Blithe Spirit DVD


Noel Coward's favourite play, Blithe Spirit, was certainly a departure for David Lean, best known at the time for adapting Dickens. While it's the director's only comedy, the result is a delightful gem. Rex Harrison is an acerbic author haunted by the ghost of first wife Elvira (Kay Hammond), who tries to seduce him all over again. This throws his second wife (Constance Cummings) into a panic, second-guessing her lack of passion. It's a celestial sex romp that hasn't lost its bite. Margaret Rutherford, as always, steals the show as the sardonic medium. --Bill Desowitz

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12 May 2003
Carlton Visual Entertainment Ltd 
91 minutes 
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Please note this is a region 2 DVD and will require a region 2 (Europe) or region Free DVD Player in order to play. Blithe Spirit is David Lean's 1945 film adaptation of a comical three-act play by Noel Coward. Newly-married mystery novelist Charles Condomine (Rex Harrison) and his second wife Ruth (Constance Cummings) are haunted by the ghost of his first wife, Elvira (Kay Hammond). The film won the Academy Award for Best Effects (Thomas Howard I) in 1947.

In this Noel Coward comedy, cynical writer Rex Harrison asks a medium (Margaret Rutherford) to hold a seance in his house so he can collect material for his latest book. No one is more surprised than the medium when she inadvertently conjures up the ghost of Harrison's first wife (Kay Hammond). The ghost refuses to go away, preferring to taunt her less sophisticated replacement (Constance Cummings).

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