Friday, January 28, 2011

The Uninvited


The Uninvited, written by Dodie Smith and Frank Partos, based on the novel Uneasy Freehold by Dorothy Macardle, directed by Lewis Allen, starring Ray Milland, Donald Crisp, Ruth Hussey and Gail Russell (1944): Charming, occasionally comedic ghost story, nominated for a Best Cinematography Oscar (B&W) in 1945 (it lost, deservedly, to Laura). A middle-aged brother and sister buy an old house on the West Coast of England. It's cheap because it's haunted, possibly by more than one ghost. Reminiscent of Hitchcock's Rebecca (also based on a novel) in terms of how family secrets drive the narrative, with their revelation being key to closure. The ghost effects are limited, subtle and effective. Recommended.

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