Entertainment » Movies

The Ghost And Mrs. Muir

by Ed Tapper
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Monday Dec 16, 2013
The Ghost And Mrs. Muir

Based on a 1945 novel, "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir" is set in England at the turn of the 20th century. The gothic romance concerns a young widow who rents an ocean-front house haunted by the ghost of its former owner, a feisty sea captain. Initially, Captain Gregg's spirit attempts to frighten her off; but, as the plot unfolds, he falls in love with her. The novel's comic elements were seized upon in a popular, 1960s TV sitcom. Though less assimilated into pop culture, the 1947 film version is the vastly superior telling of this charming tale.

20th Century Fox's black-and-white "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir" is one film that can be described as sheer perfection. The casting is ideal, with the ethereally beautiful Gene Tierney giving one of her finest screen performances as the title heroine. The logical choice for Captain Gregg, Rex Harrison, manages to be both impervious and charming. The eternal cad, George Sanders is wonderfully smarmy as an amorous interloper. Even the 9-year-old Natalie Wood, as Mrs. Muir's young daughter, manages to steal the few scenes in which she appears.

"...one film that can be described as sheer perfection."

The script is a delight -- witty and poignant. Though the film was shot in Carmel, California, the wonderful cinematography evokes the English seaside. The direction of Joseph L. Mankiewicz is impeccable; and, further gilding the lily, the truly "haunting" musical score of Bernard Herrmann is among his finest.

For Fox's new Blu-ray of the film, the studio is offering an immaculate print. From the spooky interior shots, to the sunlit seascapes, the entire film glows with a wonderful incandescence, due in large part to the superlative transfer. Though the theatrical trailer is the only special feature included, there are two voice-over commentary tracks that lend innumerable facts about, and insights into, the making of this minor masterpiece.

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir


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