Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir

Anyone heard of this movie? And/or the book?

Here is a brief review of both!

I was introduced to the movie (released in the 1940s) by my mom. I was afraid it was a scary ghost story, but it wasn't that at all.

I love the movie. No matter how many times I watch it, I never tire of it. It is funny, sad, and sweet by turns. It is not overly complex or suspenseful (which is a normal criticism, especially of the book), but I love it. And it stars Gene Tierney (who I haven't seen in anything else), and the marvelous Rex Harrison. George Sanders plays a greasy nasty fellow and does a great job (I'm not sure what that says about him, but I only know him from Disney's Jungle Book otherwise where he is also a bad guy).

In the credits at the beginning of the movie, it says that it is based on the novel by R. A. Dick.

Which is funny to find because he published his book, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, under the pen name Josephine Leslie. Much as his main character, Mrs. Muir, published Captain Gregg's novel under the name Captain X, right? Fun parallels.

So I wanted to find and read this book. My parents had gathered the oddest and most extensive collection of books in our basement library. And one day, I happened to stumble upon this very one! (As well as many other treasures like the book based on the movie Labyrinth which was said to be "worth a gold nugget and just as rare.")

I first read the book several years ago. And loved it! Even more than I love the movie. And I do so love the movie.

They are quite different stories, however. I love the more complex character interactions in the book. Namely, Mrs. Muir's son, who is not in the movie at all. That provides an interesting dynamic to her life as well as a huge contrast to the life of her daughter (who is in the movie). I also like that Captain Gregg stays around the whole time, whereas he leaves in the movie. I like the ending of the book a bit better because she reconciles with Martha. The time lines are a bit different and many characters the same or mentioned, but they have to be taken separately.

There also seems to have been an old TV series based on the book. According to IMDB, it was 50 episodes long. They changed the names of both children from Cyril and Anna to Jonathan and Candice for some unknown reason. I haven't found a good place to watch the series, but it looks like much of it is on YouTube. I will have to find and watch some. Somehow I doubt it will be as good as the movie and the book, but you never know.

There you have it. Some old stuff to look into. And if you like one, I recommend the other. I'm not sure why I love them so much. I guess they are just charming. Enjoy!

No comments:

Post a Comment