The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947)

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir Movie Review

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The Ghost and Mrs. Muir Movie Review

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir is a 1947 fantasy romance film directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz and starring Gene Tierney and Rex Harrison. It is such a beautiful movie.

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You must make your own life amongst the living and,

whether you meet fair winds or foul,

find your own way to harbor in the end

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The Ghost and Mrs. Muir Movie Review

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The story is great and it is something that only could have been made during the forties as they were really into ghost stories during this decade. A young widow comes to a haunted house and there she befriends a ghost seaman. Eventually the two develop feelings for each other and that leads to many obvious problems.

The highlight was that beautiful third act. I rarely love the endings from the forties that portray a passage of time, but this one was done really well and it told us surprisingly quite a lot given that we only get a handful of scenes over a great period of time. Great writing right there. And the finale is indescribably beautiful and perfect, I loved it!

But I also loved the film’s exploration of different genres. It is atmospheric at first, sort of like a horror film, then it delves into comedy for a couple of scenes with some really funny banter between the two and it eventually leads to heartbreaking and at last heartwarming drama. But it is above all a fantasy romance and rarely have the two genres coalesced so perfectly into each other as evidenced here.

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The Ghost and Mrs. Muir Movie Review

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Rex Harrison definitely gave a very typical voice here, but still he was very charismatic and highly likable. I really enjoyed him and his performance. George Sanders was typically typecast here and I honestly really disliked his role and his part of the story as it was obvious from the first moment how it would end and it came as sort of a detour to the film, a rushed and unnecessary detour. That is the only thing I disliked in The Ghost and Mrs. Muir.

Mrs. Muir herself is great and such a fine character so wonderfully portrayed by Gene Tierley. This has to be her career finest performance as I have never seen her be this great. She is beautiful and the camera surely does love her, but she is also very competent in the role, very complex and ultimately she gave possibly the year’s best female performance.

The relationship between the two is just wonderful. This is one of the rare romances that honestly gave me the feels. I rooted for the two end up together so strongly which is a rarity for me, but the writing and the dialogue are so good and their relationship is so sweet that I fell in love with both of them almost immediately. It is one of the best love stories from this period without any doubt, it’s both moving and timeless in quality while also being fueled by its fantasy aspect to give it that extra layer of awesomeness. It is a better movie than ‘Ghost’ in my opinion.

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The Ghost and Mrs. Muir Movie Review

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As I said above, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir is so well written and having some excellent lines of dialogue and great quotes, but above all it is superbly directed by one of my favorite directors Joseph L. Mankiewicz and he excelled here and gave this movie such a polished feel. The cinematography is simply stunning and it led to the only Academy Award nomination for the movie (ridiculous).  I loved the house, the effects and the beach scenes were the best. And the score is so incredibly moving and atmospheric in quality that it fuels the more emotional scenes to even greater heights.

Beautifully scored, gorgeously shot, so well directed and fueled by Gene Tierney’s wonderful, powerhouse performance, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir is an underrated, marvelous fantasy romance that I simply adored. It is so well written and it has such a beautiful ending, but its romance is so elegant and lovable that I was fully invested in it. It shifts genres so well and it is such a moving, even poetic film that really needs to be appreciated more.

My Rating – 4.5

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Posted in 1940s, 1947, Fantasy, FILM DECADES, MOVIE REVIEWS, Romance and tagged , , , , , , , , .

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