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Miranda (1948) HD online

Miranda (1948) HD online
Language: English
Category: Movie / Fantasy / Comedy / Romance
Original Title: Miranda
Director: Ken Annakin
Writers: Peter Blackmore,Peter Blackmore
Released: 1948
Duration: 1h 20min
Video type: Movie
A young married physician out on a fishing holiday ends up being saved by a mermaid, who intends to keep him her prisoner. She then offers to release him if he will take her to see London, which leads to a number of humorous and romantic entanglements as the mermaid entices several unmarried men who live near the physician and his wife.
Complete credited cast:
Glynis Johns Glynis Johns - Miranda Trewella
Googie Withers Googie Withers - Clare Martin
Griffith Jones Griffith Jones - Dr. Paul Martin
John McCallum John McCallum - Nigel Hood
Margaret Rutherford Margaret Rutherford - Nurse Carey
David Tomlinson David Tomlinson - Charles
Yvonne Owen Yvonne Owen - Betty
Sonia Holm Sonia Holm - Isobel
Brian Oulton Brian Oulton - Manell
Zena Marshall Zena Marshall - Secretary
Lyn Evans Lyn Evans - Inn Landlord
Stringer Davis Stringer Davis - Museum Attendant
Hal Osmond Hal Osmond - Railway Carman
Maurice Denham Maurice Denham - Cockle Vendor

Glynis Johns and David Tomlinson would pair together as husband and wife in Mary Poppins (1964).

Although based on the play "Miranda: A Comedy in Three Acts" by Peter Blackmore, the story closely resembles "The Sea Lady" by H.G. Wells.

The song Miranda sings at the opera is the Brindisi ("Drinking Song") from the Giuseppe Verdi opera "La Traviata".



Reviews: [23]

  • avatar

    sobolica

    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.
  • avatar

    Sirara

    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 with.

    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'.
  • avatar

    Ichalote

    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.
  • avatar

    Modifyn

    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.
  • avatar

    Asher

    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??
  • avatar

    Kadar

    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.
  • avatar

    Hucama

    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.
  • avatar

    Rocky Basilisk

    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!
  • avatar

    DireRaven

    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.
  • avatar

    Vut

    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
  • avatar

    GAMER

    Glynis Johns is the title character, Miranda, a mermaid, whose existence underwater has become somewhat tiresome due to the lack of merMANs available to her. Occasionally, she'll catch a few fisherman and keep them for a while. But they all escape. Meanwhile, on shore, Griffith Jones is a married man who leaves his wife (who doesn't mind it) to go fishing. In fact, this is a regular habit. With a forceful tug, he tries to catch a big one, but is thrown in himself and discovers what he really caught. She expresses interest in life on land and he takes her ashore, in a way, just to please her. But, you can tell he takes a fancy to her. To find out what mishaps befall them is something best seen for yourself. This is a pure joy to watch and showcases Glynis Johns at her best. She is truly one of Britain's most underrated actresses. And Margaret Rutherford, too! Those interested in that type of trivia: This movie shows Glynis and David Tomlinson together, before they were Mr. and Mrs. Banks in MARY POPPINS. This was followed by MAD ABOUT MEN, which showed further escapades of Miranda. Tired of today's assembly line of movies? Find this for some clean family fun; you can't go wrong with MIRANDA. Take a dip!
  • avatar

    NiceOne

    Back in the early '60s, when I was a very young lad, there were two television programs that held a great fascination for my young mind. One was the part live/part puppet-animated kiddie show "Diver Dan," which featured the undersea adventures of the titular hero, and showcased one very beautiful blonde mermaid, called Miss Minerva. The other program was one that I have a feeling not too many remember, for the simple reason that it only lasted 13 episodes in the fall of '63. That show was simply called "Glynis," and featured the exploits of its star, Welsh actress Glynis Johns, playing a kooky mystery writer. As a child, I was fascinated by this lovely heroine, with her cracked and husky voice (Glynis' voice has always been as distinctive, in its own way, as that of Jean Arthur, Bette Davis or Katharine Hepburn), and my liking of her only increased over the decades, as I got to see her in such films as "Mary Poppins," "The Court Jester," "The Cabinet of Caligari," "The Vault of Horror" and others. Thus, it was perhaps inevitable that I was predisposed to enjoy Glyins' 1948 film "Miranda," a British fantasy in which she not only appears in the full flush of her beauty, but plays the titular blonde mermaid as well! As charming and delightful a film as could be imagined, "Miranda" was indeed a big hit with the public back when, leading to a belated but equally charming sequel, "Mad About Men," six years later.

    In the film, one Dr. Paul Martin (Griffith Jones) decides to take a little fishing vacation in Cornwall, while his wife Clare (the great British actress Googie Withers, who had appeared three years earlier in one of this viewer's favorite films, "Dead of Night") stays at home in London. Martin casts out his line and winds up with the biggest catch of his life: Miranda the mermaid, who drags him over the side of his boat and brings him down to her underwater cave. Miranda proceeds to turn the poor doctor's life upside down (indeed, when we first see her, she is seen upside down, from the doctor's supine POV). She tells him that he is a prisoner there but that she will let him go if he brings her to London with him for a few weeks, so that she can have some fun and look around. Thus, Miranda is brought to the doctor's home, ensconced in a wheelchair with her fin wrapped in a blanket, and Clare is told that the beautiful creature is a convalescent case who needs looking after. Miranda wastes little time enchanting all the men around her, including the Martins' chauffeur Charles (David Tomlinson), much to the chagrin of his fiancée Betty (Yvonne Owen), as well as painter/artist Nigel (John McCallum), who is engaged to the Martins' neighbor, Isobel (Sonia Holm). Dr. Martin also brings in a very eccentric personage to look after her, Nurse Carey (the great Margaret Rutherford, who had starred in another great British fantasy, "Blithe Spirit," three years earlier), while Miranda engages in all kinds of hijinks, including catching fish at the zoo, eating a trayful of cockles being sold by a street vendor, singing her siren song at Covent Garden's Royal Opera House, and, as mentioned, coming close to busting up no less than three relationships....

    "Miranda" was adapted for the screen by Peter Blackmore, from his play, and he has just peppered his clever script with an abundance of witty lines. (Thus, "Did you catch any big ones?" Clare asks her husband on his return. And later, as Miranda's behavior becomes increasingly suspicious, Googie mutters "There's something very fishy about this case.") Director Ken Annakin, who would go on to direct such films as "Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines" and "Battle of the Bulge," helms his film marvelously, keeping it to a compact 80 minutes. The film is in the best tradition of British cinematic class and quality, and is a fully adult and sophisticated fantasy. (Interestingly, Clare becomes suspicious of Miranda by dint of the fact that there are no panties in her drawer, and the word "panties" is mentioned several times; this, 11 years before the American film "Anatomy of a Murder" mentioned the same word and caused something of a scandal here in the benighted States!) But if there is any one element of the film that can be pointed to as its principal triumph, it is Glynis herself, who is absolutely charming (sorry, can't get away from that word) in the title role. "She's the ultimate catch," proclaimed the film's poster, and very few male viewers would be inclined to disagree. "She's incredibly pretty," proclaims Isobel, to which Clare responds "She's pretty incredible," and again, few would give the two beleaguered ladies any argument. Glynis makes the film one very sweet and enjoyable fantasy, indeed; a film that remains entertaining and winning all the way up to that truly surprising final shot, and the last word that appears on the screen; not "THE END," as might ordinarily be expected, but rather, and hilariously, FIN.
  • avatar

    Flocton

    A smart, modest bauble from Britain's Gainsborough Pictures, with effervescent performances by its cast. Peter Blackmore adapted his play about a man-crazy mermaid off the coast of Cornwall who reels in a fisherman; he's a married doctor on 'bachelor's holiday' who is persuaded by the sumptuous siren to take her back to his home in London as his invalid guest. The intimacy of the stage material works well on-screen, with director Ken Annakin keeping the action moving briskly from room to room; there's also an outrageous outdoor sequence at the zoo which comes off very well. The picture looks sleek in shiny black-and-white, and Glynis Johns is just about perfect as the innocent temptress who has men fawning and women fuming (all except Googie Withers as the doctor's wife--she's too worldly to let another female get the best of her!). Johns put the tail back on for a 1954 sequel, "Mad About Men". **1/2 from ****
  • avatar

    Friert

    Mermaid Miranda (Glynis Johns) catches Paul (Griffith Jones) while Paul is on a fishing trip and makes him take her onto land and stay with him for a few weeks. He pretends she is a patient who cannot walk and he covers her tail with expensive dresses that he buys for her that are too long. Can they get away with their deception? Are the goldfish safe in their bowl?

    This film has moments that make you laugh out loud. Funny scenes include the trip to the zoo where Miranda has a face-off with a seal, the scene in the undersea cave where Miranda tells Paul what she intends to do and all the scenes between Miranda and the various cast members as she is very blunt and direct with all of them. The dialogue is very funny. There is also some tension built into the story as Paul's wife Clare (Googie Withers) begins to suspect something is a little out of the ordinary. She does some investigating that leads to a clever confrontation at the end by means of a crossword clue. It's tense and funny.

    All of the cast are good and we are left with a playful unanswered question in the final shot. It's a different story that is welcome given that mermaids really do exist.
  • avatar

    Moronydit

    Next time I go fishing, skip the worms. I'm taking a bottle of Chanel, maybe jumbo size; that way maybe I'll get lucky like the doc in this movie. With her "upside down" eyes, husky voice, and seductive smile, Johns is a real a deep-sea trophy, though I wish she wouldn't grow her hair so long. But beware, men, just listen to that terrific singing voice. She could be a siren, like the ones that lured those ancient Greek guys to their doom. But I don't think so since she seems really nice. Still, I don't think women would like her much since she's got the kind of roving eye that turns men into mush, married or not. Somehow, though, she gets everyone, on screen and off, to like her in this charming bit of underwater whimsy.

    Fine cast, especially John McCallum (Nigel) who's really good at getting all discombobulated when Miranda starts cooing his way. And that scene at the zoo is priceless. Those seals must have been surprised as heck when Miranda starts talking back to them in seal language. But then, you don't want to have a well-stocked aquarium if you invite the fish-girl over for dinner. She's not too picky in her choice of entrees, especially if they swim. Plus this may be the only movie on record to credit the maker of a "tail"— I guess Dunlop manufactures more than tires. Anyway, this is the first and, in my book, the best of the mermaid fantasies, with just the right kind of touch. Meanwhile, I'm off to the perfume counter to stock up for my next fishing trip. Wish me luck!
  • avatar

    Ance

    I had the pleasure of finding and watching this gem over the weekend on Netflix and I loved it. Great acting, witty dialogue and just charming characters all around. In fact, I think it was a tad ahead of its time and risqué for the era. I also loved seeing Johns and Tomlinson together so early in their careers (their older versions were the parents on Mary Poppins if you recall), and Tomlinson went on to become a regular character and voice-over for many Disney films from the 1950's-70's.

    I normally don't like Romantic-comedies because they're often too "schmaltzy" for my taste, but this one is very well done and a true classic. Take some time out of your busy day to watch it. ;o)
  • avatar

    Onetarieva

    When an exhausted doctor (Griffith Jones) takes a vacation from office and wife (Googie Withers), he heads out fishing and rather than pulling up the biggest catch of his life, ends up getting pulled in! At the other end of the pole, he finds himself woken up by the most unusual creature he'll ever encounter in his life-a mermaid! British beauty Glynis Johns is the man-crazy half girl/half fish who wants desperately to live amongst the humans, just like Hans Christian Anderson's "Little Mermaid". However, unlike Disney's animated Ariel, Johns' Miranda does not sing. But before you break into a chorus of "Send in the Crabs", consider what Johns does do on earth. With the benefit of some really LONG evening gowns, she comes up to earth and turns the society world of London upside down, disrupting not only Jones and Withers' marriage, but the engagements of their neighbor Sonia Holm and her struggling artist boyfriend John McCallum, as well as maid Yvonne Owen and chauffeur David Tomlinson. Yes, 16 years before they hired a magical nanny for their children in "Mary Poppins", Johns and Tomlinson worked together in a sweet romantic mystical comedy that isn't as American as "Mr. Peabody" or "Splash", but features the old school charm of Great Britain's upper crust.

    Naturally, a creature as striking as Johns' Miranda would excite the men and upset the women, and Glynis is perfectly charming doing all that. But even as much as the women are upset by her presence, they can't help but like her personally. There's a very funny scene where Johns and Jones attend the opera and during intermission, Johns starts singing the act finale aria. Wherever she goes, she attracts attention, makes special necklaces for all of the men (which includes her hair) and even gets McCallum to paint her portrait which makes his fiancée Holm hopping mad. To add flame to this mermaid's fire, there's also a very funny twist at the end as well as a very clever way of putting in "The End". This also takes on the old mythological thesis about mermaids in the sense that folklore had mystical sea creatures like mermaids attracting lonely sailors and leading them in the sea to their deaths. That doesn't happen here, but Miranda certainly has no shame when it comes to winning the affections of every man she encounters. Lavishly filmed, intelligently written and wonderfully acted, "Miranda" is a delightful light romantic fantasy.
  • avatar

    Lo◘Ve

    I felt like watching this little film because I always loved mermaids since I was a child and I'm glad I got a chance to see this on Youtube! I loved Glynis Johns acting as the mermaid, she looked so stunning and flirtatious that she would just steal your heart. I honestly didn't know that herself and David Tomlinson played together on Mary Poppins. It's extraordinary that childhood comes back to you in other films that the actors have taken part in.

    I was surprised to know that this film had a sequel called "Mad about Men". I would honestly prefer this film because it had a better casting like Tomlinson in this and he's not in that other film so I'll just give it a miss!

    I enjoyed this 1940's film and I hope it won't be hidden away since it's such a great little underrated film out there. I give this film 9/10!
  • avatar

    Butius

    I noticed one reviewer gave this film a 10. Hmmm,...so apparently this film is as good as GONE WITH THE WIND, BEN HUR or GIGI?! Sorry, but while this is a good film, that's really about all there is to it. In many ways the film reminded me of MR. PEABODY AND THE MERMAID with a very odd twist. Instead of a man catching a mermaid and trying to keep it a secret, a man hooks onto a mermaid and agrees to bring her back home to meet the family and see London! All this is possible because unlike Mr. Peabody's mermaid, this one is perfectly coiffed and has perfect British diction and deportment. How, exactly, she learned such lovely and lilting English is an enigma. The mermaid (Glynis Johns) said that she learned English and customs from Vogue magazine, though how this help with her sterling pronunciation is a mystery! Well, if you ignore all this and just turn off your brain, the film is a delightful thing to watch. Ms. Johns is quite alluring in the title role and all the men who meet her are captivated by her...and they DO NOT realize she is in fact a mermaid! It's all cute and silly fun and a film that is improved by good acting throughout. But a 10? Nah,...I don't think so.

    By the way, if you liked this film, see MAD ABOUT MEN--a sequel to this film that also stars Ms. Johns.
  • avatar

    Mozel

    Miranda has lived a sheltered life under the sea. You see, she's a mermaid. She's read magazines, of course, and she wants to experience the finer things of life on land. (She just loves the opera.) Posing as a cripple, the man-crazy mermaid (played by the lovely Glynis Johns) stirs things up for a young doctor and his wife, their friends, and their servants when she comes to stay at their London flat.

    This movie wastes no time getting the plot rolling. The man meets the mermaid about two minutes after the main titles. And away they go.

    The script is saucy and filled with British wit and the movie benefits from fine performances from the ensemble (including the great Margaret Rutherford and Glynis Johns's future "Mary Poppins" husband David Tomlinson). Johns is young and beautiful and she handles her part well, flirting with all the boys and driving the women mad.

    Out of the gate, this film looks like it is going to be terrible. I don't know anything about camera equipment or film stock, but this movie *looks* like a TV show. Just the way the actors move around on-screen. (Low budget?) It's certainly not a glossy Hollywood production. And the beginning scenes introducing the mermaid are so rushed and amateur looking. And there are some pretty unconvincing lip-syncs when Miranda "sings" at various points throughout the movie.

    Luckily a charming script and a capable cast make this a breezy little distraction.
  • avatar

    It's so easy

    Miranda is one of those off-beat, charming , little films that manages to stir up some magic despite a story with little real credibility. Much of the film's success must go to the director Ken Annakin and a great cast of British character actors. But for my money, just seeing the truly lovely Glynis Johns as a fetching, flirtatious mermaid was enough for me. Johns was always a beauty with her bouncy, fresh blonde hair, charismatic, almost devilish smile, winsome personality, and that voice - a husky, breathy voice that could charm any man. It is those characteristics that play largely in this film as Miranda, a mermaid - a fish out of water if you will - is "caught" on a fishing trip by a young doctor who brings her back to his apartment and wife. Miranda then charms her way into the lives of two other men. All three men, attached in some way to other women, fall hopelessly in love with Miranda. Johns does a great job but the entire cast is very solid in this type of light comedy very typical of British films of this period. I really enjoyed Googie Withers in the role of Clare(the wife of Griffith Jones - the man who brings Miranda back home). Withers exudes a sardonic smile throughout as she plays through her husband's infatuation. The grand dame of British comedy herself, Margaret Rutherford, has another fine comedic turn as a rather eccentric nurse. David Tomlinson delivers as an efficient chauffeur caught under Miranda's spell. Look for Rutherford's real-life husband Stringer Davis as a museum attendant. Miranda is not a great film by any definition, but it is so charming and relaxed that it is a great deal of fun nonetheless.
  • avatar

    JoJolar

    Dreadful film about a doctor who goes fishing and winds up catching a mermaid when he is thrown overboard. She traps him into bringing her back with him.

    Glynis Johns, in the title role, is really a silly individual with a tail hanging out.

    Margaret Rutherford is the nurse who is supposed to be so eccentric but we see no eccentricity here. In fact, Miss Rutherford was not allowed to use her true comedic gifts.

    Nice to see David Tomlinson in the film. He would get together with Johns in the far superior "Mary Poppins," 16 years later.

    Miranda causes mischief in that two guys, a neighbor's fiancée and chauffeur (Tomlinson) fall for her.

    Ask any mermaid you happen to see, what's the best tuna, Chicken of the Sea! As for this film, forget it.
  • avatar

    Hulbine

    Copyright 14 April 1948 by Gainsborough Pictures Ltd. Presented by J. Arthur Rank. U.S. release through Eagle Lion Films: 16 March 1949 (sic). New York opening at the Little Carnegie: 23 April 1949. U.K. release through General Film Distributors: 23 May 1948. Australian release through G-B-D and 20th Century-Fox: 1 September 1949 (sic). 7,208 feet. 80 minutes.

    SYNOPSIS: A London doctor on a fishing holiday in Cornwall is caught by a mermaid who forces him to take her back to his home.

    COMMENT: Stretched rather thin over 80 minutes, this one-joke domestic farce holds the interest chiefly because of the charming performance by Glynis Johns in the title role. You could almost say it's the part she was born to play (and certainly it's the role for which she is most remembered today). Her distinctively husky voice and her oddly beguiling manner seem both eminently suited for a mermaid. (So great was her success in fact that she followed up with a sequel in 1954: "Mad About Men").

    Mind you, she has her work cut out for her here as the rest of the players are so weak. With the exception of Margaret Rutherford, of course (though hers is distinctly a supporting role). And we should also except David Tomlinson. He is supposed to be weak. But as for Griffith Jones' boringly lackluster medico, Googie Withers' tediously arch matron-of-the-house and John McCallum's daunting miscasting, the less said the better.

    Annakin's direction is not only ruthlessly routine, but unmercifully slow.

    ANOTHER VIEW: Stupefyingly dull, one-joke romantic comedy. Dramatist Blackmore had a promising idea, but failed to develop it along any but the most conventional lines. And as if, thanks to its stage play origins, the script were not already talky enough, the producers hired a Dennis Waldock (never heard of him) to write "additional dialogue"!

    Admittedly interest perks up when Margaret Rutherford enters. Her characteristic role as an eccentric nurse would appear to offer plenty of comic potential, but simply nothing happens. The part peters out. After exchanging a slight bit of banter with real-life husband Stringer Davis (his usual stiff self as a museum attendant), she is virtually dropped from the action completely.

    Jones as usual is a complete wash-out as a romantic lead. One's only consolation is that his next movie with Withers "Once Upon a Dream" is even worse. The other players are okay, though the acting as a whole is no great shakes. The script as said above is dull, whilst Annakin's direction is the flattest, most monotonously routine we have encountered for some time. Other credits are competent but totally undistinguished. Production values are very moderate. That the movie proved such an outstanding hit at the box=office must be attributed solely to the novelty of the story and an expensive, cleverly designed advertising campaign.