Blithe Spirit (1945)
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Critic Reviews for Blithe Spirit
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.
Nifty special effects for the time, and plenty of Coward's inimitable wit and repartee.
Passably good, but it should have been better, what with Rex Harrison, Constance Cummings, and Margaret Rutherford reading the Noel Coward lines.
The supernatural ménage of wartime England, staged by David Lean as an elegant fissure between the clipped precision of aristocratic manners and the great unknown beyond the drawing-room
... a lightweight comedy built on witty remarks and upper-class smugness (which Rex Harrison so perfectly embodies), but comedy is not Lean's strong suit.
Blithe Spirit is beloved by so many people that I feel like a curmudgeon handing it a mixed review. But when it comes to supernatural comedies starring Rex Harrison, I much prefer Joseph L. Mankiewicz's 1947 The Ghost and Mrs. Muir.
Audience Reviews for Blithe Spirit
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.
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.
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.
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