With a script as witty, light and frothy as the acting, Miranda lifted a potentially leaden fantasy into the realms of a popular comedy of the 40s that provides the ichythio-sapient enthusiast with an excellent stopping off point between Hans Christian Andersen’s Little Mermaid and Ron Howard’s Splash!
Miranda, played by the gorgeous Glynis Johns, is a mermaid with a taste for the high life. When she rescues eminent London doctor Paul Martin (Griffith Jones) from drowning, while on Cornish holiday, she insists that he return the favour by introducing her to the best that London society has to offer. Reluctantly, he agrees.
Not explaining to his confused wife Clare (Googie Withers) what he is doing, he brings back to London a mysterious wheelchair-bound patient who in short order has a devastating effect on society as her beauty, wit and charm leave men dribbling. Men previously ensconced in happy relationships are bewitched by her.
Apart from the natural jealousy that this would engender in women, the society ladies have a sixth sense that all is not right with the new beauty. Regularly declaiming that there is something ‘fishy’ about her, they are still at a loss to explain her siren attraction. When the suspicions of London’s womenfolk begins to reach fever pitch and it appears that there is no further devastation that she can wreak on society, Miranda is left to decide whether she will attempt to make a go of her life on land or return to the sea where she has always been happiest.
There was a less well received sequel the following year called Mad About Men.
UK / GFD – Gainsborough / 80 minutes / 1947 made in black and white
Writers: Denis Waldock, Peter Blackmore, based on his play / Cinematography: Ray Elton / Music: Temple Abady / Director: Ken Annakin
Cast: Glynis Johns, Googie Withers, Griffith Jones, John McCallum, Margaret Rutherford, David Tomlinson