Ghost and Mrs. Muir, The (1947)

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947), directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz.

An independent-minded widow rents a seaside cottage haunted by a gruff, salty sea captain. Oddly enough, they get on well together and their relationship goes through stages:

This supernatural romance might have been just a bit of fluff, but the meditation on life and death gives it weight. Also the theme of lost memory and forgotten love: did you ever look up in the middle of your life and think "What am I forgetting? Didn't I swear always to... what? Wasn't I always going to love... who?" Perhaps in your dreams you have a parallel life where you haven't forgotten the most important things you once understood to be so vital.

If one element tips the film over into a better category, it is Bernard Herrmann's haunting, romantic score.

Gene Tierney's exotic beauty, overbite and all: I love it. She broke a leg just before filming began. They delayed for ten days and then worked around it.

Natalie Wood, age 9, is the little girl. George Sanders does his patented charming cad.

Available on Blu-ray with two commentary tracks. Much on the cinematography and Herrmann's score, and on production techniques in the golden age of the studio system.