A romance between a young widow and a sea captain's ghost weaves a magical tale of immortal love. Determined to live her life the way she wants, newly widowed Lucy Muir (Gene Tierney) declines her straitlaced in-laws deman... more »d that she live with them and moves with her daughter (a young Natalie Wood) to the seaside into a cottage haunted by the handsome, blustering Captain Gregg (Rex Harrison). A deal is struck between the two in the wee hours of the morning allowing Lucy to stay in the house and the captain to materalize only in the master bedroom. As they gradually get to know each other better, Lucy's spunk and stubborness gains first the captain's grudging respect, then his heart. But when another man woos Lucy, both must face that her future lies with the living, not in the spirit world.« less
J. Michael Click | Fort Worth, Texas United States | 04/01/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Exquisite. That one adjective describes both this film, and its leading lady. Although she is best remembered as the title character in the classic 1944 mystery, "Laura", and received greater acclaim for her Oscar-nominated performance in the highest-grossing 20th Century-Fox film of the 1940's, "Leave Her to Heaven", "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir" nonetheless remains Gene Tierney's most successful film performance. As Lucy Muir, a spirited British widow at the turn of the 20th century who falls in love with the ghost of a sea captain, Miss Tierney is on screen in every scene of the film, and dazzles throughout with her ethereal beauty and her thespic versatility. Afforded the rare opportunity to play moments of high comedy, quiet drama, and romantic yearning all in one film, Miss Tierney never once strikes a false note. She is particularly touching in the sequence during which the middle-aged Mrs. Muir reflects on the past with her grown daughter; in the hands of a lesser actress, this scene could easily have become maudlin and overly sentimental, but Tierney plays it with a quiet dignity and sweet resolve that distills the essence of her graceful and independent character.Yet, while "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir" is arguably Tierney's best film, its success is not due to her efforts alone. Rex Harrison, in his second American film, also triumphs as the salty sea captain whose gruff veneer is slowly peeled away by the determined widow sharing his home. The scene in which he bids her a tender farewell is brilliantly played. George Sanders excels in his role as a romantic cad; the vocal sneer he practically patented on film suits his part here perfectly. And the entire production is aided tremendously by Bernard Herrmann's lush and majestic score, as well as Charles Lang's Oscar-nominated cinematography (that nomination was for the 1947 awards, by the the way, not the 1942 ceremonies as incorrectly noted on the front of the DVD box).Speaking of the DVD, the transfer is - in the 20th Century-Fox Home Video tradition - disappointing. While the source print is much better that the one used for the VHS and laserdisc releases, and is infinitely superior to the scratchy, poorly-spliced copy that is often screened on pay-TV stations like AMC, the film has not been digitally restored. There are still significant flutters (especially noticeable during the opening credits), scratches, and jumps in both the picture and the soundtrack. The DVD does include the rarely-seen Original Theatrical Trailer; a stills gallery that emphasizes set design photographs but does include some interesting on-the-set photos of Gene Tierney in her wheelchair (she broke her foot during production and continued filming against her doctor's advice); Theatrical Trailers for the five previously-released Fox Studio Classics DVDs; an A&E "Biography" segment on Rex Harrison; and audio commentaries including remarks by film historian Jeanine Basinger who supervised the cataloging of the Tierney archives in Connecticut ... and whose name is misspelled on the DVD package. (Way to go, Fox! You REALLY need to hire a film historian to proof-read your DVD packages. They're uniformly inaccurate, filled with both typos and misinformation.) Despite its flaws, this DVD edition is the still one available of this classic, greatly-beloved film and is therefore cheerfully recommended.Trivia note: Not surprisingly, after Tierney died in 1991 at the age of 70 (not 71 as noted in the DVD's liner notes), "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir" was the film chosen to represent the actress' career during the two-day auction of many of her personal effects at the Hart Galleries in Houston, Texas. The screening was a most fitting tribute to both a marvelous actress and a lovely human being."
True romance is not about kissing or even touching...
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 03/25/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This was the movie that convinced me that the great screen romances involved couples that were not able to kiss or even touch. The Ghost the late Captain Daniel Gregg, played by a bristling Rex Harrison, while Mrs. Lucy Muir is Gene Tierney, a widow who moves into the captain's seaside cottage with her young daughter (played as a child by Natalie Wood, by Vanessa Brown as an adult). Of course, he wants to be terrifying and chase her away from "his" home, but she, of course, finds him endearing. He declares he is not ashamed to have lived the live of a man and she counters that being alive is not a crime. They talk about everything except their feelings for each other, but that is the true topic of all of their conversations. When Miles Fairley, another one of George Sanders patented silvery-tongued rouges, enters Lucy's life offering her a chance for happiness in the real world, the Captain loves her enough to leave her, not knowing that Fairley has a secret. However, while the title characters do not live happily ever after, there is a wonderful ending to the film. Definitely one of my ten favorite Romance movies of all time with marvelous interaction between Harrison and Tierney (her best film by far). Adapted by Philip Dunne from R. A. Dick's novel, with solid direction from Joseph L. Mankiewicz and a superb score from Bernard Herrmann. "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir" is a treasured Golden Oldie, not to be confused with the wretched sitcom television produced in the late 60's."
Very nice DVD version of Great Romantic Film
Dan Sherman | Alexandria, VA USA | 06/01/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a wonderful romantic fantasy that tells the story of young widow (beautiful Gene Tierney)who moves into the seaside house of the late Captain Gregg (played with bluster by Rex Harrison). The captain first tries to scare the widow away, but soon they team up so that she can stay at the house. They both fall in love with the other, but neither can express their love to the other. The ghost leaves Mrs. Muir (and blots her memory of him), but they are ultimatley reunited in a very touching scene at the end of the film with her death. The film has a wonderfully atmospheric score by Bernard Herrmann (I believe it was his favorite) and a great performance by the caddish George Sanders. This charming film is a most definite buy!The DVD has a very sharp, crisp printing of the films with excellent sound - the commentaries that accompany the film are very good and informative, providing a lot of informaiton on how the film was shot and also how Herrmann scored the film. There is a nice one-hour biography on the career on Rex Harrison, along with the usual theatrical trailer."
Linda J. Barrett | Tempe, AZ USA | 07/12/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Admittedly, I'm a lover and a total pushover for movies from the Golden Age of Hollywood. It doesn't even have to be a great movie for me to find something to appreciate...as long as it was filmed in the 1930s, or 40s. However, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir is different...it's a rare cinematic gem, even among the many true classics from this period. It's not just a ghost story, but an unforgettable tale of unrequited love. Gene Tierney plays the beautiful, but unworldly Lucy Muir, while Rex Harrison plays the crusty "no longer of this world" sea Captain, Daniel Gregg. Once the widow Muir moves into the home of the long dead captain, things really start getting lively. Gregg, unhappy about his home being invaded, sets out to haunt Lucy Muir and her little family until they decide to leave. However, the feisty and brave Lucy refuses to be either haunted, or intimidated. Daniel, moved by Mrs. Muirs strength of character, as well as her great beauty, both inward as well as outward, finally relents and allows Lucy, her daughter...played by a very young Natalie Wood...and faithful housekeeper Martha to stay. All goes well until Lucy discovers that the small income left by her husband is gone and she now faces ruin, not the least of which is the loss of Captain Gregg's home by the sea. To keep Lucy from losing everything, Daniel comes up with the idea of writing a book..."ghost written" by him, but with all the credit going to Lucy. The book is published and is wildly successful, however, during the writing the two have fallen hopelessly in love. It's only when Daniel sees Lucy with a man who is very much alive... and played to perfection by George Sanders...that he finally realizes that he must disappear so that Lucy can have the earthly relationship she needs and deserves. However, love, even with ones feet firmly planted on solid ground, is not always possible. The ending of the movie does reaffirm for us though, that as elusive as love may appear...as invisible as it may seem...it's around us all the time. The farewell to his beautiful "Lucia", is one you will never forget and it's easy to understand why Harrison was called "Sexy Rexy" back in the 40s. He certainly was. There is real chemistry between Harrison and Tierney and the dialog is crisp and intelligent. The cinematography is a work of art and as for the soundtrack, it's Bernard Herrmann's finest...absolutely gorgeous. All-in-all, this is one of the best from the Golden Age of Hollywood and a must have for anyones movie collection."
The most poignant love story ever made
Linda J. Barrett | 06/03/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Of all the different versions of the Ghost and Mrs. Muir, this is undoubtedly the best. The acting, and portrayal of the characters is untouchable. Edward Mulhare and Hope Lange are wonderful in the TV show of the same name (1968-70), but Rex Harrison and Gene Tierney truly bring to life the story of Lucy Muir and Captain Daniel Gregg, in a way that has never been equaled. The most haunting scene is when Lucy falls in love with a smooth talking writer, and the Captain decides that he must leave so that he will not stand in the way of her happiness. While she's asleep, he convinces her that she will remember him, and forget him as she would a dream. I think this scene shows the extent of his love for her, as he gives up his own happiness, so that she will have a chance at some of her own. It will bring tears to your eyes because you can nearly feel the love, the heart-break, and the regret felt by the Captain. I have seen the Ghost and Mrs. Muir 62 times, and find that it becomes better everytime. A rare mix of superb acting, writng, music, and scenery. Highly recommended."