Old 01-20-2008, 09:03 AM
Marya Zaleska's Avatar
Marya Zaleska Marya Zaleska is offline
The Countess
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Location: In the netherworld of Transylvania
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Smile The Uninvited (1944)


It's Countess Marya here!

It's been a while since I have told a tale so I though today would be a great time.

Well, let's pretend that it is nighttime and there is a bad storm taking place with crashes of lightning and the roar of thunder. It is cold outside.

Let me get over here to my old creaky rocker and sit down. Ok. Shawl on, skirt straightened, glass of claret ready and my pipe filled with tobacco and lit.

The film I would like to talk about today is The Uninvited from 1944.

It was a Universal picture directed by Lewis Allen amd based on a novel by Dorothy Macardle. It was put into a screenply by Dodie Smith.

The cast includes:

Ray Milland as Roderick Fitzgerald
Ruth Hussey as Pamela Fitzgerald
Donald Crisp as Commander beech
Gail Russell as Stella Meredith
Cornelia Otis Skinner as Miss Holloway
Alan Napier as Dr. Scott

The summary of the plot is that a brother and sister move into an old seaside house on the English Coast which has been abandoned for years. After they move in they find that the place is haunted by a spirit.

Rick Fitzgerald is looking for a place to write his music and he and his sister fall in love with this old sea coast mansion. They find out that it is owned by Commander beech and his grandaughter Stella Meredith. The house is called Winward House.

The property is purchased from a Commander Beech for a very low price. During the sale, the Fitzgerlad's meet the Commander's grandaughter, Stella Meredith.

Stella is upset over the sale due to her fond memories of growing up there, even though her mother met a tragic death at the place. The Commander discourages her from her nostalgia as well as enterting the house.

Rick & Pamela get discouraged with the house due to unexplained phenomima : cold spots, wilting flowers and sobs and moans of an unseen woman. When Stella comes to Windeard she becomes aware of the spirit.

Stella sencing that the spirit is her mother's smells a strong scent of mimosa. However, when in the house she becomes trancelike and runs toward the cliff. Rick catches her before she falls over. Then it is discovered that there is something in the house that wants to kill Stella.

While researching the background of the house and Stella's father, they find out that he had a Spanish model named Carmel with whom he had an affair with. Mary Meredith sent Carmel to Paris away from her husband. Carmel returned, stole the infant, and during a confrontation with Mary, Mary fell to her death off the cliffs.

During a fake sceance with the Fitzgerald's and the doctor, the real ghost takes over and commuincates that it is protecting Stella from Carmel. However, Stella begins to speak in Spanish.

The Commander interrupts the proceedings and sends Stella to The Mary Meridith Retreat run by Miss Holloway, who was Mary Meridith's former nurse. Her loyalty to Mary borders on insanity.

When Miss Holloway learns that the Fitzgerald's are coming for Stella, she send her alone back to the Windward House to a maleviolent spirit.

When Stella arrives at the house she finds her grandfather there who warns her to leave. He then dies as a ghostly presence appears. Stella, believing that the ghost is her mother suddenly screams and runs towards the cliffs. the Fitzgerald's and the doctor save Stella.

It is determined that Carmen was Stella's real mother and that is where the scent of mimosa comes from. Rick confronts the maleviolent spirit of Mary and shows that he is not afraid. He says that she has no power anymore over them. The ghost leaves and the house is clean again. Even the dog comes back.

In my opinion this is the finest ghost story ever.

The entire movie is well done, well acted, well portrayed and most certainly well remembered.

The cinematography is well done. It was nominated in 1945 for an Academy Award for best Cinematography.

The Uninvited was among the very first Hollywood feature films to portray a haunting as an authentic supernatural event.

Victor Young's musical score is exceptional and produced the popular hit Stella By Starlight.

Leonard Maltin rates this one three and one have stars. I give it a four.

I don't believe that it is on DVD yet, but when it does come out be sure to get this one for your library. Or if it comes on TCM record it.

The Countess Marya

The Countess
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Old 01-20-2008, 11:22 AM
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newb newb is offline

Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: R.I.
Posts: 19,090
I'll check it out if I can find it. I love a good creepy ghost story.....not enough of them if ya ask me.
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Old 01-20-2008, 11:38 AM
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phantomstranger phantomstranger is offline
Evil Dead

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Posts: 1,924
This is one of the greatest ghost movies ever. Good story, great atmosphere.fine acting and some good bits of humor. A true ghost classic.
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