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This film about an Englishman on holiday, fishing in the sea and
catching, or rather being caught by, a mermaid, may not rank
high on the critics lists, but I love it. I used to see it
occasionally on the late show many years ago. It probably has
not been aired in over 25 years.
This movie is not to be confused with another mermaid movie from 1948 called Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid. One wonders which film came first, and if one film was influenced by the other. The plots are roughly similar, although the themes differ. Miranda was followed six years later with a color sequel called Mad about Men (1954) which I only saw once on the late show over 30 years ago. Hopefully, someday these films will see the light of day.
A charming fantasy in which a mermaid appears to a young husband who has got
away from it all to go fishing: Glynis Johns shines in the lead as the
playful miss with the fish's tail who starts to snare all the men she comes
across. Griffith Jones is the man who starts to regret bringing his find
back to his home and wife (Googie Withers), while David Tomlinson is
appealing as the driver with big ears who Miranda seems particularly taken
Quite the best performance in this confection comes from the incomparable Margaret Rutherford, joyous as the ageing nurse who has always believed in the existence of magical creatures such as mermaids. With an amusing and intriguing ending (and a credit Tail by Dunlop'), Miranda' is one of the highlights of 1940s British cinema. Johns and Tomlinson would appear together again memorably in 1964 as the parents in Mary Poppins'. Jones was still acting on stage recently in his late eighties in small Shakespeare roles. And the mermaid story showed up in another guise with Daryl Hannah, Tom Hanks, and Splash!' some 40 years after Miranda'.
Like so many other people who have commented, I saw this film as a very
young boy on television and was mesmerized by it.
So taken with it that I followed Miss Johns career and was amply rewarded. She's always been a delight..and not to forget that she was the original cast member to sing "Send in the Clowns". Margaret Rutherford also sticks in my memory as the hilarious nurse. When I saw the Tom Hanks and Darryl Hannah film many years later, I immediately was drawn back in time and remembered a much more delicate, sweet film as this one is.
Please....please....release this movie on DVD??
Risque to say the least for this post war British comedy with a twist in the tail - quite literally. Glynis Johns is the delightful mermaid with a penchant for young men - wooing them with her charm alone. Interesting in part for its treatment of 'disabled' people as Miranda is treated as such throughout. Googie Withers is great as the harassed wife while Margaret Rutherford sparkles in a relatively small role - but at least she gets to dance. Of everyone, David Tomlinson is perhaps the most comical as a lovesick young butler and that really is Maurice Denham as the fish salesman. Acceptable but not for all.
I haven't seen it in a good 25-30 years. Yet I was so captivated by this movie that, all these years later I still remember it. By my definition that's worth giving it a 10. Think of the hundreds of movies you have seen in your life...how many of them do you remember 30 years later, after, perhaps, like me, only seeing it once? How many movies did you see last year, yet can't describe them...or even remember who was in them? Wonderful films don't have to be epics...they just have to touch something in you and that makes them special. If ever comes the day when this cute little film ever comes on video, you'll find me first in line to buy a copy. That's why it's a 10.
If it weren't for the fact that the two films came out around the same
time in different countries, I'd say the other either copied the
British Miranda or the USA's Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid. Both William
Powell and Griffith Jones go fishing and get themselves a fetching
young mermaid for their troubles.
Ann Blyth's Lenore in Mr. Peabody is a silent young lady, but that's definitely not true of Glynis Johns in the title role of Miranda. She not only talks, but is rather well read on human kind. Of course one does not learn everything from books.especially some of the interspecies facts of life.
Because it's a man that Miranda is seeking. The mermen of the oceans seem to be just not her type. And though Griffith Jones is married he is taken with her.
Being a doctor Jones concocts a wild cover story involving her being a paraplegic patient who has come to live with him and wife Googie Withers. He has dresses made an extra foot long to cover her tail and has her in a wheelchair for the most part. And she's on an exclusively fish diet. Unusual doctor's orders to say the least.
Miranda is a nice little fantasy and Glynis Johns practically glows in the title role. Besides Jones and Withers other performances of note are David Tomlinson as their butler and the irrepressible Margaret Rutherford as the practical nurse that is engaged.
Hopefully it will come out on DVD/VHS and soon.
This is a one-of-a-kind fantasy movie that beautifully showcased such major talents as Glynis Johns and Margaret Rutherford. I can hardly wait til this movie is made available for sale (if the film is still in good shape, why hasn't it been available yet?). In my view, there simply isn't enough information, or good movies, on the subject of mermaids, and hopefully this could be rectified by an updated version of this movie..I haven't casted it in my mind yet, but there are a handful of worthies that come to mind for Miranda. However, it will be a more difficult task to find someone even close to our beloved Margaret Rutherford.
I remember seeing this film as a very young boy, and I've never forgotten the mesmerizing magical effect that it had on me. I also saw "Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid", but I think "Miranda" was the better of the two films. Although a black and white production, the "special effects" used for the mermaid's tail are still eerily alive in my mind all these years later. Glynis Johns was really funny as the aquatic sea babe. I fully appreciated the more recent Ron Howard film "Splash", in it's own way. I am not at all sure if "Miranda" inspired this modern story, but it's not important, since both stand on their own humorous cinematic merits. I've been wishing, and praying, and hoping to find "Miranda" in the video classic section of my local film rental establishments for years to no avail. I'm not sure if it is available, but it would be a real kick to see it after all these years!
While out fishing, Dr. Paul Martin is himself caught by a mermaid by the name of Miranda. She brings him to her undersea cave, agreeing to release him only in exchange for a trip to London as his "patient". It is made clear early on that Miranda and men find each other irresistible, and she quickly adds the chauffeur and the fiancé of Paul's neighbor to her list of conquests. This causes more than a little consternation among their respective women, whose pity turns to jealous anger over their eagerness to carry and otherwise indulge the wheelchair-bound Miranda. Since Miranda sleeps in a tub of cold water at night, and her diet consists almost exclusively of raw fish, it's only a matter of time before her secret is revealed (one hilarious clue is that she treats the goldfish bowl as sort of a candy dish). Glynis Johns is utterly charming as Miranda, and Googie Withers is excellent as Paul's ultimately understanding wife. Despite the improbable premise, one can't help but be drawn into this very funny film. And don't miss the scene at the very end, which may leave more questions asked than answered.
This was a very innocent sweet fantasy about a man who goes fishing and catches a rather different kind of under water creature, a Mermaid hook line and sinker. There is plenty of comedy, drama and romance. This man and son grew very fond of this Mermaid and this story will keep your interest from beginning to the very end. The ending is rather sad, but since this film is a sort of Fish story, nature had to take its course. There was quite a few other recent films about a Mermaid namely: "SPLASH" 1984 with Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah and also a very early version in 1931 and a TV showing of "Splash" 1994. I am quite sure there will always be a story concerning a Mermaid in generation's to come. Enjoy
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