Blithe Spirit
Blithe Spirit (1945)

The Noel Coward/David Lean combination which turned out such dramas as Brief Encounter and This Happy Breed sets its sights on the viewer's funny bone with Blithe Spirit. Rex Harrison plays a novelist, newly married to straight-laced… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: January 1, 1945
DVD Release Date: December 9, 1998
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Critic Score: 72% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Variety Staff

Inasmuch as this is largely a photographed copy of the stage play [by Noel Coward], the camerawork is outstandingly good and helps to put across the credibility of the ghost story more effectively than the flesh and blood performance does.

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Fernando F. Croce

The supernatural ménage of wartime England, staged by David Lean as an elegant fissure between the clipped precision of aristocratic manners and the great unknown beyond the drawing-room

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James Kendrick
Q Network Film Desk

While Coward's witty dialogue and pungent take on the mores of the British upper crust can't help but elicit some smiles, as a whole Blithe Spirit feels like a film that is just going through the motions.

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Time Out

Nifty special effects for the time, and plenty of Coward's inimitable wit and repartee.

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Sean Axmaker
Turner Classic Movies Online

... a lightweight comedy built on witty remarks and upper-class smugness (which Rex Harrison so perfectly embodies), but comedy is not Lean's strong suit.

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Emanuel Levy

As the medium Madame Arcatti, Margareth Rutherford stole every scene in David Lean's screen adaptation of Nowel Coward's witty play.

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Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

Passably good, but it should have been better, what with Rex Harrison, Constance Cummings, and Margaret Rutherford reading the Noel Coward lines.

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Matt Brunson
Creative Loafing

Blithe Spirit is beloved by so many people that I feel like a curmudgeon handing it a mixed review. But when it comes to supernatural comedies starring Rex Harrison, I much prefer Joseph L. Mankiewicz's 1947 The Ghost and Mrs. Muir.

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TV Guide

A quicksilver cocktail.

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More reviews for Blithe Spirit

Flixster Audience Score: 75% Flixster User Reviews
jay nixon
Fun filled and witty this is well acted by all and breezily directed but the whole thing is stolen by the wonderfully dotty Margaret Rutherford.
Daniel Dolgin
My final David Lean, Noel Coward adaption I viewed was Blithe Spirit. I fell in love with this movie. There's no paranormal movie quiet like this.… More
Luke Baldock
A comedic triumph for Lean. Once again he and Coward make a terrific pair. Cowards words sparkle on screen whilst Lean gives a wonderful visual appreciation,… More
Constanza Boutter
Considerable charm and notable performances, quick, light, and more than a little acid, the Noel Coward script, which zips along with cool one liners, is… More
Alec Barniskis
Considering the strength of the source material, its surprising the film feels so stale. The cast is alright, but one gets the sense that Lean wasn't that… More
hawk ledge
Light, clever comedy. Rex Harrison solid as the haunted man and Margaret Rutherford hilarious as the medium that he hires to get rid of his first wife's… More