Splash (film)

Infobox_Film
name = Splash


caption = original film poster
amg_id = 1:46141
imdb_id = 0088161
writer = Bruce Jay Friedman
Lowell Ganz
Babaloo Mandel
starring = Tom Hanks
Daryl Hannah
director = Ron Howard
music = Lee Holdridge | editing = Daniel P. Hanley
Mike Hill
distributor = Touchstone Films
released = March 9 1984
runtime = 111 min.
country = USA
language = English
producer = Brian Grazer
budget = USD$8,000,000
gross = USD$69,821,334 (domestic)
followed_by = "Splash, Too"

"Splash" is a 1984 fantasy film and romantic comedy film directed by Ron Howard and written by Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. The original music score was composed by Lee Holdridge. It is the very first film produced by Touchstone Pictures.

Although originally conceived as an "adult" film, "Splash" today is considered by some to be a family-friendly movie Fact|date=June 2008.

Main cast

Plot summary

As a boy, Allen Bauer, who does not know how to swim, is rescued from drowning off Cape Cod by a young mermaid, and an instant connection forms between the two. When his parents retrieve him, no one sees the mermaid, who weeps at the loss of her new friend before departing. 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 invariably fail as he subconsciously seeks the connection he felt with the mermaid.

Years later, now co-owner with his womanizing brother Freddie Bauer of a wholesale fruit and vegetable business in New York City, Allen, depressed after his latest breakup, returns to the same location, where he briefly encounters eccentric scientist Dr. Walter Kornbluth, and again falls into the sea. He wakes up on a beach where he encounters a beautiful naked woman who, unknown to him, is the mermaid he met as a boy (she is wearing the same necklace that she wore as a girl). He instantly becomes attracted to her, as she again saved him from drowning. But after kissing him, she dives into the sea and leaves Allen to return home. Kornbluth, seeking proof of strange sea creatures, also encounters the mermaid, whom he becomes obsessed with finding again.

The mermaid finds Allen's wallet that he dropped in the water and decides to find him in New York. (In one scene that was deleted, the mermaid meets with a sea hag who tells her that she can only stay six days from the sea, but she has to wet her tail every day, which explains the bathtub scene. The movie instead clarifies that mermaids become human after they have been dry long enough but return to mermaid form if their bodies are soaked with water.) She comes ashore at Liberty Island naked, arrested for indecent exposure. The crowd boos at the cops for arresting a beautiful woman just because she is naked. Garnering information from Allen's wallet (which she still carries), the cops call Bauer, who races to the police station. She gets released in Allen's care. She later picks up English from watching television all day at Bloomingdale's. Needing a name, Allen lists some choices as they walk. While doing so when on Madison Avenue, he asks himself aloud "Where are we? Madison," which the mermaid picks as her name.

Allen quickly falls in love with Madison, not realizing she is the mermaid he has subconsciously sought a reunion with all his adult life. While Madison requites his love, Allen finds it hard to understand her unusual behavior (for example, eating an entire lobster, shell and all) and has trouble accepting that this relationship might go well. Meanwhile, Kornbluth, realizing that the nude woman at Liberty Island was the mermaid he encountered, pursues the couple, although neither realize it at first.

When Kornbluth finally proves Madison is a mermaid by dumping water on her and turning her legs into a tail, she is taken in by government scientists for examination. At first jubilant at having proven his belief that mermaids exist, Kornbluth, who only wanted people to stop thinking he was insane, deeply regrets his actions when Madison is studied like a laboratory specimen and slated for dissection. Meanwhile, Allen, stunned by the revelation, lapses into mortification at having fallen in love with a "fish". "People fall in love every day," he bemoans, "and look what I got." But Freddie finally sets aside the lascivious humor that has typified him throughout the movie to break through Allen's self-absorption: "People fall in love every day, is that what you said? Yeah? Well, that's a crock. It doesn't "work" that way." Freddie angrily berates Allen for giving up on Madison, with whom he has seen his brother so happy over the past few days. "A lot of people will never be that happy!" Freddie declares. ""I'll" never be that happy!" Realizing Madison's situation is more important than his mixed emotions, Allen calls various government officials, but no one will arrange for her freedom or even tell him where she is being held.

Desperate, Allen confronts the guilt-ridden Kornbluth, who still has clearance to the lab where Madison is imprisoned. Impersonating two Swedish scientists, the brothers enter the lab with Kornbluth, then Allen and Kornbluth emerge with a figure concealed in blankets, claiming it to be the scientist impersonated by Freddie, who was attacked by "the creature," who is now too dangerous to approach; the panicking security guard closes off the lab until the head scientist arrives to receive a cheerful greeting from Freddie, who remained in the lab while Allen and Kornbluth smuggled Madison outside in the blankets. After a pursuit through the streets of the city, she jumps back into the ocean. When she reveals that Allen can survive under water as long as he is with her, Allen realizes she was the young mermaid he met so long before, and although Madison warns him that if he comes to live in the sea, he will be unable to return to the surface world (she does not specify why), they both continue their lives in what appears to be an underwater kingdom.

Cameos

Screenwriters Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandell both make cameo appearances in the film. Ganz plays Stan, the tour guide, in the scene set at the Statue of Liberty where he yells "BOCCE BALLS!!!" at the sight of the naked Daryl Hannah. Mandell plays the man in charge of ice skate rentals who tackles Tom Hanks' character when he tries to run out with his skates still on. Ron Howard's father, actor Rance Howard, can be seen early in the film, screaming at Hank's character about "his cherries". Howard's brother, Clint Howard, can be seen as a pianist, at the dinner where Allen and Madison are eating lobsters.

pinoffs

* A sequel, "Splash, Too" (directed by Greg Antonacci), appeared in 1988 as a TV movie (contradicting the first movie's finale revelation that if Allen goes to live in the sea, he can never return). Only one member of the original cast, Dody Goodman (the Bauers' slightly deranged assistant Mrs. Stimler), reprises her role.
* A novelization of the film, written by Ian Marter (under the pen name Ian Don), was published by Target Books in the United Kingdom.

Production

According to the documentary on the 20th Anniversary Edition DVD, producer Brian Grazer had pitched the film to numerous studios but was turned down repeatedly until The Walt Disney Company, then newly-headed by Michael Eisner, agreed to produce the film. An issue at the time of production was the competition between "Splash" and another announced mermaid film that had lined up Warren Beatty as its star. Director Ron Howard promised the studio that "Splash" would be filmed quicker and cheaper than the other film, which eventually fell through.

The film's content (including some language and brief nudity), which was deemed inappropriate for a Disney film, lead to the creation of Touchstone Pictures, which would release films targeted towards older audiences. "Splash" was the first film to be released by the new label.

Casting

Various A-list actors were approached for the lead role, among them Michael Douglas, Richard Gere, Jeff Bridges, Christopher Reeve, and John Travolta (who turned it down because he thought the story seemed "corny"). Tom Hanks was suggested to director Howard after Hanks had appeared in "Happy Days" to reported comedic success. Daryl Hannah was cast after the director and producer had seen her in "Blade Runner"

According to his autobiography, John Candy wanted the role of Dr. Walter Kornbluth, but the producers thought he would be better as Freddie Bauer.

Filming

The beach where Tom Hanks first encounters the naked Daryl Hannah is on the former Gorda Cay in the Bahamas. It is now Castaway Cay, the private island paradise of the Disney Cruise Line.

Mermaid

The mermaid tail which Daryl Hannah wore was manufactured by Robert Short Productions. It is fully functional: Hannah swam with the mermaid tail so fast that her safety team could not keep pace with her. According to the DVD documentary, Hannah had been swimming "mermaid" style with her legs bound together since she was a child, due to her fascination with Hans Christian Andersen's "The Little Mermaid" story.

Reception

The movie was a huge success, made with a USD$8 million budget, the movie grossed $6,174,059 on its opening weekend and ended up grossing $69,821,334 in the U.S. alone. [ [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088161/business Box office / business for "Splash"] from IMDb]

Impact on popular culture

Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner's 2006 book "Freakonomics" (as well as possibly other sources) credits the film with popularizing the name "Madison" for girls. In the film, Daryl Hannah's character takes her name from Madison Avenue after walking past a road sign. Hanks' character comments that it is not a real name as, at the time, it was a rather unusual name for a woman. However, in the years since the film was released in theatres and re-released on VHS and then DVD, the name's popularity has skyrocketed.

According to the Social Security Administration, the name "Madison" was the 216th most popular name in the United States for girls in 1990, the 29th most popular name for girls in 1995, and the 3rd most popular name for girls in 2000 [http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/babynames/] . In 2005, the name finally cracked the top 50 most popular girls' names in the United Kingdom, and articles in British newspapers credit the film for the popularization.

Becky Anderson's 2007 novel "In Stereo Where Available" features a character who adopted the name "Madison" as a child after developing a fixation on the film.

Butch Hartman once credited the Eugene Levy character as the inspiration for his character of Denzel Crocker on "The Fairly Oddparents". Both characters are obsessed with a certain legendary creature and spend their free time trying to prove that such creatures exist. In both cases, the characters have practically no social life and various enemies.

In Tom Green's 2001 film "Freddy Got Fingered", when Gord showing his cartoon "Zebras in America" to the head of the cartoon studio in an attempt to shop the drawings, he compares the cartoon to "Splash" calling it "A fish out of water story".

Songs in movie

* "Love Came for Me" by Rita Coolidge
* "Stay With Me Tonight" by Jeffrey Osborne
* "Wooly Bully" by Sam the Sham
* "She Works Hard for the Money" by Donna Summer
* "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah" from Song of the South
* "Piano Concerto No. 1" by Frédéric Chopin

See also

* Tail Man

References

External links

*
* [http://www.fast-rewind.com/splash.htm Splash at the 80s Movie Gateway]
*

[ http://members.tripod.com/chuck_roberts/ Daryl Hannah Splash Shrine]
* [http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1427601,00.html "Mohammed the lad leaps up league of names" at Times Online] – article about the popularity of names, mentioning the name Madison
* [http://www.teevee.org/archive/2002/11/21/ "Madison and Her Sisters" at TeeVee Archive] – another article about the name Madison and its link to the film


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