In 1900, Lucy Muir (Gene Tierney), widowed for one year, decides to move out of her controlling in-law's house in London to the English seaside with her adolescent daughter Anna (Natalie Wood) and their long devoted maid Martha (Edna Best). Despite the rental agent trying to dissuade her, Lucy decides to rent Gull Cottage at Whitecliff-by-the-Sea. She learns firsthand before she makes the decision the rental agent's hesitance is because the cottage is haunted, supposedly by its now deceased former owner, seaman Captain Daniel Gregg (Sir Rex Harrison). After she moves in, she does meet the spirit of Captain Gregg face-to-face. Because she refuses to be scared away by his presence, the two come to an understanding, including that he will not make his presence known to Anna. As time progresses, the two develop a friendship and a bond. Despite his statements to her that she needs to live her life including finding another husband, Daniel seems not to approve of any of the men that enter ...Written by
(1:36:35) A couple passing by on the street is seen in close-up coming up to the level of a single woman pushing a baby carriage. However, in the immediately preceding long shot, the couple has already passed her by. See more »
A childhood favorite that withstood the test of time
I first saw this movie when I was very young - maybe 9 or so - when my mother rented it. I remember watching it over and over again. When I saw that the DVD had come out I didn't even hesitate; I bought it right away. I'm glad I did.
There are many themes that find their way into this movie: feminism, romance, the supernatural, etc. The one that struck me the most was a longing for something that could never be while maintaining the practical to survive. There is a constant tension between Gene Tierney (Mrs. Muir) and Rex Harrison (Captain Gregg) that is never really satisfied. Words of love are never spoken, not even in the passionate monologue from Rex Harrison. But they are unnecessary because the undercurrents are so strong. Through this tension they work and live normally because what else is there to do? Because of this there is a layer of sad acceptance in the actions of Mrs. Muir and Captain Gregg, which is understandable to all of the audience - this is an emotion that all people are forced to feel at one point or another.
From a technical standpoint, the film is obviously in black and white which does nothing to detract from the story. The cinematography was nominated for an Oscar, and should have won in my opinion. I also am one of many that want to rebuild the house and live there forever. The passage of time should definitely be noted, as it was masterfully portrayed.
On the whole, it is a wonderful movie which I would recommend to anyone.
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