Great minds . . . and a charming ghost


There are times when I wonder if we are all somehow on the same cosmic wavelength. Today, I re-watched a wonderful old movie.  A few hours later, Mezz posted a comment referring to a wonderful old movie. Yep, it was the same film, 1947’s classic romantic fantasy, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, starring Rex Harrison and Gene Tierney.  I swear, we don’t collude on these matters.

Cover of "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir"

Cover of The Ghost and Mrs. Muir

Gene Tierney as young widow Lucy Muir and Rex Harrison as the roguish ghost of a sea captain in the film classic.

Set in the early 1900s, the film, based on a book by English author R.A. Dick (a pseudonym for Josephine Leslie) , tells the story of a spirited young widow and mother, Lucy Muir, who moves into a house called Gull Cottage situated on the British coast. The house has a spirit of its own, the sometimes irascible ghost of an able seaman, Captain Gregg, the former owner of the house. Neither he nor she will be scared away. Captain Gregg and Lucy eventually form a friendship and alliance, engaging in some amusing repartee along the way.   He even helps her write a potboiler of a seafaring memoir called Blood and Swash, which allows her to keep her house when her financial affairs take a turn for the worse.

Complications arise when Lucy encounters the suave Miles Fairley, the unlikely author of a popular series of children’s stories, better known as Uncle Neddie.  Fairley is played by George Sanders, so he is naturally charming, urbane and very likely not to be trusted.

When the captain realizes she has fallen in love with Fairley, he chooses to exit Lucy’s life, leading her to believe it’s all been just a lovely dream.  The two will eventually reunite as two souls destined to be together.

It’s a lovely, romantic, touching, amusing fantasy and well worth seeking out.  The film also has a beautiful score by Bernard Herrmann, which the composer considered his best.  Also of note is the fact little Anna Muir, Lucy’s daughter, is played by a young Natalie Wood.

Growing up in the 1960s I was a fan of the television version of The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, starring Edward Mulhare as the captain and Hope Lange as Mrs. Muir.  The story was transplanted to a contemporary setting in the U.S. as a situation comedy from 1968-1970.

Edward Mulhare and Hope Lange as the television versions of The Ghost and Mrs. Muir.

Captain Gregg says goodbye to a sleeping Lucy.

Given the charisma of the roguish sea captain and how good a certain gent looks sporting a beard, is there little wonder some of us imagine Mr. A in a remake?

Aye, aye, Captain!

9 responses »

  1. LOL! You. Are. Kidding. Me!!! *shakes head in disbelief* 😀
    Mum and I had been talking about some of the good old movies that have been turning up on our additional digital channels (neither of us have pay TV), although the turkey that was The Prince and the Showgirl shown at the weekend wasn’t one of them!
    If The Ghost and Mrs Muir has been screened recently I must have missed it, so it looks like I’ll be buying the dvd, now that I’ve got it into my head I have to watch it again…it’s been years, I think, since I’ve seen it.
    I’d forgotten the two Mrs Muirs had different names. I checked screen dates etc but not that important little detail!

    • I actually got this weird prickling sensation up my spine when I read your comment. It reminded me of the time I was talking with my SIL about taking notes for interviews vs. taping them, and I said I preferred taking them. We were at a Chinese restaurant at the time and when I opened my fortune cookie, guess what it said. “He who takes notes listens best.” My mouth dropped wide open.

      The movie showed up here today on Fox Movies, which is a basic satellite channel that’s commercial-free (hooray!). I saw it on the program guide and had to watch it.

      • It’s funny…I was in two minds about posting it, because I didn’t want to hijack your post, but as usual when it comes to Richard, I really needed to say it! I think he would be wonderful as Daniel Gregg. *sigh*
        It’s been 75 years since the Harrison/Tierney movie, so I think enough time has elapsed for a new version…maybe a two-parter specially for TV. 😀

        Your fortune cookie incident was a spooky coincidence…no wonder your mouth dropped!

        • You know, I am somewhat surprised it hasn’t been remade before now( not counting the TV show). Goodness knows practically everything else has, more than once, it seems. When I read the fortune cookie out loud to my SIL, her mouth dropped open, too. I always felt that it was fine to have a recorder as a backup, but that you always absorbed more when you actually wrote things down.

          • Spooky, but good spooky. When I saw the SDCC shots, I, too, thought of how marvelous Richard would be in the role of Captain Gregg. I love the picture of Richard with his proposed co-star. She’s perfect for the role.

  2. Oh I love The Ghost & Mrs Muir. 🙂 We have the DVD and it comes out now and then. I also love The Enchanted Cottage with Robert Young and Dorothy McGuire. Such a sweetie of a movie.

  3. RA as the roguish sea captain haunting a lovely cottage along the English coast, beguiling — and being beguiled by — the young widow, in the early 1900’s? OH YES! The voice, the eyes, the beard, the sheer presence … hmmmmmmm … oh, sorry, took a little side trip there. 😉

    Who would you choose to cast as the young widow?

    The TV show was my first introduction (as a budding teen) to Edward Mulhare and that deep voice. My Mom and I used to watch it religiously. (As an adult, I now understand WHY she watched it. {giggle} Why is it we never think of our mothers as having “those” kinds of thoughts?) She’s the one that told me about the movie. While I truly enjoyed the TV show (more of a light-hearted version of the story), the movie holds my interest more as an adult.

    About a billion years ago, hubby and I rented the video one weekend. He sat through one complete showing of it (good man 🙂 ). I watched it twice more over the weekend. A few years ago, he gave me the DVD for my birthday (exceptionally good man!). Like Beachbaby, it comes out now and then. I’m thinking tonight is going to be one of those “thens”. 🙂

    • z13, I had meant to answer your question about who I would choose for the Lucy Muir role, but got “slightly” derailed by all the excitement of the latest vlog! 😉
      I think I would probably opt for Emily Blunt or Rose Byrne.

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