Posted May 21, 2011 in Arts | 0 Comments

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir

This is my first Gene Tierney film, yay me! And what better event to watch Joseph L. Manckiewicz’ The Ghost and Mrs. Muir than the TCM Classic Film Festival, as this film is a part of their retrospective for the film composer Bernard Hermann.

ph. Fox

Hermann’s score adds passion to The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, a Gothic/romantic comedy between the widowed Lucy Muir (Tierney) and the spirit of a begrudged sea-captain (Rex Harrison). The genre made me take the supposed classic less seriously, but the film would have been more incredulous if we imagine the movie say as a horror or romance. Lucy is surrounded by condescending caricatures, yet she sees freedom and she disregards their advice, making them all snivel or stutter, except for the captain since they work to meet on the same levels of understanding. Her mature voice subverts her young face, making her audience take her more seriously.

Does it seem like a backhand to say that the best part of this film is the make-up? The last ten minutes show Lucy as a mother to a young woman and it’s refreshing to see a female character in her forties with realistic make-up. Other films make mothers have lines on their faces, etc. but instead she has a simpler hairdo, padding in places of her body, shorter eyelashes and the layers of her youth seem stripped away with good result. Tierney seems more comfortable in these scenes than in the rest of the movie, making me wonder what would have been if she was strong enough to act when she actually reached that age. Also stars George  Sanders and Natalie Wood.

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