The Ghost and Mrs. Muir

Movie review by
Scott G. Mignola, Common Sense Media
The Ghost and Mrs. Muir Movie Poster Image
Charming family classic is also thought-provoking.
  • NR
  • 1947
  • 104 minutes

Parents say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Kids say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Captain Gregg has a good many words to say about the inferiority of women. A married man aggressively woos a vulnerable widow.

Violence
Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Captain Gregg has a good many words to say about the inferiority of women. Also, a married man aggressively woos a vulnerable widow.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's the story?

After her husband dies, Lucy Muir (Gene Tierney) heads for the English coast with her daughter (Natalie Wood) to rent a cottage overlooking the ocean. A surly sea captain (Rex Harrison) haunts the place, but once Lucy and the ghost get to know each other, Lucy's initial fear subsides and the two settle into a comfortable friendship. Captain Gregg remains a secret to all in the house but Lucy. Rather than have her leave when her inheritance runs out, the ghost comes forward with a proposition: he'll narrate, and she'll write the story of his seafaring life. The book's success allows her to buy the house, but what about these feelings she's developed for Gregg? Is it ridiculous -- is it even possible -- to love a ghost?

Is it any good?

This classic 1947 romance will charm both adults and children with its notion that spirits, when properly understood, can be helpful, kind, and even lovable. The dead and rather salty sea captain uses typical scare tactics to rid his house of strangers, but only until he finds a tenant that suits him. Lucy finds living with a ghost more quaint than frightening. It's the evolution of this peculiar friendship that makes the movie so endearing, and something that even a skittish youngster can enjoy without suffering from eventual nightmares.

 

Director Joseph L. Mankiewicz steeps the story in atmosphere with the assistance of two Hollywood greats, cinematographer Charles Lang and Hitchcock composer Bernard Herrmann (Vertigo). Darkly romantic, with somber, thought-provoking moments, the movie is a far cry from the TV comedy series it inspired 20 years later.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what makes a movie a classic. Are all old films classics? Why do you think this film is considered classic? Can you think of other classic films? What makes them stand the test of time? Can you think of recent films that you think will someday be considered classics?

Movie details

For kids who love fantasy and romance

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate