For Reel

Miranda (1948)
May 4, 2015, 10:25 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Ken Annakin
3 Stars
MirandaA comedic fantasy in the vein of I Married a Witch, Miranda stars Glynis Johns as a man-hungry mermaid who gets to fulfill her wish of experiencing life as a citizen of London. While the fantasy element is exploited to its fullest in the earliest sequences (the magical cave that Johns brings Griffith Jones to is beautifully rendered by cinematographer Ray Elton and art director George Paterson), much of the picture plays like a standard sex farce in which the status quo is upset by an enchanting outsider. Googie Withers is well-cast as the wife of Jones, who first reacts jealously upon Miranda’s arrival but eventually treats her husband’s crush as a schoolboy fantasy that he will outgrow. Withers first suspects that Miranda is more than she seems due to a few missing fish in a fishbowl, and Miranda’s unusual appetite is further alluded to in the one truly hilarious sight gag in which she swallows a fish whole during a zoo’s feeding time and then proceeds to bark back at the angered seals. In the last scene of the film, it is shown that she has returned to the sea to spawn. It’s a suggestive, brilliantly naughty image that makes one reexamine the sexual dynamics of the picture: this is a film about a man who has sex with a fish and then brings it home to his wife.

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