Tag Archives: Hope Lange

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!