7.2/10
1,274
47 user 4 critic

Ring of Bright Water (1969)

Whoever said dog is man's best friend never met Mij! Mij is a cute, cuddly pet shop otter who captures the heart of Graham Merill (Bill Travers). It doesn't take Graham long to realize that... See full summary »

Director:

Jack Couffer

Writers:

Jack Couffer (screenplay), Bill Travers (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bill Travers ... Graham Merrill
Virginia McKenna ... Mary MacKenzie
Peter Jeffrey ... Colin Wilcox
Jameson Clark Jameson Clark ... Storekeeper
Helena Gloag Helena Gloag ... Flora
Willie Joss Willie Joss ... Lighthouse Keeper (as W. D. Joss)
Roddy McMillan Roddy McMillan ... Busdriver
Jean Taylor Smith Jean Taylor Smith ... Sarah (as Jean Taylor-Smith)
Christopher Benjamin ... London Fishmonger
Kevin Collins Kevin Collins ... Fisherman
Archie Duncan Archie Duncan ... Road mender
June Ellis June Ellis ... Barmaid
Philippa Gail Philippa Gail ... Pet stall girl
Tommy Godfrey Tommy Godfrey ... Ticket seller
Walter Hall Walter Hall
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Storyline

Whoever said dog is man's best friend never met Mij! Mij is a cute, cuddly pet shop otter who captures the heart of Graham Merill (Bill Travers). It doesn't take Graham long to realize that London is no place to raise a slippery otter. So he takes Mij to live in a ramshackle cottage on the coast of Scotland. Together they set out to explore the curious and magnificent natural wonders that surround their seaside home--from orphaned geese to tooth-less sharks. While Mij spends his days frolicking in the icy cold sea, Graham finds himself falling in love with the beautiful town doctor, Mary (Virginia McKenna). Before long, the three become inseparable friends. Written by Rone Barton Lokarr <sandbox2@netcom.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

otter | dog | doctor | cottage | pet shop | See All (16) »

Taglines:

the stars of BORN FREE in a new adventure with a mischievous otter See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | Scottish Gaelic

Release Date:

14 May 1970 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

A Baía do Homem Solitário See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Joseph Strick was originally intended to direct. See more »

Goofs

Shortly after moving into the cottage he heads off into the village. As he closes the otter flap he's wearing wellies. On the way down the hill he's in shoes, but when he arrives in the village he is back in welly boots. See more »

Quotes

Graham Merrill: [Repeated line] Mij!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Flashbacks of a Fool (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Ring of Bright Water
(Title Song)
Sung by Val Doonican
Lyric by Betty Botley
Music by Frank Cordell (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Charming Film for all Nature Lovers
13 December 2005 | by JamesHitchcockSee all my reviews

The plot of "Ring of Bright Water" is a simple one. Graham Merrill, a London-based civil servant, one day, on impulse, buys an otter which he sees in a pet shop window. It soon becomes clear that a London flat is no place in which to keep a pet otter, and this persuades Merrill to put into effect a plan which he has had in mind for some time, namely to escape from the rat-race and move to the Scottish Highlands in order to write a book. Once there, he takes up residence in a dilapidated old cottage by the shore and becomes friendly with Mary MacKenzie, the local doctor.

Although a romance develops between Graham and Mary, their love-story has to take second place to the love-story which is really at the centre of the film, that between Mij the otter and the audience. Mij, who takes his name from an Arab sheikh whom Graham met during his travels, is one of the most entertaining and engaging creatures in the history of the cinema, and virtually the whole of the film is centred upon him and his adventures- the havoc he wreaks during a train journey from London to Scotland, his growing friendships with Mary's dog Johnnie and with a family of young geese which Graham also adopts, and Graham's efforts to catch a shark in order to provide him with food. (Mij, predictably enough, decides that shark steaks are not to his liking).

The human stars of the film, Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, were husband and wife in real life, and both were well-known for their support for animal welfare and conservation. Three years earlier they had starred together in "Born Free", a film with a conservationist message, and "Ring of Bright Water" can perhaps be seen as more of the same. Here that message is rather underplayed, except perhaps during the poignant ending, but there are some occasional neat touches such as the scene where Graham, on a visit to London, sees an otter-skin coat in a shop window.

This is not a particularly deep film, but it is a charming one, its charm being helped by a catchy theme song (another similarity to "Born Free"), a fine musical score and some equally fine photography of the Scottish Highland scenery. This is perfect Sunday afternoon viewing for the family, and perfect for all nature lovers. 7/10


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