Blithe Spirit (1945)

Not Rated  |   |  Comedy, Fantasy  |  14 May 1945 (UK)
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Adapted from a play by Noel Coward, Charles and his second wife Ruth, are haunted by the ghost of his first wife, Elvira. Medium Madame Arcati tries to help things out by contacting the ghost.



(adapted for the screen by), (adapted for the screen by), 3 more credits »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Constance Cummings ...
Kay Hammond ...
Margaret Rutherford ...
Hugh Wakefield ...
Joyce Carey ...
Jacqueline Clarke ...
Edith (as Jaqueline Clarke)


To get background for a new book, author Charles and his second wife Ruth light-heartedly arrange for local mystic Madame Arcati to give a séance. The unfortunate result is that Charles' first wife Elvira returns from beyond the grave to make his life something of a misery. Ruth too gets increasingly irritated with her supernatural rival, but M.Arcati is at her wit's end as to how to sort things out. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


One Wife Too Many


Comedy | Fantasy


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

14 May 1945 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Uma Mulher do Outro Mundo  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


David Lean and cinematographer Ronald Neame decided not to use double exposure to create Elvira's ghostly appearances. Instead, Lean created an enormous set that allowed Kay Hammond to move freely in each shot. Hammond wore fluorescent green clothes, makeup, and a wig, with bright red lipstick and fingernail polish. Each time she moved, a special light would be directed on her, allowing her figure to glow even in dimly-lit scenes, and giving her an otherworldly appearance. See more »


After requesting, and drinking "Dry Martinis" the liquid in the glasses is distinctly brown instead of clear. See more »


[first lines]
words on a Victorian sampler: "When we are young / We read and believe / The most fantastic things. / When we are older / We learn with regret / That these things cannot be"
Narrator: We are quite, quite wrong!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The voice at the end of the credits page that utters, "We are quite, quite WRONG!" is Noel Coward's See more »


Version of Blithe Spirit (1946) See more »


Written by Irving Berlin
Sung by Jacqueline Clarke
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Spirited Comedy
12 February 2011 | by See all my reviews

A couple is haunted by the spirit of the man's deceased first wife. Coward adapted his own play for the screen with the help of Lean and Neame. This was Neame's last credit as cinematographer before becoming a director. This was the third of Lean's first four films as director where he worked with Coward. It is an enjoyable farce with witty dialog, but never quite rises above the silliness of the subject matter (ghosts). Harrison and Cummings are fine as the couple, with him becoming bemused and her becoming exasperated after the appearance of the ghost of his first wife, a green-faced Hammond. Rutherford seems to be having the most fun as an incompetent medium.

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