1962, after Yale graduation, womanizing Lawrence flees a gambling debt that his rich dad won't pay. He takes his roomie's place as Peace Corps Volunteer in Thai Golden Triangle with 2 other PCVs. Will he survive 2 years?
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.Written by
Two days ago, this girl showed up naked at the Statue of Liberty. For Allen Bauer, it was love at first sight. Now, everyone is chasing her... trying to prove she's a mermaid. From the first laugh you'll be hooked. See more »
The fountain from the movie is now on display at Disney's MGM Studios at Walt Disney World. The mermaid fin Daryl Hannah wore is behind the bar at Planet Hollywood in Downtown Disney. See more »
When the TV store is closing at Bloomingdale's, The Richard Simmons Show is shown on the monitors. In 1984, when the film is set, this show was broadcast only in the morning and was not released in syndication. The show would therefore not have been playing on a television channel in New York City in the late evening. See more »
[catches Freddie looking up women's skirts]
I dropped something.
Ralph, talk to him.
[Ralph smacks Freddie upside the head]
Listen to your father. Come on, from over there we can see Cape Cod.
We were just on Cape Cod. We could have stayed there, I would have saved twelve dollars.
Allen, sweetheart, don't you want to see Cape Cod?
[Allen shakes his head]
All right, darling, you know where we are if you change your mind.
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Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah swimming and coming to an underwater city. See more »
Some versions cut out the part where Freddie talks in Swedish to the guard. See more »
Lovable, memorable blend of fantasy and comedy that launched important careers
Tom Hanks, Ron Howard and Brian Grazer are legendary names in Hollywood today, and it's impressive how far they've come from a story about a woman emerging naked from the sea to flop into the arms of a 20-something produce distributor.
Distilled to its essence, "Splash" is just that – a lonely bachelor's fantasy played out on screen. It's what writers Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel (who previously collaborated with Howard and Grazer on "Night Shift"), with Bruce Jay Friedman ("Stir Crazy") do to craft this hetero-male daydream into an entertaining fish-out-of- water story (literally?) that gives it real legs (sorry).
Although viewers (mostly men) will be drawn to this fantasy pretty quickly, Daryl Hannah also gets to play a goofy, atypical female lead role, which can't be underestimated in the film's success. Whether it's chomping through a lobster shell with her teeth, prancing through Bloomingdale's or just getting her fins wet in the bathtub, there's both a confidence/strength and a shyness/reserved nature to Madison – whose given name is the direct reason why you know a young woman born after 1984 named Madison. Talk about cultural impact.
So much is right with Hannah's performance. An actress with more of a name or acclaim at the time might have made Madison into more of a caricature or been distractingly attractive (given how much the camera ogles her). Hannah is alluring, mysterious and quirky in a believable way. The film's funniest moments are of her gleeful misunderstandings of American culture.
In his first big role, Hanks gives us a taste of what has made him lovable over the years. Allen is a strange and sad guy, especially in the beginning; Hanks has always done the part of the loser really well in terms of his comedic roles. He's at his best when he's frustrated, angry or desperate as Allen, but most of all he's enough of an everyman that he earns audience empathy and sympathy as a "good guy." That's all this film requires of him.
"Splash" primarily holds up due to a few clutch moments that merge fantasy and everyday comedy. Whether it's naked Madison emerging on Liberty Island and not thinking anything of it, the excellent bathtub scene or the deranged Walter Kornbluth's (Eugene Levy) attempts to expose Madison to the world, these create highly memorable and impressionable moments whether you're a kid seeing this movie on TV for the first time or a casual fan of light comedy looking to be entertained.
With a little more story and character development (Why is there a coral reef in Cape Cod and why would a mermaid be there on her own?) and the avoidance of deus ex machina, "Splash" could have even gone beyond fantastical comedy and become something a little more meaningful. The potential is definitely apparent with these two lovers from different worlds and society's fascination with things like mermaids working against them. Nevertheless, it belongs among the '80s staples and deserves some credit for leading to all the successful Howard/Grazer team-ups and Hanks hits.
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