Saturday, August 3, 2013

199. The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947)

Running Time: 104 minutes
Directed By: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Written By: R.A. Dick, Philip Dunne, from novel by R.A. Dick
Main Cast: Gene Tierney, Rex Harrison, George Sanders, Edna Best, Natalie Wood
Click here to view the trailer


Yep, that's right. The first two hundred movies in THE BOOK are all officially watched and soon will be reviewed. It's a milestone, but in a project full of little milestones, there's just no use harping on it. In fact, the only milestone worth harping over now is the finish line, which is still a ways away. As it is, onto the business at hand...ghosts and stuff.

Gene Tierney stars as Lucy Muir, a widow who, upon films opening, is breaking to her in-laws (well, technically her former in-laws) that she soon plans to move out and start a life of her own, along with her child Anna (Wood). They're devastated and try to convince her to stay with them, although you get the idea that it's more for selfish reasons than genuine reasons. Lucy, however, is adamant about beginning a new life and soon visits a realtor. The realtor shows her several houses for rent, one of which IS NOT Gull Cottage, a supposedly haunted mansion overlooking the ocean. Lucy continues to insist on seeing Gull Cottage and her realtor finally breaks down and takes her there, where she finds out that the house is indeed haunted. However, Lucy decides that she likes the place anyway and insists on renting it. It isn't long after their arrival ("their" being Lucy, Anna and Martha, the maid) that the ghost shows himself to Lucy. The ghost is Daniel Gregg, a salty, old, foul mouthed sea captain who doesn't want anyone occupying his former fortress and would instead see it turned into a home for retired seamen. However, he admires Lucy's spunk and in fact, is quite attracted to her. After a while the two strike up a (sort of) romance, spending evenings talking and sharing emotions. When Lucy goes broke, Daniel (who calls her Lucia) tells her that he has a book in him and offers to dictate it for her. He guarantees it will sell and that she'll be able to make money off of it. It turns out he's right and when she goes to see a publisher about selling the book, she meets Miles Fairley (Sanders), a potential suitor who is gaga for Lucy.

My wife's always trying to get me to watch those Nicholas Sparks movies and while sometimes she begs long enough that I can't help but give in, I almost always hate them and anything remotely resembling them. I'm pretty sure that love stories were made for single people. People who can sit around, cry and wonder why they can't find a dead sea captain to come and haunt them, so that they can fall in love and live happily ever after. Long story short, I'm not single, I don't require a dead sea captain and I didn't care too much for this movie, which is a shame because I was really looking forward to checking out another Rex Harrison flick (loved him in "My Fair Lady" last season). I just couldn't lose myself in this one, not one bit and at the end of the day I found it to be overly sentimental and really nonsensical. I just couldn't wrap my head around a dead sea captain having talks with this woman and getting upset because she cries and he doesn't like it when women cry, because "even when he was alive, he couldn't stand that" - puh-lease. Also speaking of stupid moments, what was with the in-laws? Were they supposed to be the villains of the script? If so, they're the nicest antagonists I've ever heard of, getting over emotional just because their daughter-in-law/sister-in-law won't move back in with them. Don't these people know that in movies and television no one likes their in-laws and especially when the husband that links the you together ceases to be. Geez, you could tell that this was fifty years before "Everybody Loves Raymond".

I'm trying my best to be witty here folks, is it working? Anyway, I'll stop the humor and wrap the review with a thumb pointing down and a recommendation to avoid. Unless you're like my wife and you just LOVE these types of romantic movies, you're probably not going to care too much for this. Even so, I highly doubt my wife would even care for this, as it slacks off in the romance department and makes up for it in the pointless & silly department. The little good that was in there was provided mostly by the males, with Rex Harrison and George Sanders turning in noteworthy performances. Gene Tierney LOOKED marvelous, but failed to impress me on a talent level. Must see? Nah.

RATING: 4/10  So we're five movies into the season and thus far, all I have to show for it is "Return of the Jedi". Oh well, luckily there's still ninety-five flicks to go.


August 3, 2013  1:38am


  1. OK....

    I'm torn here.. and I don't want to get involved in domestic disagreements!
    Yes, this one has, as you so well put it.. 'Purrleeze' (or as it seems, it is pronounced in America Puh-lease)written in large letters all over it. Yes, it is over sentimental and more than a little silly. and on reading your above I would probably agree to avoid it.
    But (and you heard that one coming didn't you). I actually really liked this. I've even seen it twice. Ok, I still think the romantic bits are OTT and more than a little syrupy, but I thought the oddball concept was silly enough to be funny.
    And I'd give anything with George Sanders a good try)(But I didn't at all enjoy 'Death of a Scoundrel' the other day)

    1. I DID love George Sanders in this. Is it just me or does he look an awful lot like Denholm Elliot. That's who I was sure it was actually.

  2. I'm married, and I don't usually like romantic films. But this is an unusual romantic film and a really unusual "ghost" film. I think the uniqueness of the movie is why I enjoyed it.

    1. Lindsey, thanks for stopping by. I always appreciate new comments and more importantly new people commenting. I'm glad you were able to find something that I wasn't with this film. I think the uniqueness was just a little too much for me and as much as I loved Harrison and loved looking at Tierney, it just didn't put me under it's spell, unfortunately. Thanks again for the comment.

  3. It looks like you are being slowly out voted Andrew.
    Also a hello to Lindsey, from another follower who likes to see other comments and opinions. (and it's nice when someone agrees wit you!) I hope you add some more.
    If you don't know.. If you delve into the archives at Andrews previous reviews and comment.. we can see them.. there is a column on the right of the page that shows latest additions no matter how old the original posting is.

    1. Thanks you Ray for reminding others about the comments tracker.


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