7.1/10
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Blithe Spirit (1945)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Fantasy | 14 May 1945 (UK)
Charles (Sir Rex Harrison) and his second wife, Ruth (Constance Cummings), are haunted by the spirit of his first wife, Elvira (Kay Hammond). Medium Madame Arcati (Dame Margaret Rutherford) 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 »
Reviews
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)
Learn more

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Storyline

To get background for a new book, author Charles Condomine (Sir Rex Harrison) and his second wife Ruth (Constance Cummings) light-heartedly arrange for local mystic Madame Arcati (Dame Margaret Rutherford) to give a séance. The unfortunate result is that Charles' first wife Elvira (Kay Hammond) returns from beyond the grave to make his life something of a misery. Ruth too gets increasingly irritated with her supernatural rival, but Madame Arcati is at her wit's end as to how to sort things out. Written by J-26

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Noel Coward's Super-Naturally Spicy Screen Entertainment See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Fantasy

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Writer and Director Sir David Lean and Cinematographer Ronald Neame decided not to use double exposure to create Elvira's ghostly appearances. Instead, Lean created an enormous set that allowed Kay Hammond to move freely in each shot. Hammond wore fluorescent green clothes, make-up, and a wig, with bright red lipstick and fingernail polish. Each time she moved, a special light would be directed on her, allowing her figure to glow even in dimly-lit scenes, and giving her an otherworldly appearance. See more »

Goofs

Around 00:08:47, we can see some shadow on Violet's face. 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

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Screaming Skull (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

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

User Reviews

ghostly colour rendition !
17 March 2007 | by paulfreemanSee all my reviews

This film was shot using the original 3-negative Technicolor system. Sometime in the 50's/60's when TV was buying up old movies, the negs were called up from the vaults in Denham to make new prints, only then was it discovered that one entire set (the magenta ones) had gone missing.

The re-issue prints were cobbled together extracting the magenta element of the picture using old prints and a sort of optical subtractive process. It was not wildly successful as anyone who watched the movie on TV in the 60's or bought the early VHS can attest. It has a sort of ethereal, greenish, washed-out look to it. I suspect the optical soundtrack master was also missing for the 1st 2 reels (22 mins)

The current TV release (2007 on TCM) and the DVD is a perfect Technicolor print, so either the magenta negative has been unearthed or (more likely) the magic of digital wizardry has recreated the missing component.


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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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