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Rhonda Wallace
Rhonda Wallace

The Ghost And Mrs. Muir ((FULL))

Anna, now at university, returns with a Royal Navy lieutenant she plans to marry. In the course of a conversation with her mother, Anna reveals that she too had seen Daniel, whom she regarded as a childhood friend, and she knew about her mother's relationship with Fairley. Lucy in turn reveals that Fairley is now an overweight alcoholic, abandoned by his wife and children. Through the conversation, Lucy realizes that the ghost she loved was in fact real.

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir

From 1968 to 1970, a TV series titled The Ghost & Mrs. Muir, starring Hope Lange and Edward Mulhare, aired on NBC and then ABC. It had the same premise and main characters as the book and film, but it was a situation comedy, downplaying the romantic fantasy elements and focusing on broad humor. The time and setting were changed, with the action taking place in a contemporary American coastal town (although the ghost was portrayed as being from the Victorian era). For the series, Mrs. Muir's first name was changed from Lucy to Carolyn, and the children's names were changed from Cyril and Anna (in the original novel) to Jonathan and Candace.

The series stars Hope Lange as Carolyn Muir, a young widow and writer who rents Gull Cottage, near the fictional fishing village of Schooner Bay, Maine, and moves into the rental with her two children, a housekeeper (played by Reta Shaw), and their dog. The cottage is haunted by the ghost of its former owner Daniel Gregg, a 19th-century sea captain, who died in 1869, played by Edward Mulhare. Charles Nelson Reilly plays Claymore Gregg, the great-nephew of the captain, who rents the cottage to Mrs. Muir without telling her it is haunted by his ancestor.[1]

Ghosts weren't exactly a going thing in Hollywood of 1947. By then the second wave of gothic horror fare had departed except for comedies and parodies like Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. Intelligent & serious ghost stories (The Uninvited) tended to be isolated one-shots and even fantastic movies about romantic phantoms (Portrait of Jennie) were rejected for being out of touch with the times. Ghosts were something for Danny Kaye or Bob Hope to make fun of.

Like 90% of good Gothic stories, much of the film takes place on a windy bluff above the ocean. Widowed Lucy Muir (Gene Tierney) rents a house by the beach with just her maid Martha (Edna Best of The Man Who Knew Too Much) and her young daughter, Anna (Natalie Wood). To Lucy's surprise the house is haunted by the ghost of sea captain Daniel Gregg (Rex Harrison), a phantom who makes himself known to her and inspires her to write his memoirs in the form of racy fiction. Enthusiastically received by the publishers, Lucy's work is a popular hit. She becomes attracted to handsome Miles Fairley (George Sanders), a writer of children's stories. In hopes of matrimony she forgets the ghost of Captain Gregg, and the phantom recedes. But Lucy has more to learn about her fiancée Fairley, and more to learn about loneliness.

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir has a number of interesting things to say about what appeals to feminine ideals of romance. Lucy's husband is dead but she has no particular desire to see him return to life. Instead Lucy dreams of a Gothic hero, a rough but gentlemanly rogue, a Flying Dutchman-like spirit of adventure and travel. The main evidence that Captain Daniel is real is Lucy's book, which the publishers and public adores because of its unvarnished authenticity. How could a lone spinster imagine all those events on the high seas? Well, she can invent the man, can't she? The psychological potential for Lucy to have researched her dream lover and his adventures gives the film a quiet ambiguity. The real subject at hand is not ghosts, but romance.

It almost is. Lucy's romance with the ghost clearly has no sex angle, just the thrill of being worshipped by a handsome lover. So the audience gets the soulful romance without the sex. It's just the kind of masochistic thrill that became popular in soapy 50s pictures. 1 But there are some interesting twists. In a terrific scene with the wonderful Anna Lee, Lucy finds that she has become the "other woman" in a faithless triangle. The sobering novelty of the moment places no satisfaction in adultery, the foundation of many a Hollywood potboiler. Muir's yearning for her married beau dissolves as soon as the truth comes out. Refreshingly, the story places the blame on the wayward and deceitful man, and notes a sad but unspoken bond between the wronged women.

Gene Tierney is radiant as Lucy and Harrison uses his voice to great effect as the ghost. Both are aided by the period setting and Philip Dunne's amusing dialogue. George Sanders is perfectly cast as a transparent cad, and Edna Best's housemaid-companion avoids the obvious pitfalls.

After her husband dies, Lucy Muir (Gene Tierney) heads for the English coast with her daughter (Natalie Wood) to rent a cottage overlooking the ocean. A surly sea captain (Rex Harrison) haunts the place, but once Lucy and the ghost get to know each other, Lucy's initial fear subsides and the two settle into a comfortable friendship. Captain Gregg remains a secret to all in the house but Lucy. Rather than have her leave when her inheritance runs out, the ghost comes forward with a proposition: he'll narrate, and she'll write the story of his seafaring life. The book's success allows her to buy the house, but what about these feelings she's developed for Gregg? Is it ridiculous -- is it even possible -- to love a ghost?

This classic 1947 romance will charm both adults and children with its notion that spirits, when properly understood, can be helpful, kind, and even lovable. The dead and rather salty sea captain uses typical scare tactics to rid his house of strangers, but only until he finds a tenant that suits him. Lucy finds living with a ghost more quaint than frightening. It's the evolution of this peculiar friendship that makes the movie so endearing, and something that even a skittish youngster can enjoy without suffering from eventual nightmares.

Going by the cinema today all ghosts are trying to possess you, drive you mad or drag you to hell if not all three but this was not always the case. In 1945 author Josephine Leslie under the pseudonym of R. A. Dick penned a beautiful story about a widow and a ghost and their bitter-sweet relationship over the years, and even before it saw a North American distribution its film rights were optioned by 20th Century Fox.

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir was made during the heyday of the studio system and with the great Joseph L. Mankiewicz at the helm, as well as being scored by music master Bernard Herrmann it is no surprise this movie turned out as good as it did. The chemistry between Tierney and Harrison makes this one of my all-time favourite love stories, that it is about a ghost as well just makes it a bonus.

In the book, the reader makes the acquaintance of Mrs. Lucy Muir, a 34-year-old (Tierney was 27 when she did the picture), recently widowed mother of two in the England of the early 20th century. Fed up with the stifling attentions of her in-laws, she boldly takes her son and daughter to the coastal town of Whitecliff, where she rents the abode known as Gull Cottage. Lucy soon realizes that the house is haunted by the ghost of its previous owner, the 12-years-dead sea captain Daniel Gregg, with whom she strikes up a reasonably friendly relationship. The captain tells Lucy where he has hidden some gold, allowing her to purchase the cottage outright, and he suffers her to stay on his property with the provision that she will one day bequeath the house to be used as a rest home for retired sailors.

Widowed Lucy Muir (Gene Tierney) falls for ghostly sea captain Daniel Gregg (Rex Harrison) in this romantic fantasy, which itself returned from the grave to haunt TV screens as a comedy series in the late Sixties.

You'd expect Lucy Muir to choose the house despite its haunting, driven by economic despair and a sense of frugality. However, instead of being terrified or even put-off by the ghostly activity, she's almost delighted by it. At first, it appears she's an obstinate skeptic but, after a while, we understand Mrs. Muir is excited by the prospect of sharing her life with the undead. Despite a tinkling, mildly unconvincing, British accent, Gene Tierney brings fascinating energy to her character. Lucy's cheery in the face of despondence, her optimism spiked by stubbornness and her supernatural affiliations brought upon by a genuine sense of adventure, curiosity, and even a bit of sensualist excitement.

A year later and attitudes had shifted. Suddenly, movie goers were flocking to stories which featured ghosts, angels and even Santa Claus. The Bishop's Wife addressed a married couple who had grown apart, a not uncommon occurrence for many who were reunited after months and even years of absence. The bishop prays for guidance and receives it from an angel named Dudley. Faith is restored, while the bishop and his wife rekindle their love that had cooled. Miracle on 34th Street addressed Doris Walker, a divorced mother who chooses not to indulge her elementary school age daughter Susan in fantasies like fairy tales and a belief in Santa Claus. The Ghost and Mrs. Muir addressed a grieving widow who seeks to quell her loneliness with the spirit of a sea captain who inhabits an oceanside cottage she occupies with her young daughter.

The headstrong widow with a young daughter rents a haunted cottage on the English seashore. The ghost has driven all previous tenants running, but Mrs. Muir quickly wins the affection of the apparition. The conceit of the fantasy here is that because the romantic pair are a living woman and a ghost, they can never touch.

The musical is based on the 1945 novel by R. A. Dick, about "a headstrong young widow who moves into a seaside cottage with her two children and maid, only to discover that the house is haunted by the ghost of its previous owner, a hot-blooded sea captain named Daniel Gregg." 041b061a72


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