Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments



The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947)

 





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Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions
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The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947)

In the classic fantasy romance weepie, set at the turn of the century, from director Joseph L. Mankiewicz, with exceptional Academy Award-nominated cinematography by Charles Lang Jr.:

  • the beautiful seaside locale - the picturesque English coastal village of Whitecliff-by-the-Sea, where young, strong-willed, and widowed Lucy Muir (Gene Tierney) moved with her 9 year-old daughter Anna (Natalie Wood), into a residence known as Gull Cottage
  • the sequence of Lucy's first sighting of a spiritual presence in the house, who was attempting to scare her with lightning strikes, gusts of wind and rain; she challenged the ghost to speak: ("Are you afraid to speak up? Is that all you're good for, to frighten women? Well, I'm not afraid of you. Whoever heard of a cowardly ghost?"); the cantankerous sea captain Daniel Gregg (Rex Harrison), Gull Cottage's ghostly former owner who, four years earlier, had allegedly committed suicide (it was actually an accidental gas asphyxiation), finally responded: "Light the candle. Go ahead, light it"; he revealed that he had scared off other renters or buyers, because he wanted to turn the house into "a home for retired seamen"
  • the bargain negotiated between the Captain and Lucy - he said she could stay in his home ("You may stay, on trial") but she had to keep his presence a secret from Anna ("She's much too young to see ghosts"), and to only stay in his/her bedroom: "Leave me bedroom as it is and I'll promise not to go into any other room in the house. And your brat need never know anything about me"; however, the Captain also made it clear they would have to sleep in the same bedroom - his bedroom; he told her: "All you see is an illusion. It's like a blasted lantern slide", and insisted that his painted self-portrait had to be hung in the bedroom
  • the scenes of their growing bonding and loving relationship, as Captain Gregg continually haunted Lucy's bedroom and thoughts in his non-flesh-and-blood form
  • the farewell scene when the Captain bid Lucy good-bye while she slept, telling her that she must find her own way in life - and that she was only dreaming of a sea-captain haunting the house; his decision to leave her life came after she declared her intention to marry childrens' book author Miles Fairley (George Sanders) (pen-name "Uncle Neddy"), a smooth-talking, slimy cad: (Daniel: "You've made your choice, the only choice you could make. You've chosen life and that's as it should be. And that's why I'm going away, my dear. I can't help you now...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...It's been a dream, Lucia")
  • the revelation that the womanizing, deceitful Miles Fairley was already married with a family of two children
  • the transcendent, sappy ending in which white-haired, elderly widow Lucy died in her British seaside cottage's chair; immediately, captain Daniel Gregg appeared and beckoned to her; he greeted her with outstretched hands to help her from the chair: "And now, you'll never be tired again, come Lucia, come my dear"
Reunited in Death in the Transcendent Ending
  • and then in the conclusion, rejuvenated and young again, Lucy walked off, hand-in-hand with him downstairs and through the front door into the afterlife


Arrival at Whitecliff

Appearance of Captain Gregg

Bargain Between Lucy and the Captain

Always in Her Thoughts

Daniel: "I'm going away, my dear"

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