The Incredible Mr. Limpet
|The Incredible Mr. Limpet|
|Directed by||Arthur Lubin|
|Produced by||John C. Rose|
|Written by||Theodore Pratt (novel)
John C. Rose
|Music by||Frank Perkins|
|Cinematography||Harold E. Stine|
|Editing by||Donald Tait|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
|Release dates||March 28, 1964|
|Running time||102 minutes|
The Incredible Mr. Limpet is a 1964 American live-action/animated adventure film from Warner Bros. It is about a man named Henry Limpet who turns into a talking fish resembling a tilefish and helps the U.S. Navy locate and destroy Nazi submarines. Don Knotts plays the title character. The live action was directed by Arthur Lubin, while the animation was directed by Robert McKimson, Hawley Pratt, and Gerry Chiniquy. Music includes songs by Sammy Fain, in collaboration with Harold Adamson, including "I Wish I Were a Fish", "Be Careful How You Wish", and "Deep Rapture".
The story begins September 1941 just before the attack on Pearl Harbor. Shy bookkeeper Henry Limpet loves fish with a passion. When his friend George Stickle enlists in the Navy, Limpet attempts to enlist as well, but is rejected. Feeling downcast, he wanders down to a pier near Coney Island and accidentally falls into the water. Inexplicably, he finds he has turned into a fish. Since he never resurfaces, his wife, Bessie, and George assume he has drowned.
The fish Limpet, complete with his signature pince-nez spectacles, discovers a new-found ability during some of his initial misadventures, a powerful underwater roar, his "thrum". He falls in love with a female fish he names Ladyfish, and makes friends with a misanthropic hermit crab named Crusty.
Still determined to help the Navy, Limpet finds a convoy and requests to see one of his friends, George Stickle. With George's help, Limpet gets himself commissioned by the US Navy, complete with advancing rank and a salary, which he sends to Bessie. He helps the Navy locate Nazi U-boats by signaling with his "thrum", and plays a large part in the Allied victory in the Battle of the Atlantic. In his final mission, he is nearly killed when the Nazis develop a "thrum" seeking torpedo, and is further handicapped by the loss of his spectacles. He manages to survive using Crusty as his "navigator", and sinks a number of U-boats by redirecting the torpedoes. After the battle, he swims to Coney Island to say goodbye to Bessie (who has now fallen in love with George) and get a replacement set of glasses. He then swims off with Ladyfish.
In the film's coda, set in the modern times of 1964, George (now a high ranking naval officer) and the Admiral are presented with a report that Mr. Limpet is still alive and working with porpoises. The two men travel out to sea to contact Mr. Limpet and offer him a commission in the United States Navy.
- Don Knotts as Henry Limpet
- Carole Cook as Bessie Limpet
- Jack Weston as Machinist's Mate 2nd Class (PO2) George Stickle
- Andrew Duggan as Harlock
- Larry Keating as Admiral P.P. Spewter*
- Oscar Beregi, Jr. as Nazi admiral
- Charles Meredith as Fleet Admiral**
- Elizabeth MacRae as Ladyfish (voice)
- Paul Frees as Crusty (voice)
Home video release
The Incredible Mr. Limpet was released by Warner Home Video on VHS on December 3, 1994. It has since seen two additional VHS releases. On October 1, 2002, it was released on DVD. On August 7, 2012, Warner Home Video released the film in high definition on Blu-ray Disc.
Both Don Knotts and Elizabeth MacRae (Limpet and Ladyfish) were employed in Andy Griffith's Mayberry franchises, respectively as deputy Barney Fife and Lou-Ann Poovie, Gomer Pyle's girlfriend in the later seasons of Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C..
During World War I and World War II, there was a mine known as a limpet, a type of naval mine attached to a target by magnets named because of their superficial similarity to the limpet, a type of mollusk. "Das Limpet" was the German Navy's identification of Don Knott's character.
The USS Alfred A. Cunningham was the naval ship featured in this film.
During the late 1990s, a remake of The Incredible Mr. Limpet was attempted with Steve Oedekerk, as the director, and to have starred Jim Carrey in the role of Henry Limpet. Knotts was aware of plans for the remake, which he wrote about in his autobiography, and offered his support. Roughly $10 million was spent on animation tests to digitally Carrey's motion-captured human face onto a fish's body, which projected disastrous results. After the version was canned, Warner Bros. tried to relaunch the project with Beavis and Butt-head creator Mike Judge, with Robin Williams and Carrey among the actors once under consideration. In June 2009, it was announced that Enchanted director Kevin Lima was attached to direct. In 2010, it was reported that Zach Galifianakis was in talks of the lead role. In March 2011, Richard Linklater entered negotiations to helm the project, and was announced as the director in January 2014. That same month, Femke Wolting and Tommy Pallotta had begun working on the design and animation on the project while Galifianakis will reportedly play the lead character.
- Variety film review; January 22, 1964, page 6.
- Amidi, Amid (February 24, 2014). "Richard Linklater Will Remake ‘Incredible Mr. Limpet’". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved March 1, 2014.
- "What Jim Carrey Could've Looked Like In THE INCREDIBLE MR. LIMPET Remake". ComicBookMovie. December 8, 2013. Retrieved March 1, 2014.
- Billington, Alex (June 11, 2009). "Kevin Lima Remaking Don Knotts' The Incredible Mr. Limpet". First Showing. Retrieved March 1, 2010.
- Goldberg, Matt (June 11, 2009). "ENCHANTED Director Kevin Lima Swims With THE INCREDIBLE MR. LIMPET". Collider. Retrieved March 1, 2013.
- Zeitchik, Steven (June 14, 2010). "Zach Galifianakis could be a fish (and the new Don Knotts)". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 1, 2014.
- "Richard Linklater Eyed for The Incredible Mr. Limpet". CraveOnline. Retrieved 2011-12-01.
- Fischer, Russ (January 29, 2014). "Richard Linklater Reunites With ‘Waking Life’ Team for ‘The Incredible Mr. Limpet’ Remake". SlashFilm. Retrieved March 1, 2014.
- Macnab, Geoffrey (January 28, 2014). "Documentary duo join Richard Linklater's The Incredible Mr Limpet". Screen Daily. Retrieved March 1, 2014.
- The Incredible Mr. Limpet at the Internet Movie Database
- The Incredible Mr. Limpet at the TCM Movie Database
- The Incredible Mr. Limpet at allmovie
- Review of The Incredible Mr. Limpet at Don-Knotts.info