Today I did something out of character.
I woke up and watched a movie in it's entirety.
A miracle, yes?
The Ghost and Mrs Muir sucked me in indelibly. Alright, I must admit. I only wanted to see it for little 8 year old Natalie Wood. But once it started on FMC this morning, I seriously could not turn it off. Something just lured me in and ate me like some rare German dessert.
Lucy Muir moves into a new house with her maid and daughter after being widowed. After finding the seafront home of her dreams, she moves in to be befriended by the ghost of a sea captain who had previously lived there.
A LOT of this movie reminded me of Portrait of Jennie, with Jennifer Jones and Joseph Cotten. The ghostly aspects, the shots of the violent waves, and the blooming love story. Also, a portrait painting plays a very important part in both films. In Jennie, Cotten's character paints Jennie after seeing her and being intrigued. In Mrs Muir, a portrait of Captain Gregg hangs on a wall in Lucy's room, and she looks at it often.
The ghost of Captain Daniel Gregg is easily the greatest character in the whole film. He is terribly witty and has some of the greatest lines in the movie.
Eva: And what a hideous painting!
Captain Gregg: Anyone with a face like yours, madam, should steer clear of expressing such opinions!
George Sanders...is a snooty snot. Every movie I've seen him in, he's just some creepy dude trying to hit on chicks. Maybe it's the voice. And what a little sleazeball he is in this one! He's already married with two kids, and spends his time creepin' on the ladies. And his wife will be the first to admit it! "This isn't the first time this has happened." I feel bad for both parties, mainly Lucy. Lucia. Loo-chee-a. Whatever her name was. Although I knew she was making a bad decision in the first place. If you ever meet someone even remotely close to George Sanders...it's not gonna be cute. Just RUN AWAY.
When it comes down to it, the best part of the movie is the love story between Lucy and Daniel. First he was the gruff, get-out-of-my-house type, and he came to realize that he actually liked having Lucy as company. At times, it was like watching two kids my age who are fatally in love with each other painfully trying to hide their devotion during a conversation; I was getting antsy, as if I was walking down the hall at school seeing these dumb couples. Eventually he tells her while she's sleeping that their relationship has always been a dream, and he leaves.
The ending is sweet, sad, and satisfying all at the same time. Lucy has grown old. She's been alone her whole life, only with Martha the maid to keep her company. Assuming she's had a stroke - "My elbow has a funny pain" - she dies only to have a ghost of her young self come out of her, and after not seeing each other for decades, her and the Captain walk off into the rolling ocean fog.
For more on Mrs Muir, go to this site.
"Women named Lucy are always being imposed upon, but Lucia - there's a name for an amazon, a queen!"