The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
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A Note Regarding Spoilers

The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for The Ghost and Mrs Muir can be found here.

Recently widowed, Lucy Muir (Gene Tierney) rents an English seaside cottage that once belonged to a now deceased sea captain, Daniel Gregg (Rex Harrison)...except that Gregg isn't deceased. He's a ghost and 'living' in the house. And neither the ghost nor Mrs Muir has any intention of moving out.

The Ghost and Mrs Muir is based on a 1945 novel of the same name, written by English author Josephine Leslie under the pseudonym of R. A. Dick. The novel was adapted for the screen by American screenwriter Philip Dunne.

Except for the opening segments, which take place in London, the rest of the movie takes place in the fictitious English village of Whitecliff-by-the-Sea, where Mrs Muir rents 'Gull Cottage' for herself and her young daughter Anna (Natalie Wood). In reality, the entire film was shot in California.

The exact dates are not given, only that the movie opens in the 1900s, about a year after the death of Lucy's husband Edwin, and continues throughout the span of Lucy's lifetime, placing the story mostly in the first half of the 20th century.

Mr Coombe (Robert Coote) had shown the cottage four times prior and all four times encountered a supposed ghost. In all four cases, those who decided to rent the cottage left after just one night in the house. In addition, a charwoman who was carrying for the house also encountered a ghost and ran from the cottage leaving behind the dirty dishes from her lunch. Mr Coombe is quite sure that the cottage is haunted by the ghost of the previous owner, Captain Daniel Gregg, whose portrait Mrs Muir encounters on the parlour wall.

Mr Coombe tells Mrs Muir that he committed suicide. When she finally comes face-to-face with Capt Gregg (Rex Harrison), he explains that he closed the windows one cold and rainy night and must have kicked on the gas heater in his sleep. It most definitely was NOT suicide.

Capt Gregg explains that he still has plans for his house, and those plans 'do not include a pack of strangers barging in and making themselves at home.'

Yes. The 'monkey puzzle' tree (aka 'monkey tail tree') is an Araucaria araucana, a conifer native to South America. A photo of a monkey puzzle tree can be seen here. One look at the tree, and it's easy to see why it was dubbed 'monkey puzzle.' Only a monkey could figure out how to climb it.

At first, she receives dividends from a gold mine. When the mine shuts down, however, she thinks about taking on lodgers, but Capt Gregg won't allow it. Instead, he suggests that she pawn some of her jewelry. He also dictates a book that he titles Blood and Swash about the story of his life, which Mrs Muir transcribes and publishes for him. The book becomes a best-seller.

How does the movie end?

Lucy is devastated when she learns that Miles Farley (George Sanders) is already married. She returns to Gull Cottage to live out her days believing that her time with Capt Gregg was but a dream. Anna (Vanessa Brown) grows up, attends the university, marries, and has a daughter. She talks about also seeing the captain. Mrs Muir grows older and older, but the captain does not return until one evening after Lucy, now old and gray, is sitting in her chair, about to drink her milk. The milk glass drops to the floor, and suddenly the captain is standing there. He reaches out his hands to her, and she takes them. He pulls her to a standing position, showing a Lucy Muir who looks like she did when they first met. As Capt Gregg and Mrs Muir walk from the room arm in arm, she looks back to see old self 'asleep' in the chair. They continue on down the stairs and out the front door.

Page last updated by bj_kuehl, 2 months ago
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