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
This was one of Twentieth Century Fox's biggest box-office hits of 1947, and was ranked tenth amongst the year's top grossers. See more »
When Coombe, the real estate agent, is discussing suitable lodgings for Mrs. Muir, he states that he took the liberty of making a list of the homes he thought would best suit her. Yet, in the folder he apparently placed Gull Cottage, and every time Mrs. Muir looks at the listing, he pulls it out of her hand and says words to the effect that it wouldn't suit her. If he thought it didn't, then why did he put it in the folder? See more »
Capt. Daniel Gregg:
[to Lucy, who is sleeping]
How'd you have loved the North Cape and the fjords in the midnight sun... to sail across the reef at Barbados, where the blue water turns to green... to the Falklands, where a southerly gale rips the whole sea white! What we've missed, Lucia... what we've both missed.
[he slowly begins to vanish]
Capt. Daniel Gregg:
Goodbye... me darling.
[he vanishes completely and the open window closes by itself]
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Opening credits prologue: LONDON at the turn of the century. See more »
Anyone who remembers the television series based on this film that starred Hope Lange, Edward Mulhare, and Charles Nelson Reilly from the late sixties will not get that at all in this film. All that you can say is that this The Ghost And Mrs. Muir have as the lead characters, the ghost of a dead sea captain and a widow named Muir.
The recent widow Muir played by Gene Tierney has decided to rent a cottage by the sea in Edwardian Great Britain, party for solitude and grieving and partly to get away from her interfering in-laws played by Victoria Horne and Isobel Elsom. She insists on seeing a lovely cottage as she's motoring with rental agent Robert Coote. But even despite the fact that it's former owner is haunting the place, she insists on taking it.
The late owner is irascible sea captain Rex Harrison. Harrison became the first word in irascibility when he portrayed Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady. But there's a whole lot of difference between Captain Daniel Gregg and Professor Henry Higgins. Both may be irascible, but Gregg is by no means an intellectual snob. But they're both solitary souls and don't like the world intruding.
Even though physical consummation is impossible this romance between individuals on a different plane of existence is as charming today as it was back in 1947. Tierney has a daughter played at different stages by Natalie Wood and Vanessa Brown who also experience Harrison's ethereal presence.
There's a strong resemblance between this and the romance suggested in Maytime between the late Nelson Eddy and the aging Jeanette MacDonald. Harrison's character has quite a bit more bite to him than Nelson's does, wit replaces baritone high notes here.
George Sanders has a nice supporting part as a living individual much interested in Gene Tierney as well, but who turns out to have a lot less character than meets the eye.
The film has been proposed for a remake a few times, maybe it will be some day, but to find players of the ability of Rex Harrison, Gene Tierney, George Sanders and the rest will be a considerable challenge.
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