaids are fantasy and Peabody is going through a mid-life crisis, everyone assumes that he is off his rocker. Complications ensue when Polly gets fed up with Peabody and leaves him. When Polly's car is discovered abandoned, the husband is typically the first suspect, and Peabody finds his hands full sorting things out.
The Production Rating: 4/5
William Powell is always worth watching in any role, and Mr. Peabody is no exception. There is a fun scene early in the film when Powell's character is in a doctor's waiting room and he trades barbs with a little boy and his mother, played by Beatrice Roberts(Flash Gordon's Trip To Mars) who bears more than a passing resemblance to his frequent costar Myrna Loy. Ann Blyth does not get dialogue in her role but she makes the most of it with her expression and body language. This film reminds me somewhat of the later Pandora and the Flying Dutchman(1951) in its tone of dealing with the fantastic, and it would be interesting to know if Albert Lewin was a fan of this film and influenced by it in his screenplay for Pandora. Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid is an amusing fantasy which is also noteworthy for being one of Powell's later films. (He made only 7 more films after this one before his retirement in 1955 and his final role in Mister Roberts.)
Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid appears on Blu-ray in its 1.33:1 aspect ratio. Video quality is very good but not quite great. Some minor print damage is visible occasionally in the form of scratches and minor debris, but nothing too distracting from the presentation. The transfer has an appropriate amount of grain with solid blacks and excellent shadow detail.
Video Rating: 4/5 3D Rating: NA
The English DTS-HD mono audio is about as crisp and clear as we could hope for. There is no fluctuation in volume and no audible hissing or popping perceptible that can be common in films from the 1940s. Dialogue is always audible and clear, and the film score by Robert Emmet Dolan sounds surprisingly rich for mono, and bears mention for its high range and otherworldly quality that is appropriate for the subject matter in this film.
Audio Rating: 4/5
This edition does not include any special features.
Special Features Rating: 0/5
Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid is a fun fantasy with a great cast of actors. William Powell and Ann Blyth are both in top form in this film, and the subject matter is universal. The video and audio presentation are very good, even if the video is not without minor flaws. Fans of other fantasies from that era like The Ghost and Mrs. Muir and Pandora and the Flying Dutchman will almost certainly appreciate this film as well.
Overall Rating: 4/5
Reviewed By: Timothy E
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