It's still Day 2 of Girl Week 2016 and
Directed by Ken Annakin.
1948. Not Rated, 80 minutes.
While fishing off the Cornish coast one day young Dr. Martin (Griffith Jones) snags something surprising, a young mermaid named Miranda (Glynis Johns) though he ends up being the one who gets caught! She pulls him in and takes him to her underwater home until he agrees to her terms for release-a trip with him back home to London for a month.
Passing her off to his wife (Googie Withers) as an invalid patient who needs special care she moves in along with the dotty nurse (a delightful Margaret Rutherford) he’s hired who’s not only in on the secret but is thrilled to find that mermaids actually exist. Things quickly get complicated since Miranda is a saucy temptress fully and willfully capable of entrancing men with her Circe song. Soon the lives of the doctor, his wife and all those surrounding them have been thrown into upheaval which Miranda takes great pleasure in.
Delightful comedy is in some ways a precursor to Splash but unlike the childlike Madison in Splash Miranda is no babe in the woods but a bewitching siren, aware and secure in her wiles. The real strength of the film comes from Glynis Johns’s performance as the enticing Miranda. Glynis-just 24 is sly, sexy and knowing completely in charge of the action despite the inconvenience of having a tail. Probably best known as Mrs. Banks in Mary Poppins or the obtuse Grandma in While You Were Sleeping and a successful actress before this the movie’s mega success made her an international star.
A small aside: one of the men who falls under Miranda’s spell is played by David Tomlinson, the future Mr. Banks in Mary Poppins.
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