With special effect technology beginning to come of age in the eighties (and with realistic computer generated images still some way off) a lot of films started to be made which used special effects to enable some more outlandish films to be made. A good example of this is Splash.
Splash was directed by Ron Howard and was the first picture released by the then new Touchstone Pictures. It starred Daryl Hannah as a mermaid named Madison (that’s where the special effects come in), and Tom Hanks as the human Allen Bauer, who falls in love with her. As a child Allen fell into the sea, and was rescued by the young Madison. Later in life fate calls him to need to be rescued again, and Madison comes to his aid again.
Allen is besotted with Madison, and it appears she must be keen on him too, for after finding that Allen has dropped his wallet, she tries to return it to him in New York City. How does she do this, considering she is water bound? Well, once her fish-like tail dries out enough it magically transforms into a pair of human legs.
Of course, she catches up with Allen, but the course of true love doesn’t run smooth (it would be a dull movie otherwise) and Madison ends up being taken away for study by the government, until Allen manages to free her and decides to return with her to her undersea home.
Splash was actually one of the highest grossing films from 1984, and whilst the story might be perhaps considered a little twee and cheesey now it was actually one of the best received films by the critics too. It was popular enough for a sequel – Splash, Too – to be made, although sadly neither Hannah nor Hanks reprise their roles, so it actually feels less of a continuation to the story and more a cash-in.Buy Splash at Amazon.co.uk