7.2/10
4,939
60 user 43 critic

Blithe Spirit (1945)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Fantasy | 14 May 1945 (UK)
Charles and his second wife, Ruth, are haunted by the spirit of his first wife, Elvira. Medium Madame Arcati tries to help things out by contacting the ghost.

Director:

David Lean

Writers:

David Lean (adapted for the screen by), Ronald Neame (adapted for the screen by) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $3.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC
Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Noël Coward's attempt to show how the ordinary people lived between the wars. Just after World War I, the Gibbons family moves to a nice house in the suburbs. An ordinary sort of life is ... See full summary »

Director: David Lean
Stars: Robert Newton, Celia Johnson, Amy Veness
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

This "story of a ship", the British destroyer H.M.S. Torrin, is told in flashbacks by survivors as they cling to a life raft.

Directors: Noël Coward, David Lean
Stars: Noël Coward, John Mills, Bernard Miles
Madeleine (1950)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The middle-class family of a young woman cannot understand why she delays in marrying a respectable young man. They know nothing about her long-standing affair with a Frenchman.

Director: David Lean
Stars: Ann Todd, Norman Wooland, Ivan Desny
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The Passionate Friends were in love when young, but separated, and she married an older man. Then Mary Justin meets Steven Stratton again and they have one last fling together in the Alps.

Director: David Lean
Stars: Ann Todd, Trevor Howard, Claude Rains
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Henry Hobson is a successful bootmaker, a widower and a tyrannical father of three daughters. The girls each want to leave their father by getting married, but Henry refuses because marriage traditions require him to pay out settlements.

Director: David Lean
Stars: Charles Laughton, John Mills, Brenda de Banzie
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Fictionalized story of British aerospace engineers solving the problem of supersonic flight.

Director: David Lean
Stars: Ralph Richardson, Ann Todd, Nigel Patrick
Oliver Twist (1948)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An orphan named Oliver Twist meets a pickpocket on the streets of London. From there, he joins a household of boys who are trained to steal for their master.

Director: David Lean
Stars: Robert Newton, Alec Guinness, Kay Walsh
Adventure | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A humble orphan suddenly becomes a gentleman with the help of an unknown benefactor.

Director: David Lean
Stars: John Mills, Valerie Hobson, Tony Wager
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Meeting a stranger in a railway station, a woman is tempted to cheat on her husband.

Director: David Lean
Stars: Celia Johnson, Trevor Howard, Stanley Holloway
Summertime (1955)
Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A lonely American woman unexpectedly finds romance in Venice, Italy.

Director: David Lean
Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Rossano Brazzi, Isa Miranda
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Residents of a part of London declare independence, when they discover an old treaty. This leads to the need for a 'Passport to Pimlico'.

Director: Henry Cornelius
Stars: Stanley Holloway, Betty Warren, Barbara Murray
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

In 1900, a young widow finds her seaside cottage is haunted...and forms a unique relationship with the ghost.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Stars: Gene Tierney, Rex Harrison, George Sanders
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Rex Harrison ... Charles Condomine
Constance Cummings ... Ruth Condomine
Kay Hammond ... Elvira Condomine
Margaret Rutherford ... Madame Arcati
Hugh Wakefield ... Dr. George Bradman
Joyce Carey ... Violet Bradman
Jacqueline Clarke ... Edith (as Jaqueline Clarke)
Edit

Storyline

To get background for a new book, author Charles and his second wife Ruth light-heartedly arrange for local mystic Madame Arcati to give a séance. The unfortunate result is that Charles' first wife Elvira returns from beyond the grave to make his life something of a misery. Ruth too gets increasingly irritated with her supernatural rival, but M.Arcati is at her wit's end as to how to sort things out. Written by J-26

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Elvira is the kind of gal who can turn an evening into a night you'll never forget! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Fantasy

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 May 1945 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Uma Mulher do Outro Mundo See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Clifton Webb created the role of Charles on Broadway. He went directly from the play into Laura (1944). See more »

Goofs

The car driven by Charles Condomine changes from having a steering wheel to the right as in England to the left as in the United States a couple of times. In fact, in a scene when he and Elvira are talking at a crossroads whilst an R.A.C. Man directing traffic watches them, astonished the car passes from American to English. It's the same in the final scene when he puts the suitcases on the car is not the same as the car that crosses the bridge. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
words on a Victorian sampler: "When we are young / We read and believe / The most fantastic things. / When we are older / We learn with regret / That these things cannot be"
Narrator: We are quite, quite wrong!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The voice at the end of the credits page that utters, "We are quite, quite WRONG!" is Noël Coward's See more »

Connections

Version of Blithe Spirit (1946) See more »

Soundtracks

Always
(uncredited)
Written by Irving Berlin
Sung by Jacqueline Clarke
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

I shall consult my diary and give you a complete list after lunch.
24 September 2004 | by film-criticSee all my reviews

I must say, this was a bloody good film. Unlike the other older films that I have watched this one actually had originality, spunk, and a whole lot of fun. Blithe Spirit is the story of a couple that is happy in every way. Rex Harrison and Constance Cummings play a couple, Charles and Ruth Condomine, who have been married for five years. This is both of theirs second marriage. They are seemingly wealthy due to Harrison's books that he has written. His next book is about the supernatural, so he has invited the local gypsy to their house on night to not only study what she does, but also for a form of entertainment.

Wonderfully played by Margaret Rutherford, Madame Arcati (the gypsy) makes her entrance and immediately sets the tone for the remainder of the film. She runs around the room like a hyperactive child, standing ... sitting ... running ... and jumping she puts on a great performance for those watching. After the séance is completed with no results, the two couples find themselves laughing as Arcati leaves for the night. The only one not laughing is Harrison. He has discovered that his dead wife has actually risen from the grave and can see and talk to him. The only trouble, Harrison is the only one that can see her. Harrison, hysterical in a Hugh Grant sort of way, is not so much frightened that she is a ghost, but that his ex-wife is back in the same room as he. He spends the evening, to his current wife's displeasure, talking to Edith (his first wife) about her current disposition. Humor, suspicion, and creative film-making continue throughout the rest of this film. The ending to this film surprised me, but also kept well within the themes of this film. Rex Harrison has proved that he was one of Britain and Hollywood's greatest assets.

After my first two run ins with 1940-1950s cinema, I was ready to be board and asleep by now, instead I am awake and have a huge smile on my face. It is so impressive to see such quality and original work come from this time period. Looking at the most recent horror/thriller cinema that has graced our screens lately like The Others, The Sixth Sense, and even The Ring, it was a joy to sit back and enjoy a comedy that combines the same elements from these into a very funny caper. Taken from a play by author Noel Coward, Blithe Spirit sharpens your intellect and brings you deep into the world of British comedy.

The casting was perfect. This is actually my first Rex Harrison film, and I cannot wait to see him again. The style of acting that he has, and it may have just been for this film, is not only sharp, but directly on cue. I couldn't keep my eyes off the old gypsy. Her facial expressions, plus mannerisms showed that she was very excited about this part. The concept of this film was extraordinary. Since I have only seen a handful of 1940s films, the plot and elements in this film far exceed the others plus some of the cinema released today.

I love British humor. I loved the fact that after the first ten minutes, nobody was scared of these ghosts. It was like it was the normality of life for these characters. It took a little longer for Ruth to be comfortable, but Charles stepped right into it. Add to this mix a surprise element about Charles' marriage brings continual laughter and surprises. So, not only do we have ghosts in the house, but we also have a crumbling marriage. Not only do we have a very funny film about ghosts, but we also have an ending that I did not see coming at all.

Overall, it was not just a funny ghost film, but instead a funny ghost film with a pinch of "who-dun-it". If you are in the movie store looking for that 1940s film that will tie you over for the night, please check out Blithe Spirit. I think you will thoroughly enjoy it. No spooky in any way, just straight out fun!!

Grade: ***** out of *****


15 of 30 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 60 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed