Friday, June 25, 2010

Book v. Movie: The Ghost and Mrs. Muir

One of my absolute favorite films is The Ghost and Mrs. Muir from 1947.  It stars a sweet but strong Gene Tierney as Lucy Muir and Rex Harrison as the ghost of Captain Daniel Gregg.  It also features the fantastic George Sanders and a young Natalie Wood.  Here is the original trailer for the film --

I never even wondered if the film was based on a book until my recent late night musings.  Then Jenny said in the comments that she thought the book version of this story was sweet and so I decided to start with this one!  The novel was released in 1945 and was written by R.A. Dick (a poorly chosen pseudonym).

The book and the movie are quite similar.  Mrs. Lucy Muir is a widow who is tired of living the way others expect her to.  She decides to leave her established life and move her small family to the seaside.  She chooses the furnished and low-priced Gull Cottage -- the former (and apparently current) home of Captain Gregg -- a sea captain who died of an alleged suicide years earlier.  Lucy Muir's new-found independence can't be shaken even by a ghost who doesn't want his home occupied.  In the book, Mrs. Muir has a second child and the details of her one romance are different though the results are the same.  Overall, I feel that the movie had a more romantic feel to it while the book had a bit more of a real-life tenor.

Verdict: I highly recommend both the film and the novel.  I don't think it matters which you try first either.  There are differences but nothing that makes one truly better than the other.  I still have a preference for the movie but I can easily see others enjoying the book slightly more.

Believing in true love in any form,

Support our site and buy The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (dvd) and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (novel) on Amazon or find them at your local library.  We own a copy of the dvd and borrowed the book from the library.


  1. Argh, you're making me want to watch the film so much! My library at home has a copy, but it's so scratched and beat up that it won't play. And I love Gene Tierney, I think she's adorable. Ditto young Natalie Wood. Not sure how I'd feel about Rex Harrison however, as I do not tend to like him much..

  2. Jenny - I think that I saw it broken up into parts on YouTube! You could watch it there. I totally love Gene Tierney too! And I love Rex Harrison in this one even though I hate him in My Fair Lady.

  3. I do like this movie, although it's kind of weird that the ghost and the woman fall in love. Where did you find the novel? I looked at my library and they don't have it, even on ILL.

  4. Heidenkind - Luckily they did have the book in my library system.