Sometimes the horror genre doesn’t have to be so horrific. Every once in a while, it can bring a thoughtful smile to our faces while still reminding us that things do go bump in the night. The Ghost and Mrs. Muir is definitely one of those films. It stars the gorgeous Gene Tierney as Lucy Muir, and the ever stoic Rex Harrison as her ghostly companion, Captain Daniel Gregg.
Set in the year 1900, Lucy Muir is a widow who decides to move into a seaside cottage with her daughter (played by Natalie Wood) and her maid. When Lucy is warned that the house is haunted, and upon being chased out of the house by ghostly laughter, she boldly states, “Haunted. How perfectly fascinating.”
Immediately after moving in, Lucy begins to encounter the formidable Captain Daniel Gregg. Captain Gregg is a mischievous and vulgar spirit who tries to frighten her away from the home. During her first conversation with the ghost, Lucy explains to him that she won’t be going anywhere. She convinces him not to scare her daughter and from then on they become friends.
To help her raise money to keep the house, he dictates his unbelievable stories of life on the sea for her to publish and sell as a novel called Blood and Swash. Through this and a few unfortunate events, Lucy and Captain Gregg tragically realize that they love one another, but can never be together.
Without any spoilers, I will say that the ending will have you thinking, and it may stick with you for a while. This isn’t a movie of jump scares or hatchet murderers, but haunting nonetheless.
I will also mention that the “ghostly” effects are surprisingly well done, subtle, but effective. It’s well shot, and the scenery itself is a big part of the movie’s charm. Makeup enthusiasts will also be happy to hear that the makeup was all done by Ben Nye himself.
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