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Miss Morison's Ghosts (1981)

| Fantasy, Thriller | TV Movie
Two British women claim to have been thrown into a time warp where they saw Marie Antoinette as they were strolling through the gardens at Versailles Palace in France. After they tell their... See full summary »

Director:

John Bruce

Writer:

Ian Curteis
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Wendy Hiller ... Miss Elizabeth P. Morison
Hannah Gordon ... Miss Frances L. Lamont
Bosco Hogan ... The Reverend Oliver Hodgson
Niall Toibin ... Lord Kavanaugh
Vivian Pickles ... Dr. Cecilia Hadley
John Franklyn-Robbins ... Sir Patrick Corcoran
Antonia Pemberton Antonia Pemberton ... Bursar
Ann Queensberry ... College Secretary
Anna Korwin Anna Korwin ... Marie Antoinette
Tom Durham Tom Durham ... Running Man
Michael Quinto Michael Quinto ... Comte de Vandreuil
Corinna Marlowe Corinna Marlowe ... Singing Student
Biddy Massen Biddy Massen ... Alice
Claude Le Saché Claude Le Saché ... Waiter
Denis Marriott Denis Marriott ... Official
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Storyline

Two British women claim to have been thrown into a time warp where they saw Marie Antoinette as they were strolling through the gardens at Versailles Palace in France. After they tell their story to a psychic society, they find themselves the objects of derision and their jobs are threatened. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

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Genres:

Fantasy | Thriller

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Also Known As:

ミス・モリソンズ・ゴースツ See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Anglia Television See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film takes place from 1901 to 1902 and in 1789. See more »

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User Reviews

 
More things in heaven and earth...
14 March 2005 | by rmax304823See all my reviews

I've only seen this once, when it was released more than twenty years ago, but have never been able to forget it. Two English women touring Versailles witness some strange people and odd goings on but they don't discuss it with one another until their return home, when they compare notes. Their independent accounts agree on most of the important points but there are enough discrepancies to pique their interest. Some further research seems to indicate that the people and events they were witness to are long dead. One lady, wearing what is consistently called a "fichou" -- I can only imagine what that is -- may have been Marie Antoinette. The rest of the movie, about half, is taken up with their decision to publish their experiences, inviting ridicule. That's a bit sketchy but it's been a long time.

I remember it for a number of reasons. One is Hannah Gordon's performance. She consistently wears a dreamy far-away look, as if not really paying attention to what others are saying, until something is said that irritates her and then she snaps back into the present with some cutting remark.

Another memorable feature of the movie is the way the experience, let's call it "supernatural", is played. No spooky music. No dialog at all. The women walk in slow motion through a fuzzily photographed set that seems imbued with mystery and heat. It's extremely effective.

Another reason I remember it is that it serves as -- if not exactly a wake-up call for scientists -- at least a nudge in the night. The story seems simple. Two sexually repressed ladies, disturbed by the strange surroundings and the summer heat, become pixillated and see ghosts. There was a lot of that sort of thing going about in Victorian and Edwardian England -- ghosts, fairies, seances. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was involved in it, and Harry Houdini, and Madam Blavatsky was a best seller. Well, it's understandable. The belief that God was behind everything was being challenged by Darwinism and other scientific advances, and it was natural that people should want to explore in the interface (or "warfare" as some called it) between science and religion. Nowadays we've outgrown all that superstition. Skeptics are fond of quoting the Scottish philosopher David Hume, something to the effect that if someone reports a miracle and tries to explain it by invoking an even greater miracle, he will always accept the lesser of the two miracles.

Since nobody believes in miracles anymore, this dictum has a modern ring to it. But if you substitute "probability" for "miracle," it begins to look a bit less powerful. At one time, after all, it would have been a miracle for stones to fall from the skies, so every thinking person rejected the possibility. That was before the discovery of meteorites.

I've been a research scientist for thirty years and have forced myself to keep an open mind, especially to events I think are silly or work in favor of my own prejudices. Another person and I once had an experience with what can only be called an unidentified flying object. It turned my conception of the world on a tilt. I've tried since then to avoid the kind of colossal arrogance that leads to thinking that our generation stands on the peak of knowledge, and that although there is more to learn about the universe, no knowledge that we already rely on can be mistaken. Baloney.

There are things we don't know -- and we don't know that we don't know them. I don't know if those two ladies went through the experience they claimed. But the possibility can't be simply dismissed.


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