IMDb > Blithe Spirit (1945)
Blithe Spirit
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Blithe Spirit (1945) More at IMDbPro »

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Blithe Spirit -- David Lean's delightful film version of Noël Coward's theater sensation stars Rex Harrison as a novelist who cheekily invites a medium to his house to conduct a séance, hoping the experience will inspire a book he's working on. Things go decidedly not as planned when she summons the spirit of his dead first wife, a severe inconvenience for his current one.

Overview

User Rating:
7.2/10   3,560 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Up 11% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
David Lean (adapted for the screen by) &
Ronald Neame (adapted for the screen by) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Blithe Spirit on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
14 May 1945 (UK) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Elvira is the kind of gal who can turn an evening into a night you'll never forget! See more »
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
Won Oscar. Another 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Spiritual mirth is a joyous thing. See more (49 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Directed by
David Lean 
 
Writing credits
David Lean (adapted for the screen by) &
Ronald Neame (adapted for the screen by) &
Anthony Havelock-Allan (adapted for the screen by)

Noël Coward  play (uncredited)
Noël Coward  screenplay (uncredited)

Produced by
Noël Coward .... producer (as Noel Coward)
 
Original Music by
Richard Addinsell 
 
Cinematography by
Ronald Neame (photographed in Technicolor by)
 
Film Editing by
Jack Harris 
 
Casting by
Irene Howard (uncredited)
 
Art Direction by
C.P. Norman 
 
Set Decoration by
Arthur Taksen (uncredited)
 
Costume Design by
Rahvis (dresses)
 
Makeup Department
Tony Sforzini .... makeup artist
Vivienne Walker .... hairdresser
 
Production Management
Anthony Havelock-Allan .... in charge of production
Norman Spencer .... unit manager
Sydney Streeter .... unit manager (as S.S. Streeter)
Herbert Smith .... executive in charge of production (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
George Pollock .... assistant director
 
Art Department
G.E. Calthrop .... art supervisor: Noel Coward
T. Hopewell Ash .... draughtsman (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
John Cook .... sound recordist (as John Cooke)
Desmond Dew .... sound recordist
Cyril Crowhurst .... dubbing editor (uncredited)
Roy Day .... sound camera operator (uncredited)
Percy Dayton .... boom operator (uncredited)
Anthony J. Kay .... dubbing crew (uncredited)
George Paternoster .... assistant boom operator (uncredited)
Alan Whatley .... dubbing crew (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Tom Howard .... special effects
 
Visual Effects by
Charles Staffell .... back projection (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
William McLeod .... camera operator (as Wm. McLeod)
Dennis Bartlett .... focus puller (uncredited)
Wilfrid Newton .... still photographer (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Hilda Collins .... dress supervisor
 
Editorial Department
Margery Saunders .... assembly editor (uncredited)
Norah Walsh .... assistant editor (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Muir Mathieson .... conductor: The London Symphony Orchestra
Leonard Isaacs .... orchestrator (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Joan Bridge .... for Technicolor: associate colour director
Natalie Kalmus .... for Technicolor: colour director
George Minassian .... for Technicolor: technician
Yvonne Axeworthy .... assistant continuity (uncredited)
Maggie Unsworth .... continuity (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
96 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Certification:
Argentina:Atp | Australia:PG | Finland:K-16 | Spain:T | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:U (tv rating) | UK:U (video rating) (1991) (1993) (2003) | USA:Not Rated | West Germany:6 (fr 16)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Although it received positive critical reviews, the film was a box-office failure on both sides of the Atlantic, but is now widely regarded as a classic.See more »
Goofs:
Crew or equipment visible: When Ruth leaves Charles and Elvira to go to bed, the camera pulls back into the drawing room, the door closes, and in the gloss paintwork the ghostly reflection of the crew can be seen.See more »
Quotes:
[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 »
Soundtrack:
AlwaysSee more »

FAQ

What does 'blithe' mean?
How does the movie end?
Of what significance are the black armbands on Charles' jacket?
See more »
10 out of 12 people found the following review useful.
Spiritual mirth is a joyous thing., 4 March 2008
Author: Spikeopath from United Kingdom

Blithe Spirit is directed by David Lean and adapted from by Noel Coward's play by Lean, Coward, Ronald Neame and Anthony Havelock-Allan. The title Blithe Spirit was devised out of the poem by "To a Skylark" written by Percy Bysshe Shelley. The film stars Rex Harrison, Constance Cummings, Kay Hammond and Margaret Rutherford. Music is by Richard Addinsell and Neame is the photographer. Plot finds Charles (Harrison) and his second wife Ruth (Cummings) haunted by the ghost of Charles' first wife, Elvira (Hammond). Medium Madame Arcati (Rutherford) is enlisted to try and help. Things get colourful to say the least...

Written by a maestro and directed by someone so gifted, Blithe Spirit is a fantastical comedy that gladdens and lifts the spirits (no pun intended) to the point that this viewer always wears a grin 12 hours after watching it. Noel Coward's witty approach is given perfect treatment from David Lean and a cast clearly having fun with the material to hand. Rex Harrison is all fresh faced and youthful, whilst some of his mannerisms of incredulity and cheek are a joy to behold, while Constance Cummings & Kay Hammond bounce off each other with electrical mirth. However, it is Margaret Rutherford's show all the way, her portrayal of the batty, almost maniacal, medium Madame Arcati is a lesson in visual and well delivered oral comedy, it is something that on its own is worth watching the film for.

Ghostly goings on with a cracking turn of events at the hour mark, mark this out as a truly delightful movie, thankfully we get an ending that is perfect and in tune as regards the fun that has gone before it. Essential viewing for the classic comedy fan. 9/10

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Edith the Maid- I don't get it infoed
'The answer to that is obvious' (Enjoyed the film on the whole) FrenchFraud
Help - What happened with Edith? (SPOILER) deltaray
Other films like this? westward7
Charles's Affair UncleCliffy
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