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Blithe Spirit (1945)

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

Director:

David Lean

Writers:

David Lean (adapted for the screen by), Ronald Neame (adapted for the screen by) | 1 more credit »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Rex Harrison ... Charles Condomine
Constance Cummings ... Ruth Condomine
Kay Hammond ... Elvira Condomine
Margaret Rutherford ... Madame Arcati
Hugh Wakefield ... Dr. George Bradman
Joyce Carey ... Violet Bradman
Jacqueline Clarke ... Edith (as Jaqueline Clarke)
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Storyline

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 J-26

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Love that makes the sparks fly See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Fantasy

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 May 1945 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Uma Mulher do Outro Mundo See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original Broadway production of "Blithe Spirit" written by Noël Coward opened at the Morosco Theater on November 5, 1941, ran for 657 performances and closed on June 5, 1943. Jacqueline Clarke repeated her role in the film. See more »

Goofs

After the séance when Elvira first appears, she flops onto the settee by the fire. As her dress billows you can see where the green ghostly make up ends half way up her leg, showing normal skin above the make up line. 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 »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Featured in The Art of Directing: David Lean (2019) See more »

Soundtracks

Always
(uncredited)
Written by Irving Berlin
Sung by Jacqueline Clarke
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A defence of this fabulous film...
18 August 2004 | by c-a-ryanSee all my reviews

Well, as usual I beg to differ. I love Blithe Spirit. It has the most fantastic atmosphere to it: spooky, surreal and very British (in the best possible way). Yes its very 'stiff upper lip' but then this is about the moneyed middle classes (and remember also that Constance Cummings' inclusion here is surely designed to give the film appeal in the US, and even today American's seem to like their Brits very, very British). The best thing about BS is of course, Elvira. Kay Hammond shimmers (albeit greenly) as the ghostly, seductive and manipulative ex-wife who is determined to win back her husband from his straight-laced second wife. I think you need to be the sort of person who can comfortably laugh at death to really get the most out of this film, it is a comedy after all, not high drama. But it doesn't have the kind of 'cosy' vibe that, say, 'Midsomer Murders' has. Its much more arch and intelligent. Watch it at Halloween in a darkened room with a box of After Eights and a Crème de Menthe for company...


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