Gainsborough Pictures, 1948. Directed by
Ken Annakin. Camera: Ray Elton. With Glynis Johns, Googie
Withers, Griffith Jones, John McCallum, Margaret Rutherford, David
Tomlinson, Yvonne Owen, Sonia Holm, Brian Oulton, Zena Marshall, Lyn Evans,
Stringer Davis, Hal Osmond, Maurice Denham, Jean Sablon.
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.
Margaret Rutherford sparkles in a relatively small role—but
at least she gets to dance. 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.
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