In 1900, Lucy Muir (Gene Tierney), widowed for one year, decides to move out of her controlling in-law's house in London to the English seaside with her adolescent daughter Anna (Natalie Wood) and their long devoted maid Martha (Edna Best). Despite the rental agent trying to dissuade her, Lucy decides to rent Gull Cottage at Whitecliff-by-the-Sea. She learns firsthand 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 (Sir Rex Harrison). 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 ...Written by
Joseph L. Mankiewicz was the right choice for directing this film. He created a film that survived the passage of time. The R. A. Dick's novel was adapted by Philip Dunne. "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir" is blessed with one of Bernard Herrmann's best film scores. The music greatly enhances what one is watching on the screen. Charles Lang's cinematography gives the illusion we are somewhere on a remote spot of England, when in reality the film was shot in California!
"The Ghost and Mrs. Muir" gave its star, Gene Tierney, one of the best roles of her career, after "Laura". Ms. Tierney had the fragility to portray Lucy Muir, the plucky young widow that decides to move to the coast against her in-laws wishes. The idea of the film plays well as it unfolds because obviously, it's all in Mrs. Muir's mind all what she is experiencing.
Rex Harrison's Capt. Daniel Gregg was also one of his best opportunities as a leading man in the movies. Mr. Harrison is perfect as the crusty old seaman that refuses to abandon his beloved home overlooking a beautiful view of the sea. Mr. Harrison plays well opposite Ms. Tierney; their chemistry works well because it combines his rugged good looks and her beauty.
The supporting players are good under Mr. Mankiewicz' direction. George Sanders, Edna Best, Natalie Wood, Robert Coote, Vanessa Brown, all give good performances and enhance the film.
This film will always be a favorite for fans, young and old.
51 of 56 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this