Just in time for the start of the holiday season, Twentieth Century Fox has released a classic, ghostly love story to Blu-ray. The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, starring Rex Harrison and Gene Tierney, was adapted from the well loved British novel by R.A. Dick (Josephine Leslie) and brought to life on screen by director Joseph L. Mankiewicz (All About Eve, Cleopatra) in 1947.
After the death of her husband, young widow, Lucy Muir (Tierney), moves to mysterious Gull Cottage by the seaside with her little girl, Anna (Natalie Wood), and housekeeper, Martha (Edna Best), despite warnings of it being haunted. Shortly after settling in, Lucy is introduced to the stark, sarcastic spirit of Captain Daniel Gregg (Harrison) and the two form an unlikely bond over their mutual love for the house. The crass sea captain becomes a kind of guardian to Lucy as the two collaborate on a cleaver means to ensure she and her daughter can safely remain in Gull Cottage without financial burden. Thus is born the plot of one of Hollywood's classic unconventional love stories.
Though regarded as one of AFI's best movie love stories, the two lead characters never really confront their feelings for one another. Not only that, but they share precious little screen time, as well. When another (living) man (George Sanders) comes into the mix, Daniel decides to disappear and allow Lucy the peace of mind of living the rest of her life and making her own mistakes without the confusion of a ghost.
In a departure from her earlier darker roles, Gene Tierney both sparkles as a young Mrs Muir and ages her well into a wise, dreamy old woman. Rex Harrison is perfectly cast into a romantic lead that allows him to keep his edge and his wit. The rich, oceanside scenery is crisp and clear in black and white Blu-ray, and Bernard Herrmann's emotional score serves as a perfect backdrop for this sad, yet beautiful story. In fact, the composer had even declared it his personal best work.
The Blu-ray comes with very little in the way of extras; just the original theatrical trailer and commentaries by either Greg Kimble and Christopher Husted, or by Jeanine Basinger and Kenneth Geist.
The Ghost and Mrs. Muir was filmed during the cinematic age that laid the ground work for many likenesses to follow. It is a whispering, unusual plot for a love story that spawned even more creative ideas than the typical “man-meets-woman”. If you are intrigued by the more unexplainable elements of a love story, this is one of those films that will tug at your heart strings and show you that love has no earthly bounds.
The Ghost and Mrs. Muir on Blu-ray is available for purchase on www.foxconnect.com.