Miranda (1948 film)
UK release poster
|Directed by||Ken Annakin|
|Produced by||Betty E. Box|
|Written by||Peter Blackmore|
|Screenplay by||Denis Waldock|
|Based on||Miranda (play)
by Peter Blackmore
|Music by||Temple Abady|
Bryan Langley (uncredited)
|Edited by||Gordon Hales|
|Distributed by||J. Arthur Rank
General Film Distributors
|Box office||£181,300 (by Dec 1949)|
Miranda is a 1948 British comedy film, directed by Ken Annakin and written by Peter Blackmore, who also wrote the play of the same name from which the film was adapted. Denis Waldock provided additional dialogue. A light comedy, the film is about a beautiful and playful mermaid played by Glynis Johns and her effect on Griffith Jones. Googie Withers and Margaret Rutherford are also featured in the film. Glynis Johns and Margaret Rutherford reprised their roles in the 1954 sequel, Mad About Men.
With his wife uninterested in fishing, Dr. Paul Martin goes on a holiday on the Cornwall coast alone. There he snags Miranda, a mermaid, and is pulled into the water. She keeps him prisoner in her underwater cavern and only lets him go after he agrees to show her London. He disguises her as an invalid patient in a wheelchair and takes her to his home for a month-long stay.
Martin's wife Clare reluctantly agrees to the arrangement, but gets him to hire someone to look after their guest. He selects Nurse Carey for her eccentric nature and takes her into his confidence. To Paul's relief, Carey is delighted to be working for a mermaid as she always believed they exist.
Miranda's seductive nature earns her the admiration of not only Paul, but also his chauffeur Charles, as well as Nigel, the fiancé of Clare's friend and neighbour Isobel, arousing the jealousy of the women in their lives. Nigel breaks off his engagement, but when he and Charles discover that Miranda has been flirting with both of them, they come to their senses.
Clare finally figures out what sort of creature Miranda really is. Miranda overhears her telling Paul that the public must be told. She wheels herself down to the river and makes her escape.
In the final scene, Miranda is shown on a rock, holding a merbaby on her lap.
- Glynis Johns as Miranda Trewella
- Googie Withers as Clare Martin
- Griffith Jones as Dr Paul Martin
- John McCallum as Nigel
- David Tomlinson as Charles
- Margaret Rutherford as Nurse Carey
- Yvonne Owen as Betty, the Martins' other servant and Charles' girlfriend
- Sonia Holm as Isobel
- Brian Oulton as Manell
- Zena Marshall as Secretary
- Lyn Evans as Inn Landlady
- Stringer Davis as Museum Attendant
- Hal Osmond as Railway Carman
- Maurice Denham as Cockle Vendor
In the play on which the film is based, Miranda eventually has to return to Cornwall to spawn, much to the displeasure of Martin's wife.
The end credits include the line "Tail by Dunlop".
The final shot plays out under the credit "Fin", a play on the French for "The End" and Miranda's lovely lower limbs.
All underwater scenes were made with a stunt double. Joan Hebden wore the tail by Dunlop.
The film was released on home video for the first time in North America on DVD on 5 July 2011 from VCI Entertainment.
- Andrew Spicer, Sydney Box Manchester Uni Press 2006 p 210
- Andrew Spicer, "The Apple of Mr. Rank’s Mercatorial Eye’: Managing Director of Gainsborough Pictures
- "THE STARRY WAY.". The Courier-Mail. Brisbane: National Library of Australia. 8 January 1949. p. 2. Retrieved 11 July 2012.