Favorite things about… The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947)

The favorite film:
The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, a 1947 romantic fantasy directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz

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(Image via Alchetron)

The cast:
Gene Tierney as Lucy
Rex Harrision as Captain Daniel Gregg
George Sanders as Miles “Uncle Neddy” Fairley
Edna Best as Martha Huggins
Robert Coote as Mr. Coombe

The synopsis:
Since the death of her husband, Lucy Muir has been living with his family, but she and her daughter are ready to strike out on their own. They find the perfect home in a seaside town… but it may be haunted by its former owner, Captain Gregg.

Fun facts:

  • Though set on the English coast, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir was shot entirely in California.
  • Natalie Wood makes an appearance in the film, as the young version of Lucy’s daughter, Anna.
  • According to TCMDb, Richard Ney was originally meant to appear in the role of Miles Fairley, but had a scheduling conflict and was replaced by George Sanders.
  • Charles Lang received an Academy Award nomination for his work as cinematographer.
  • The film features a musical score by Bernard Herrmann.
  • The film is based on the novel The Ghost of Captain Gregg and Mrs. Muir by Josephine Leslie, published in 1945 under the pseudonym R. A. Dick.
  • Darryl F. Zanuck originally wanted Norma Shearer for the role of Lucy, stating in a memo that “Norma Shearer has one great picture left in her yet.”
  • Other adaptations of this story include several radio broadcasts, an episode of CBS’ The Twentieth Century-Fox Hour, and a TV sitcom which aired from 1968 to 1970.
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(Image via Hollywood Revue)

Favorite things/quotes:

  • “And poor Edwin, barely cold in his grave.”
  • “I don’t see what Edwin’s got to do with this. I’m not leaving him, I’m leaving you!”
  • Lucy is so spunky and strong-willed. A wonderful character. I love the way she stands up to Edwin’s family, and Mr. Coombe.
  • Mr. Coombe being run out of the house by the ghost’s laughter… while Lucy laughs herself, and finds it all fascinating!
  • “Thank you, Mr. Coombe! I’ve always wanted to be considered obstinate.”
  • “Do you have a strange sense of humor, madam?”
  • The first conversation between Gregg and Lucy is great — lots of tension and wit, making for fun banter.
  • “WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH ME MONKEY PUZZLE TREE?”
  • Such a great performance by Harrison, that gravel-voiced grump.
  • “Your life may be short, madam. I have an unlimited time at my disposal.”
  • “She thinks you’ve got bats in your belfry.”
  • Solving problems with books. Is there any better way?
  • Blood and Swash, by Captain X
  • Such a wonderful connection and friendship blossoms between Daniel and Lucy
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(Image via Rato Movie Posters)
  • “Have you decided to wait?”
    “Forever, if I must.”
  • “Come back here, you blasted grampus!”
  • Suave George Sanders failing to win Lucy over with his usual “brass”
  • “Uncle Neddy is a pose. Deep in my innermost heart, I loathe the little monsters.”
  • “I said men, not perfumed parlor snakes!”
  • That scene where Gregg decides to leave, and tells Lucy while she’s sleeping! So sweet and sad.
  • “It’s been a dream, Lucia.” *insert crying emoji*
  • This film is a top-quality production. The photography and costumes are wonderful.
  • Cute puppy bonus for Rummy!
  • The film offers such a wonderful meditation on love, loneliness, loss, and the hardships of life. I adore the conversation shared between Lucy and her daughter, when Anna returns as a soon-to-be-engaged college student.
  • “And memories… I have those, you know. Even if it was a dream.”
  • That ending! It’s kind of schmaltzy, but so sweet and lovely!
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3 thoughts on “Favorite things about… The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947)

  1. I’ve loved this film since I first saw it many years ago. Favorite fun line: “Shear off, you blasted mud turtle. There’s no room.) One of the sexiest scenes in movie history is the Captain’s farewell to Lucy as he hovers over her as she sleeps. The ending is the very best part of the film. Isn’t this the way we’d all like to go?

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  2. I was hoping you’d have ‘Blood and Swash!’ in your favorite quotes…that line always makes me laugh, and I love Harrison’s delivery of it. I watched the TV series when I was a kid, not knowing it was based on a movie. A well-done romantic movie, but also a sad one at times.

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