Splash (1984)

Splash (1984)

Taglines: Allen Bauer thought he’d never find the right woman… he was only half wrong!

Allen Bauer is rescued from drowning as a young boy off Cape Cod by a young mermaid. Years later, he returns to the same location, and once again manages to fall into the sea, and is rescued once more by the mermaid (Allen isn’t sure what he has seen and what he has imagined). Using maps from a sunken ship, the mermaid decides to search for Allen in New York City, sprouting legs when her tail dries. On finding Allen, they fall in love, but she has a secret, which will no longer be a secret if she gets her legs wet.

Splash is a 1984 American fantasy romantic comedy film directed by Ron Howard, written by Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel, and starring Tom Hanks, Daryl Hannah, John Candy, Eugene Levy, and Dody Goodman. The film involves a young man who falls in love with a mysterious woman who is secretly a mermaid. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. The original music score was composed by Lee Holdridge.

The film is notable for being the first film released by the Walt Disney Studios’ Touchstone Pictures label, which had been created that same year in an effort to release films targeted at adult audiences, with mature content not appropriate for the studio’s flagship Walt Disney Pictures banner. Splash had received a PG-rating for including some profanity and brief nudity.

Splash (1984)

About the Story

In 1964, 8 year old Allen Bauer (David Kreps) is vacationing with his family near Cape Cod. While taking a sight-seeing tour on a small boat, he sees something below the ocean surface that fascinates him. Allen jumps into the water, even though he cannot swim. He grasps the hands of a girl (Shayla Mackarvich) who is inexplicably under the water with him and an instant connection forms between the two.

Allen can now breathe under water as he is in the hands of a mermaid. However, Allen is pulled to the surface by the deck hands and the two are separated, though apparently no one else sees the girl. Allen comes to believe the encounter was a near-death hallucination, but his bond with the mermaid proves so strong that his subsequent relationships with women fail as he seeks the connection he felt with the mermaid.

Years later, Allen (Tom Hanks) is now co-owner of a wholesale fruit and vegetable business in New York City with his womanizing brother Freddie (John Candy). Depressed after his latest breakup, Allen returns to Cape Cod, where he encounters eccentric scientist Dr. Walter Kornbluth (Eugene Levy). After Allen is left alone when his motorboat conks out, he falls into the sea, and is knocked out when the boat hits his head.

Splash (1984) - Daryl Hannah

He wakes up with a headache on a beach, where he encounters a beautiful naked woman with long blonde hair and the inability to talk (Daryl Hannah) who, unknown to him, is the mermaid he met as a boy. After kissing him, she dives into the sea and leaves Allen to return home. Kornbluth, while diving in order to seek proof of strange sea creatures, also encounters the mermaid in her sea form, causing him to become obsessed with finding her again.

The mermaid finds Allen’s wallet in the water and goes to a sunken boat where she finds a map. Using Allen’s wallet to find where he is from, she then decides to find him in New York. She comes ashore naked at the Statue of Liberty, where she is arrested for indecent exposure. Using information from Allen’s wallet, the police contact Allen, and the mysterious girl gets released into his care. She learns how to speak English from watching television, and is eager to see a big city for the first time in her life.

Unable to say her real name in human language, she selects Madison from a Madison Avenue sign. She tells Allen that she will be in New York for “six fun-filled days when the moon is full”, but if she stays longer, she can never go home again (the reason for this is unexplained). Despite Madison’s occasional unusual behavior, she and Allen fall in love.

Allen proposes to Madison, but she declines and runs away. After pondering her reason for coming to the city in the first place, Madison returns to Allen and agrees to marry him, with the added promise of telling him the truth about herself at an upcoming dignitary dinner to welcome the President of the United States.

Splash Movie Poster (1984)

Splash (1984)

Directed by: Ron Howard
Starring: Tom Hanks, Daryl Hannah, Eugene Levy, John Candy, Dody Goodman, Shecky Greene, Richard B. Shull, Howard Morris, Tony DiBenedetto
Screenplay by: Bruce Jay Friedman
Production Design by: Jack T. Collis
Cinematography by: Donald Peterman
Film Editing by: Daniel P. Hanley, Mike Hill
Music by: Lee Holdridge
Costume Design by: May Routh
Set Decoration by: Norman Rockett, Philip Smith
Art Direction by: Jack T. Collis, John B. Mansbridge
Music by: Lee Holdridge
Distributed by: Buena Vista Distribution
Release Date: March 9, 1984