The Forgotten: Piscatorial Extremity

1948 was a good year for mermaids.

In Britain, producer Betty E. Box presented Miranda, starring Glynis Johns as a Cornish water-nymph who goes on dry land disguised as an invalid, making merry with the menfolk. Six years later, a sequel, Mad About Men, continued the character's amorous adventures in Technicolor.

Meanwhile in America, William Powell romanced mute mermaid Ann Blyth, an apparent manifestation of his mid-life crisis, in Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid. (Tarzan and the Mermaids, the same year, did not supply any true amphbious ladies.)

What do these fish stories reveal about their respective countries of origin? None of the films' directors have much in the way of auteur credentials—Ken Annakin directed the first Miranda film, staying true to the tradition of innocuous entertainment which was the defining quality of his career, and Ralph Thomas directed the second: though his son Jeremy has produced major films for Bertolucci and Cronenberg,
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