Blithe Spirit

1945

Action / Comedy / Fantasy

4
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 72%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 76%
IMDb Rating 7.2 10 4511

Synopsis


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January 20, 2016 at 04:22 AM

Director

Cast

Rex Harrison as Charles Condomine
Margaret Rutherford as Madame Arcati
Noel Coward as Narrator
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
673.92 MB
988*720
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 36 min
P/S 3 / 2
1.43 GB
1472*1072
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 36 min
P/S 2 / 5

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Spikeopath 9 / 10

Spiritual mirth is a joyous thing.

Blithe Spirit is directed by David Lean and adapted from by Noel Coward's play by Lean, Coward, Ronald Neame and Anthony Havelock-Allan. The title Blithe Spirit was devised out of the poem by "To a Skylark" written by Percy Bysshe Shelley. The film stars Rex Harrison, Constance Cummings, Kay Hammond and Margaret Rutherford. Music is by Richard Addinsell and Neame is the photographer. Plot finds Charles (Harrison) and his second wife Ruth (Cummings) haunted by the ghost of Charles' first wife, Elvira (Hammond). Medium Madame Arcati (Rutherford) is enlisted to try and help. Things get colourful to say the least...

Written by a maestro and directed by someone so gifted, Blithe Spirit is a fantastical comedy that gladdens and lifts the spirits (no pun intended) to the point that this viewer always wears a grin 12 hours after watching it. Noel Coward's witty approach is given perfect treatment from David Lean and a cast clearly having fun with the material to hand. Rex Harrison is all fresh faced and youthful, whilst some of his mannerisms of incredulity and cheek are a joy to behold, while Constance Cummings & Kay Hammond bounce off each other with electrical mirth. However, it is Margaret Rutherford's show all the way, her portrayal of the batty, almost maniacal, medium Madame Arcati is a lesson in visual and well delivered oral comedy, it is something that on its own is worth watching the film for.

Ghostly goings on with a cracking turn of events at the hour mark, mark this out as a truly delightful movie, thankfully we get an ending that is perfect and in tune as regards the fun that has gone before it. Essential viewing for the classic comedy fan. 9/10

Reviewed by jacobs-greenwood 6 / 10

Somehow Margaret Rutherford's hilarious performance was under-appreciated at the time

Just prior to Brief Encounter (1945), director David Lean and screenwriters Ronald Neame and Anthony Havelock-Allan adapted producer Noël Coward's droll play about a widower husband whose deceased wife 'haunts' his current marriage, taunting his current wife (also a widow) in this Technicolor comedy. Neame was also its cinematographer. Using many of the same techniques found in Topper (1937), it also earned Tom Howard the first of his two Oscars for Special Effects; the other was for Tom Thumb (1958).

It stars Rex Harrison as the widower Charles Condomine, Constance Cummings as his current wife Ruth, and Kay Hammond as his first - now deceased wife Elvira, essentially the title role. Margaret Rutherford plays a marvelously entertaining quirky character named Madame Arcati, who's a spiritualist or medium if you will, with the 'expertise' that summons the ghostly Elvira to the here-and-now, where her presence plays havoc with Charles's and Constance's relationship ... especially since no one can see or hear Elvira except Charles.

Charles has very little conversational discipline - he's unable to control his harsh repartee with Elvira - such that Constance believes he is insulting her, which causes their estrangement. After Charles convinces Elvira to make her presence known to Constance (by moving objects in the room), the situation is further exacerbated when Charles becomes all too comfortable with the arrangement: having both his wives around. But neither Constance nor Elvira like the status quo, which leads to a most unfortunate event, when one of Elvira's schemes to change the situation backfires, making it worse for her.

Reviewed by ksf-2 8 / 10

EARLY version of Coward's story

SPOILERS *** This one won the Oscar for best special effects.. the seance scenes, and Charles' ex-wife, as a ghost. This was one of David Lean's earlier directing gigs. He would go on to win TWO Oscars much later... River Kwai and Lawrence of Arabia. I had never seen this 1945 version of Blithe Spirit. Usually, movie channels or Turner shows one of the more recent ones... it MUST be a good story; they remade it so many times in the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s. The 1945 version has a YOUNG Rex Harrison (Charles), Constance Cummings (Ruth), and of course, Margaret Rutherford (was Jane Marple, for MANY years.) She will also get an Oscar for "VIPs". In the story, we meet the medium, Madame Arcati, at dinner, and she's already an odd character. At a seance, Elvira, the ex-wife, talks to Charles, but he's the only one who can hear her. and now that she has been summoned, she won't go away. and the current wife doesn't like it. she FINALLY admits that the first wife has actually come back. It's all pretty good. A hilarious scene where Ruth pulls the door-ringer right out of the wall, and barely even noticing, Madame Arcati takes it from her and puts it right back. Stuff happens, and the two wives antagonize each other. Another thing -- Hammond, the first wife, has a strange way of pronouncing the letter "S", so that's a little distracting. It's noel coward, so of course, the story itself is great. Apparently, Coward did not appreciate Lean's ending, so it does end quite differently than the play. Entertaining stuff. Several versions are available on DVD.

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