Sunday, September 13, 2015

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947)

At the turn of the century, recent widow Lucy (Gene Tierney) rents a seaside house against the wishes of her in-laws and the realtor. Turns out the house is haunted by the salty sea captain (Rex Harrison) who committed suicide there four years earlier. Soon, love blooms.

The Ghost is a romantic drama period film. A post-war remembrance of a simpler time. Gene and Rex both are wonderfully restrained in their performances. Here the ghost-romantic drama was invented, later to be ruined by Ghost.

Anna Lee, right off her success in Bedlam, has a small role. Her on-screen charisma muted to fit the roll. Lucy's daughter is a young Natalie Wood. The Gaelic word "muir", I learned, means "sea", the only woman a sailor can truly love.

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir is a very well crafted if cloyingly sentimental film. The sets, acting, and dialog is spot on, but there are no mysteries here. If you are surprised where the story leads, then you must hide your own Easter eggs. This movie is exactly what it intends to be. Tone and performances are spot on. Not exactly in my wheelhouse, but enjoyable never-the-less. AMRU 3.5.
"My dear, never let anyone tell you to be ashamed of your figure."

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