Wednesday, August 26, 2009

"The Ghost and Mrs. Muir," "The Ghost and Mr. Chicken"

I came across “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir” the other day on Instant Watch on Netflix and stopped and thought to myself, “when was the last time you saw that movie?” This 1947 movie is really unbelievably romantic. I fell in love with the old sea captain ghost immediately, played by Rex Harrison with unbelievable flair. The lead character played by Gene Tierney was everything you want a heroine to be.

Set in a picturesque and barren part of the English coastline, this movie takes place at the turn-of-the-century. A lonely widow and her daughter move into a captain’s cottage left empty after his death. Every prior occupant has rushed from the premises immediately, but this woman (who used to cower from her in-laws) is not about to let a grumpy possessive ghost scare her from her new nest.

It has all the romantic elements of a great love story with a couple brought together, completely mismatched, and find that they bring out the best in each other. Although they can never be together (her being corporeal and he, well…not), they breeze through the short course of human lifespan to spend an eternity together in their little cottage by the sea.

This is now going onto my list of top ghost stories of all times. I know a lot of people loved “Ghost” (I did not), but if you enjoyed the romance in that one, you’ll certainly love it in this movie. It’s timeless and priceless and I adore it. Every woman should have her own sea captain. He’s a perfect hero.

“The Ghost and Mr. Chicken” is probably my favorite childhood ghost movie. Probably because it was one my parents actually allowed me to watch and I didn’t have to sneak into my sister’s room and watch it on her tiny black-and-white TV.

This 1966 movie starring Don Knotts is a classic kid-friendly movie. With it’s adorably bouncy music and Don Knotts quivering jaw, it’s a combination made in 1960s/70s heyday of tongue-in-cheek movies starring the same (“The Incredible Mr. Limpit” and “The Reluctant Astronaut”).

Poor Luther is a timid nervous reporter for a tiny town newspaper who stumbles onto a find—the local haunted house. In a typical Scooby-Doo manner, there’s shenanigans doing on in the background, but poor Luther is pulled into what he believes is a seriously angry ghost-fest. Now, he has to spend the night in the house alone! Will he impress the girl and make the town believe it’s haunted or will he run away with his tail between his legs?

Sometimes, horror doesn’t have to be all that serious. Look at “Shaun of the Dead,” or the upcoming movie “Zombieland.” Yeah, this is a childish and fun piece of fluff, but “The Ghost and Mr. Chicken” is also a beloved memory for all of us around in the late 60s/early 70s who cut our teeth on it as we laughed and then hid under the blanket, shivering as much as Don Knotts. If you haven’t seen it in a while, it’s worth a fresh re-see. It’ll remind you of much simpler times and a really great comedic actor (RIP).

Honestly, I think both of these are worth a watch before Halloween for the mix of nostalgia, romance, and humor.


  1. Loved the Ghost and Mrs. Muir! I don't think I have ever seen The Ghost and Mr. Chicken I'll have to check that one out. I recorded The Pit and The Pendulum. It's a wonderful gloomy day here today so I'm going to watch that today. :) Becca

  2. Yes, I loved Ghost and Mr. Chicken. And remember Ghost and Mrs. Muir.
    Talking comedy horror, how about the Ghostbuster movies?

  3. Becca;
    I agree--perfect gloomy day movie. It's 107 and sunny-blistering here and it's my day off. I'm closing the curtains, making the house chilly, and baking dark rye bread while watching horror movies with my BFF. You gave me a great idea for what to watch while we bake. p.s. my favorite character in the novel I'm writing is named Becca--she's a bundle of energy and perkiness.

    Hope you get to see them. I think "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir" is my favorite love story.

    Ghostbusters--classic tongue-in-cheek horror. They were so cute--I have a thing for nerds with gadgets!

  4. I love those movies, but like you said, I haven't seen them in ages. I think I will get those to get in the mood. There was also a tv series of the ghost and mrs muir, but I don't remember it that well.
    How about all the old Hitchcock movies, like Gaslight and Strangers on a Train or Rope, to name a few. I love those movies! Can't wait until October for all the spooky fun!

  5. Sandra;
    Yes, Hope Lange did the TV version of it which I watched avidly. I never thought she was much for a romantic lead and the captain wasn't as sexy, but it was pretty fun. It reminded me of a whole era of movies like "Please Don't Eat the Daisies" that came out around then and had women moving to the countryside (even "I Love Lucy" did it). I agree, Hitchcock is fantastic--I love "The Birds" and "Psycho" and "Rear Window" best. In fact, I'm really in the mood for "Rear Window" and I have that in my collection, might just put that on today. :-)

  6. OMG, I love the Ghost and Mr. Chicken. Don Knotts was so funny! I saw the Ghost and Mrs. Muir but my memory of this movie isn't as clear as the Ghost and Mr. Chicken. I will have to be sure to watch it again.

  7. Thank you for your comment. You are so sweet. I wish we could meet in real life, but although we live in opposite sides of the world i feel close to you.
    I think you are right. The dove helped me heal more than i helped her heal.

  8. i've never seen 'rear window' or 'gaslight'! i need to do that! i'm usually too restless to sit & watch a movie, but, the time's coming that i won't be able to get out and do tons of stuff...when it gets cold & snowy...

  9. Libby--both are great movies! I love "Rear Window" because it's really tense and interesting. This guy is laid up with a broken leg and can't leave his apartment, but starts to watch his neighbors for entertainment and thinks he might be seeing a crime unfold. Really great stuff!

  10. The Ghost and Mr. Chicken - now you've got my attention! :)

  11. Justin;
    That was a great movie--Loved The Incredible Mr. Limpet and The Reluctant Astronaut too. He was really an underrated comedic actor!

  12. Ghost and Mrs. Muir is one of my all-time faves. Watched it for the first time when I was a little kid, with my mom. Good movie, good memories. :)

  13. I will never forget the first time I saw the Ghost and Mrs. Muir. It was on late one night on the PBS channel when we lived in Phoenix. I was entranced. I'd never seen it. I thoroughly enjoyed watching it.

    And the Ghost and Mr. Chicken was on AMC (I think that was the channel) not too long ago. Watched it and chuckled. They don't make 'em like Don Knotts anymore! (did I spell his name right???)