Blithe Spirit

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

77%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 22

75%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,572

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Movie Info

Skeptical novelist Charles Condomine (Rex Harrison) invites self-proclaimed medium Madame Arcati (Margaret Rutherford) to his home for a séance, hoping to gather material for a new book. When the hapless psychic accidentally summons the spirit of Condomine's late wife, Elvira (Kay Hammond), his home and life are quickly turned into a shambles as his wife's ghost torments both himself and his new bride, Ruth (Constance Cummings). David Lean directed this adaptation of Noel Coward's hit play.

Cast & Crew

Rex Harrison
Charles Condomine
Constance Cummings
Ruth Condomine
Kay Hammond
Elvira Condomine
Hugh Wakefield
Dr. George Bradman
Joyce Carey
Violet Bradman
Richard Addinsell
Original Music
Irving Berlin
Original Music
Ronald Neame
Cinematographer
Jack Harris
Film Editor
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Critic Reviews for Blithe Spirit

All Critics (22) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (17) | Rotten (5)

  • Inasmuch as this is largely a photographed copy of the stage play [by Noel Coward], the camerawork is outstandingly good and helps to put across the credibility of the ghost story more effectively than the flesh and blood performance does.

    November 6, 2007 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • Nifty special effects for the time, and plenty of Coward's inimitable wit and repartee.

    February 9, 2006 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Passably good, but it should have been better, what with Rex Harrison, Constance Cummings, and Margaret Rutherford reading the Noel Coward lines.

    January 1, 2000 | Full Review…
  • Funny with unique visual effects

    October 24, 2019 | Full Review…
  • May be a trifle, but it's a glorious trifle, and features one of the great comedic roles in English theatre - the medium Madame Arcati, here memorably embodied by a deliciously batty Margaret Rutherford.

    August 6, 2019 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • ...almost too breezy.

    August 26, 2018 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Blithe Spirit

  • Sep 17, 2019
    Funny how things work, eh? Back in 1945 the technology wasn't anywhere near what we have been used to and so, lacking the special effects gee whiz quotient, Noel Coward and company lean into other nuances, like deft characterization and sparkling dialogue, in what is essentially an hour or so eavesdropping on a bickering couple poking at the scab of old relationships. Howbeit, with wit, charm, and savoir faire, Noel Coward's calling card.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Dec 28, 2013
    Considering the strength of the source material, its surprising the film feels so stale. The cast is alright, but one gets the sense that Lean wasn't that invested in directing this movie.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Jun 19, 2013
    My final David Lean, Noel Coward adaption I viewed was Blithe Spirit. I fell in love with this movie. There's no paranormal movie quiet like this. It's elegant in humor and moves quickly. There are no scares, it's more in depth on the idea of the other world, and a humorous view of how life is after you die. David Lean morphed the dead with the living, when an estranged wife comes to "visit" her husband and his second wife. She terrorizes the family through this, and a quote brought up early in this movie really summarizes it well. " It's discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit". Not only is it a great line but it is perfect in the film. Harrison, Cummings, and Hamond have great on screen chemistry, making this an amazing feel good comedy.
    Daniel D Super Reviewer
  • Oct 06, 2010
    Fun filled and witty this is well acted by all and breezily directed but the whole thing is stolen by the wonderfully dotty Margaret Rutherford.
    jay n Super Reviewer

Blithe Spirit Quotes

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