Friday, July 27, 2012

The Great Recasting Blogathon: Splash (1984)

     It is quite well-known in my family that I detest the 70s and the 80s. There are very few things that I do like about either decades, but in the case of the latter, there is one film that I have always liked, and probably always will: Splash starring Tom Hanks (a truly fine actor), Daryl Hannah, and John Candy.
Tom Hanks, the man, and Daryl Hannah, the . . . fish?
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     As much as I like this movie, however, and nearly as perfect as I think it is, I know that it can be made better. What could that possibly be? Why, instead of it having been made in the 1984, let's change the production date to that of a more suitable time during the Golden Age of Hollywood, change the director (sorry Ron Howard), and (sorry Tom, Daryl) the star players.

Hey, Leo!
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     First thing first, I see Splash as being a product of MGM. This flick entitles something glossy and beautiful, and no one knew how to make a picture glossy and beautiful like MGM did.
     Second, because this is going to be a bright, bold, colorful film (thank you Technicolor), I'm going to make the year of production/release 1950. The fifties, in my opinion, were the most colorful of Hollywood golden years.
How's everything coming along, Vincente?
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     When I think of "bright", "bold", and "colorful", one man comes to mind more than any other: Vincente Minnelli. Now, I know that Vincente is mostly known for his musicals, but he did direct some great comedies and dramas without any musical numbers in them (Some Came Running, Father of the Bride, Father's Little Dividend, The Bad and the Beautiful), so I think making Vincente director is a brilliant idea (MGM would surely be rolling in the dough).
     Now, here comes the hard part: The main players. Who to pick, who to pick? 
     Well, after several roll calls, I've finally decided that the following would replace Tom Hanks as Allen Bauer, Daryl Hannah as Madison, and John Candy as Freddie Bauer, and Eugene Levy as Walter Kornbluth:

The new Allen Bauer
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     Before you object, or say something like, "What!? She's nuts!" I would like to point out that Dean was truly a very funny man. I know that in 1950 he was only in his fourth of ten years of partnership with Jerry Lewis, (you need not worry, I am NOT making this into a Martin and Lewis film) and due to a clause in their contract neither could be in a film without the other, I'm just going to pretend that that clause never was, and that Dean could be in any film that he wanted to be in.
      Now, the reason why I also say that Dean is a good pick (and no, it's not just because he's my favorite because if I did that I'd have to make Cary be Madison to even things out) is that Tom is pretty funny in Splash. He sings a little while he's juggling some fruits, starts dancing with his brother, and pulls some very comical lines . . . Well, hello, people, that's Dean all over! Also, there are a few spots in Splash where things get serious, and despite what people may think, Dean could be serious, and he did so very well.
Meet Madison.
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     She is picking her favorites! No, I assure you, I'm not . . . at least, not on purpose. It took me a while to think of an actress who could play Madison. Madison is beautiful, smart, magical, and, for the lack of a better word, special. Who, I wondered, did that remind me of? Then my Jean came to me. Of course! She would be the perfect Madison because Jean was everything mentioned before and more. Jean had that magical air about her that seems to define what we think a "mermaid" would be like. Now, would Jean be described as a "Siren?" A woman of incredible beauty that leads men to their deaths? Well, no, she wouldn't (and besides that would be a completely different movie from Splash), but Jean was very beautiful in my opinion, and with that magical sense about her, I really do think she would make the perfect Madison.
Freddie my main man!
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     I didn't really have to think too long about who would fill in John Candy's role. It just came to me. Both big fellas (and fellow Canadians) it seems to me that John and Jack Carson have the same sense of "Let's have a good time, don't talk too fast" sense of humor. Jack is best remembered as a comedian who could do a little heavy drama if the time called for it (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof), and John is best remembered as a comedian who could say a few well-thought out piece of advice.
Sure mermaids are real, Walter, sure.
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     Anybody that has ever seen an Astaire and Rogers picture knows that poor Edward Everett Horton was never completely . . . stable. He was all over the place, completely frazzled, and quick to get confused. If that doesn't sound like Walter Kornbluth, I don't know what does.
Like it says. The end.
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     Well, there we are. This would be my version of a 1950 Splash starring Dean Martin, Jean Arthur, Jack Carson and Edward Everett Horton which would be produced by MGM and directed by Vincente Minnelli. Splash would be, if nothing else, very interesting to watch; it'd be a hot mess most likely, but an entertaining one, or at least that's what I think.
      I would like to think Natalie and Rianna at In the Mood and Frankly, My Dear for coming up with this marvelous idea! It was great fun, and it was nice to indulge myself with this little cockeyed dream of mine.


Lasso The Movies said...

These are some great choices. I think Dean could totally pull this role off, and with a supporting cast like this it would be a no brainer. I never really cared for Splash that much, but I would watch it if this was the cast for sure.

silverscreenings said...

Fantastic re-casting choices! So glad you included Jack Carson... I think Dean Martin & Jean Arthur are perfect choices for the lead characters.

Rianna said...

Have yet to see Splash, but I'd love to check it out now! I love that we've got Jean Arthur represented at the blogathon because of this post - she's one of my favorites. So underrated. Thank you for joining us! :)

VP81955 said...

Interesting choices, but I must point out one thing: Had this film been made in 1950, Jean Arthur would have been at or near 50 years old; in Hollywood terms, she was a late bloomer. (Hannah was 21 or 22 when "Splash" was released.) Perhaps you could have added a touch of world-weariness or wisdom to Jean's mermaid to compensate for the absence of sheer youth.

I participated in this as well, creating a recast version of "Housesitter." Who takes the place of Goldie Hawn, Steve Martin, et al? Find out at