“Though lovers be lost, love shall not; And death shall have no dominion.” – Dylan Thomas
Occasionally, I would like to recommend movies and books that withstand the test of time – at least during my time. In this instance, I must recommend a very special movie, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir.
This movie was released in 1947 and starred the beautiful and talented Gene Tierney. Co-starring was Rex Harrison, already a star on the English stage and screen. The story is about a widowed woman with a child who moves to the English coast to escape her controlling in-laws. Despite warnings from a real estate agent, she buys a cottage overlooking the sea that just happens to be haunted by its former owner, a gruff seaman, Captain Daniel Gregg.
Captain Gregg does his best to scare off Mrs. Muir (Lucy), but she refuses to leave. Over time, they develop an understanding and become friends and allies. The movie combines a variety of human emotions with an “unforgettable” musical score – a score that will stick in your mind for days, if not longer. I have watched it many times and never fail to notice something new. It might be a word, a look, a touch, or perhaps something in the background. Each time the movie becomes more special, through my eyes.
However, if you are awestruck by the innovative aspect of Star Wars’ quantum leap with special effects, production design, computer generated images, and stop-motion animation; do not waste your time on this movie.
If you consider yourself a cult follower of The Pirates of the Caribbean series, with all breathtaking stunts, burning lighthouses, ships coming alive and spewing fire, human to zombie transformations, black holes, and other technological marvels; The Ghost and Mrs. Muir will bore you in a matter of minutes. Although, I must admit, I am a Jack Sparrow fan. Especially his performance and script for the first installment, The Curse of the Black Pearl. I enjoyed every minute – the romance, adventure, comedy, betrayal, loyalty, and even the ghostly shipmates. However, and this is only my opinion, every installment after the original relies more and more on special effects and less and less on character development, memorable relationships, lasting quotes, and human emotions. After the third installment, I lost interest.
When I pick a serious movie, I want romance and adventure, low-key comedy peppered with a hint of sarcasm, a sense of mystery, and intrigue. As my selected movie progresses, I want to think. And when it concludes, I want to feel as if I were one of the characters – I want to feel what they felt. And, I want to remember. Remember for a long time.
This is why I include The Ghost and Mrs. Muir in my list of “Top 10 Romantic Movies.” It makes me think! It has all the qualities which I find stimulating: drama, fantasy, mystery, romance, and pushing boundaries. Yes, boundaries were pushed in this movie. Captain Gregg often appears in Mrs. Muir’s bedroom and at her bedside, talking softly and with feeling – inferring love without boundaries. Some critics felt these scenes should be cut but the director insisted they remain. Remember, this was 1947.
All-in-all, this is a must see movie, at least in my opinion. Definitely a couple’s movie. Curl up together on the sofa and enjoy a wonderfully written and acted film. The only special effects are the emotions you will feel as you watch the relationship between the Captain and Lucy transcend time.
Until next time,