The Uninvited (1944)
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as Roderick Fitzgerald
as Pamela Fitzgerald
as Stella Meredith
as Cdr. Bench
as Miss Holloway
as Dr. Scott
as Miss Hird
as Lizzie Flynn
as Miss Ellis
as Foreword Narrator
as Foreword Narrator
as Boot Owner
as Col. Carlton
as Mrs. Carlton
as Will Hardy
as Mrs. Coatsworthy
as Mrs. Taylor
as Taxi Driver
as Charlie Jessup
as Gas Station Attendan...
as Portrait of Mary Mer...
as Mary Meredith
as Ghost of Mary Meredi...
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Critic Reviews for The Uninvited
For modern audiences, the movie is more elegantly creepy than truly scary, but it still charms.
The one thing -- and the only thing -- about this film is that it sets out to give you the shivers -- and will do so, if you're readily disposed.
The real strength of the film, though, is its atypical stance part way between psychology and the supernatural, achieving a disturbingly serious effect.
An archetypal 40s ghost story, ambitiously decked out in high studio finery, with billowing curtains and other kinds of hyperromantic kitsch that can put you in mind of death by tuberculosis, though ultimately it's a bit of a letdown.
'This is the only way I can paint you,' says Milland, at the piano. 'Some black keys, and some white.' The speaker might as well be cinematographer Charles Lang, whose painterly compositions -- some black keys, and some white -- make this a spooky gem.
Audience Reviews for The Uninvited
An large abandoned home on the stormy and mysterious English coast is the setting for this leisurely stroll into the supernatural as a curious team (brother and sister, do ya get that in films much?) stumble into a old unbelievable claim of the house being haunted. It can't be true, it just can't be. And that's just one reason why this is a decent flick, as it begins by embracing the doubt we all feel when the subject of ghosts come up ... before a slow descent into unknown territory. The thing moves right along too, w/o the draggy feel films this old usually have, and though the script is convoluted it ties together at the end okay. Wait for the twist, it's pretty good.
Part ghost story and part who-dunnit mystery, 1944's "The Uninvited" takes the mind into the musty basements and cobwebbed corners of the dark unknown. Ray Milland and Ruth Hussey star as a brother and sister who stumble upon a great, abandoned seaside mansion on the English coast and quickly (or rather impulsively) decide to buy it. The owners, old commander Beech (Donald Crisp) and his granddaughter Stella (Gail Russell) seem to have very differing opinions of the old mansion and it's prospecive buyers, and it becomes all to clear there's more to the situation than meets the eye. The upstairs artist' studio, for example, has an air of depressing dankness in spite of it's great windows and spectacular view. There's also the matter of the mysterious cold draft that sets the hairs on the back of your neck on edge, even as it carries the scent of flowered perfume. It's here that the movie works most effectively, as characters squint and peer into impenetrable darkness, so we too in the audience do likewise, hoping to catch some glint off the tv screen as to what it is that menaces the young Stella and her friends. The Uninvited is very much a film of it's time, in that it never gets too dark or sinister. However, things like ouiji boards and seances are given quite effective use in the film. "The forces at work here are dangerous", and it's true. But what's more dangerous: hauntings and ghosts, or their effect on the human psyche? This film is more along the lines of "The Ghost and Mrs Muir" or perhaps even "The Thin Man" in terms of feeling and quality. Even though there are plenty of light-hearted 1940s moments, I can't deny the eeriness of this film.
Wonderfully evocative atmosphere. Gail Russell has the perfect dreamy quality to fit the story.
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