🎥 The Ghost And Mrs Muir – 1947
The Story …
In Britain in the early 1900s,[a] recently widowed Mrs. Lucy Muir moves to the seaside village of Whitecliff despite the disapproval of her in-laws.
She rents a house there named Gull Cottage, although it has a reputation for being haunted by the former owner, who committed suicide.
On the first night after moving in with her young daughter, Anna, and her loyal maid, Martha, Lucy is terrorized by apparitions, but she stands resolute and demands the ghost show himself.
The ghost, a roguish sea captain named Daniel Gregg, manifests …
He tells Lucy that his death four years ago was not a suicide, but the result of accidentally kicking the valve on a gas-fired room heater in his sleep.
Daniel explains that he wants to turn Gull Cottage into a home for retired seamen, thus why he has been frightening away tenants. However, due to Lucy’s headstrong attitude, as well as her appreciation of the house, Daniel reluctantly agrees to allow her to live in Gull Cottage and promises to make himself visible only to her.
Lucy’s investment — her only source of income — has dried up, and her in-laws say she has no choice but to move back to London. However, Daniel has warmed up to her and asks her to stay. They decide to write a book, a dictation of his memories from his time at sea, from which she will profit.
During the course of writing the book, they fall in love. Both realize it is a hopeless situation, and Daniel tells Lucy that she should find a living man to be with. In London, Lucy goes to meet a publisher and encounters Miles Fairley, a suave author who writes children’s books under the pen name Uncle Neddy.
The publisher agrees to publish Daniel’s lurid and sensational recollections, titled Blood and Swash, providing Lucy with an advance which she uses to buy Gull Cottage.
Fairley follows her back to Whitecliff and they begin a whirlwind courtship. Though initially jealous of their relationship, Daniel decides to leave, as he considers himself an obstacle to Lucy’s chance at happiness. While she is asleep, he places in her mind the suggestion that she alone wrote the book and his presence was merely a dream. He fades away after declaring his regret that he never had a life with her.
Fairley cancels a planned visit to Gull Cottage, saying he will be in London for a few days. Lucy visits London to sign a contract, and obtains Fairley’s address in the city from the office clerk to pay a surprise visit.
She discovers that Fairley is already married with two children, and Mrs. Fairley tells her she has caught him in extramarital affairs before. Heartbroken, Lucy returns to Whitecliff to spend the rest of her life as a recluse, with Martha looking after her.
Anna goes to university and returns with a Royal Navy lieutenant she plans to marry. Mrs. Fairley grows fed up with her husband’s philandering, divorces him, and takes full custody of their children. Anna reveals to her mother that she too saw Daniel, whom she regarded as a childhood crush, meaning Daniel broke his promise to Lucy not to show himself.
Anna argues that Daniel must be real since they both saw him, but Lucy reasons it is more logical to conclude that she transmitted her delusion to Anna by word of mouth than to believe in ghosts.
Many years later, Lucy is now ailing and under a doctor’s care, and Anna’s daughter (also named Lucy) is engaged to a plane captain. Anna believes that affection for captains runs in their family. Lucy rejects the glass of hot milk Martha has brought for her with a complaint that she is tired.
After Martha leaves the room, Lucy dies. Daniel returns and approaches her, whispering that she will never be tired again.
Taking his hands, her young spirit leaves her aged body and greets him with a loving smile. Unnoticed by Martha, the couple leave the house and walk arm-in-arm into an ethereal mist.
- Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz
- Screenplay by Philip Dunne Based on The Ghost of Captain Gregg and Mrs. Muir 1945 novel by R.A. Dick
- Produced by Fred Kohlmar
- Cinematography : Charles Lang
- Edited by Dorothy Spencer
- Music by Bernard Herrmann
- Distributed by 20th Century Fox
- Release Date : June 26, 1947
- Gene Tierney as Lucy Muir
- Rex Harrison as Captain Daniel Gregg
- George Sanders as Miles Fairley
- Edna Best as Martha Huggins
- Vanessa Brown as Anna Muir (as an adult)
- Anna Lee as Mrs. Fairley
- Natalie Wood as Anna Muir (as a child)
- Robert Coote as Mr. Coombe
- Isobel Elsom as Angelica Muir, Lucy’s mother-in-law
- Victoria Horne as Eva Muir, Lucy’s sister-in-law
- Whitford Kane as Mr. Sproule, the publisher
- Stuart Holmes as Man ordered out of train compartment by the Captain
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