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The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947)

Not Rated | | Drama, Fantasy, Mystery | May 1947 (USA)
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In 1900, a young widow finds her seaside cottage is haunted...and forms a unique relationship with the ghost.

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(screen play), (from the novel by)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Edna Best ...
Vanessa Brown ...
...
Robert Coote ...
...
Isobel Elsom ...
Victoria Horne ...
Eva Muir
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Storyline

At the beginning of the twentieth century, Mrs. Edwin Muir - Lucy - widowed for one year, decides to move out of her controlling in-law's home in London to the English seaside with her adolescent daughter Anna and their long devoted maid Martha. Despite the rental agent trying to dissuade her, Lucy decides to rent Gull Cottage at Whitecliff-by-the-Sea. She learns first hand before she makes the decision the rental agent's hesitance is because the cottage is haunted, supposedly by its now deceased former owner, seaman Captain Daniel Gregg. After she moves in, she does meet the spirit of Captain Gregg face-to-face. Because she refuses to be scared away by his presence, the two come to an understanding, including that he will not make his presence known to Anna. As time progresses, the two develop a friendship and a bond. Despite his statements to her that she needs to live her life including finding another husband, Daniel seems not to approve of any of the men that enter her life, ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

THE SPIRIT... so willing! THE FLESH... so weak! THE ROMANCE... so wonderful! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

May 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

L'aventure de Madame Muir  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The word "muir" means "the sea" in Gaelic. Many times sailors are said to have been "married" to the sea, or that the only woman they ever loved was the sea. See more »

Goofs

As Mrs. Muir's sister-in-law and mother-in-law come down the stairs towards the ghost of Capt. Gregg, the mother-in-law has to squeeze around Rex Harrison's body to finish descending the staircase, right before he grabs the elbows of the two ladies. See more »

Quotes

Lucy Muir: I wish you wouldn't swear. It's so ugly.
Captain Gregg: If you think that's ugly, it's a good thing you can't read me thoughts!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Grace Under Fire: The Ghost and Mrs. Kelly (1996) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Exquisite romance, like fine china
17 December 2001 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

If I may say so this film is one of the most haunting and lovely romances ever on screen - ghost and all. Once you step back in time into that prim, Victorian world it is hard to turn away. That's what makes for great movies.

Gene Tierney is perfect in her role as Lucy, a young widow, very strong-willed and with a mind of her own. She decides to leave the home and relatives of her late husband to find a new life of independence for herself and her daughter. She is shown "Gull Cottage" by an agent and is determined to rent the seaside cottage although it's known to be haunted by the ghost of a sea captain.

Eventually, once settled into her new surroundings, she is confronted by the apparition of Captain Daniel on a blustery stormy night. Their acquaintance does not get off to an easy start but he decides she can stay and won't trouble her with his houndings which would have ordinary people put to flight and making a hasty retreat. Her amusing exchanges with the captain, played by Rex Harrison, are a delight. I particularly liked her expressions which were corrected by him, such as: (she describes) sheets bellying in the wind, (he, correcting her) sails billowing; (she, in a flurry for him to be gone, asks him to) decompose, (he haughtily retorts) dematerialize, madam!

When she develops an interest in a certain outsider, Miles Fairley, suitably performed by that perennial ladies' man, George Sanders, well the captain becomes very annoyed and tells her, "I said you should see men, not perfumed parlor snakes," which I thought was amusing and a very apt description.

I think the overall tone of the story tends to confirm a universal belief in an afterlife form of existence, a conviction as old as mankind itself. However, in this story the emphasis gradually shifts to supplanting the experience of a ghostly dialogue exchange with that of a dream state as being the source of reality, in effect Lucy dreamed it all, even the writing of the book, which is something I would question but that's another matter.

The exquisite music throughout the film sets the mood beautifully in expressing the many changes varying from haunting, romantic atmosphere to frolicsome (when the captain is up to his pranks), as well as the churning turbulence of the majestic waves along the shore.

I've recently acquired the DVD and appreciate having the subtitles now which brings out more details of the dialogue. This is a very special movie one doesn't easily forget, and so well done, pure artistry on film.


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