Lucy Muir (Gene Tierney) is a widow. She has been for a year. During that time she and her daughter Anna (Natalie Wood) have been living with her husband’s hysterical mother Angelica (Isobel Elsom) and her over-bearing sister-in-law Eva (Victoria Horne). Needing to get away from her in-laws’ suffocating ways she takes her daughter to Whitecliff-by-the-sea. She visits Mr. Coombe (Robert Coote) the local real estate agent looking to rent a house. One house intrigues her but Coombe doesn’t want to rent it to her. She insists on seeing it.

Gull Cottage is on the sea and it once belonged to Captain Daniel Gregg (Rex Harrison). Gregg has been dead for four years and the cottage has been empty since then. Touring the cottage she finds out that it is haunted by the spirit of Captain Gregg. There is something about the house that captivates her and being a little on the stubborn side Lucy rents it anyway.

Lucy, Anna and their housekeeper Martha Huggins (Edna Best) move in. Captain Gregg soon appears. Lucy stands her ground and insists that she is not leaving the house. The rough and gruff captain is no match for the beautiful yet determined widow. Gregg soon develops a grudging respect for Lucy and he sees that she also has an appreciation for the house. He agrees to let her stay and promises to make himself known only to her so as not to frighten her daughter or Martha.

Soon Lucy’s in-laws Angelica and Eva show up with bad news. The shares in the gold mine that was the source of income for Lucy has dried up. They expect her to move back in with them. Captain Gregg has grown quite fond of Lucy and asks her to stay. His suggestion for income is for Lucy to write a book based on his life. He will dictate his stories and she will type them up and present them to a publisher.

By the time the book is finished Lucy and Captain Gregg are, in their own way, in love. Neither one expresses it since nothing can become of it. Lucy brings the book titled “Blood and Swash” to a publisher. He loves the book and agrees to publish it. While Lucy is in London she meets Miles Fairley (George Sanders). He follows her to Whitecliff and romances her. The Captain, realizing that this may be Lucy’s chance at love decides to leave. He comes to Lucy in her sleep and tells her he was a dream. When she awakens she believes her life will be spent with Miles. But there are all kinds of dreams.

“The Ghost and Mrs. Muir” was released in 1947 and was directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz. The movie is a ghost story, but also a love story. It is based on the 1945 novel of the same name by R. A. Dick which is a pseudonym for Josephine Leslie. The beautiful and sweeping music score was created by Bernard Hermann.

The story is compelling and charming yet heartbreaking as well. The proverbial “chick flick” so to speak. There’s something about Lucy that is quite sad. She’s never been lucky in love. Her husband was good to her but she wasn’t in love with him. She was in love with the idea of love. The Captain as a dashing and exciting character is still just that. He’s a ghost and cannot fulfill all the romantic aspects of love. Miles is a flesh and blood man but, in most ways, is less of a real man than the spirit of Captain Gregg. Lucy has had her three strikes.

In 1968 a television sit-com was created based on the book and starred Hope Lange and Edward Mulhare. It ran for two seasons.

The word "muir" means "sea" in Scots Gaelic. A fitting name since many seamen have noted that the sea was the only woman they loved.

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