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A secretive widower hires a governess for his children, a willful boy and impressionable girl. Strange occurrences and the governess's curiosity lead her to unlock the secrets of the mysterious and uninhabited brownstone next door.
A brother and sister move into an old seaside house they find abandoned for many years on the English coast. Their original enchantment with the house diminishes as they hear stories of the previous owners and meet their daughter (now a young woman) who now lives as a neighbor with her grandfather. Also heard are unexplained sounds during the night. It becomes obvious that the house is haunted. The reasons for the haunting and how they relate to the daughter whom the brother is falling in love with, prove to be a complex mystery. As they are compelled to solve it, the supernatural activity at the house increases to a frightening level. Written by
Russell West <email@example.com>
This is my first viewing of the movie and the beginning is very reminiscent of the contemporaneous duo Myrna Loy/William Powell in their repartee and tone of acting, but instead of a crime scene they are confronted with the "paranormal." Ray Milland and Ruth Hussey keep an upbeat lilt to their scenes and the added beauty and innocence of Gail Russell makes the tale special somehow. Always a solid supporting actor, Donald Crisp does well as the grandfather.
However, I feel there is an over-emphasis on the melodramatic and it's all too easy to fall back on histrionics for effects, not to mention hysterics. It's quite true that we tend to fear what we do not understand.
Throughout the film I was reminded of two books which readily clarify the topic of afterlife and spiritualism: 1) "Our Unseen Guest" by Darby & Joan, and 2) "The Unobstructed Universe" by Stewart Edward White. Having read these decades ago one has more insight into the so-called world of the unexplained. The only reason we regard such happenings as "supernatural" is simply because we do not understand the forces within Life itself. But that's another subject!
I regard "The Uninvited" as one of the best of its genre, with plenty of mystery and suspense at times reaching a high pitch, yet expected. The music score also is beautiful and adds much to the romance between Roderick (Milland) and Stella (Russell). I look forward to seeing this film many more times since one viewing is just scratching the surface.
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