|The Uninvited [VHS]
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One of the spookiest ghost stories ever put to film, The Uninvited is also one of the few classic haunted-house movies to treat the subject with respect and seriousness. Ray Milland and Ruth Hussey play a brother and sister who leave the city to live in a beautiful old house dramatically perched on a cliff overlooking the Cornish coast. As they discover some of the house's peculiarities--the unexplained chill that settles in certain rooms, the aroma of mimosas that wafts through the house, flowers that wilt when brought inside--they are told by local girl Gail Russell that the house is haunted, by the spirit of Russell's mother no less. The rationalist city folk first scoff at the idea but as Milland slowly falls in love with the frightened girl he investigates the legends and discovers some startling hidden truths. Donald Crisp costars as Russell's humorless, hard-bitten grandfather who forbids her visits to the house. Handsomely shot against the beautiful Cornish countryside, director Lewis Allen wisely suggests more than he shows and the uneasy tone and quietly restrained direction looks forward to such films as The Haunting and The Legend of Hell House. Though Allen ultimately reveals a suitably spine-tingling apparition, some of the film's best moments are chilling in their simplicity: nocturnal moans, slamming doors, and the dog's whimpering fear of the upstairs. --Sean Axmaker
- awesome bonechilling movie
i think that this is probably one of my favorite movies of all time. It's a shock to me that it is not as well known as some other 40's movies. The Uninvited gives me chills every time I watch it. I just wish they would put it on DVD......more info
- The first GREAT Ghost Movie!
I am a fan of good ghost movies, and this is really the first of the GREAT ones. It has class, plot and good acting. Where is the DVD? Anyone else agree? UPDATE, 10-20-06; There's still no DVD available on the horizon, and this makes no sense. How about a Ray Milland Collection? Anything! This film deserves a wider audience....more info
- Too Scared
I saw this movie when it came out and was so scared by it that I refused to see it until a few years ago on VHS. What a great movie!! I certainly wish it would come out on DVD. It is still one of the best....more info
- Scariest Ghost Story
This was probably one of the best and scariest haunted house/ghost stories I have every seen. I remember watching this with my mom 40 years ago (I was probably 12 or so) and we were sitting on opposite ends of the couch - but not for long before we both jumped into the middle to be next to each other. We still talk about the movie to this day.
The creeky doors, lighting, the dog barking, etc. made for a really scary ride. I have not seen another movie like it since - although I've just ordered the original "Haunting" on DVD.
I wanted to buy this movie on DVD also but was very disappointed when I found it was released only on VHS. Maybe someone out there will see this (and comments by other reviewers) and release this movie on DVD. ...more info
- Saw it years ago
Ive got to say that even for its time this was creative. I well enjoyed watching this because of the setting. Ive always been one to prefer movies with more reliance on atmosphere and noises to keep you wondering, rather than just some guy running around cutting heads off..A very atmospheric movie....more info
- WHERE IS THE DVD????
This is one of the best ghost stories ever put to film (see all other reviews) and it is out of print! Where is the dvd? We need to get a petition started !! Does anyone know where to write to?...more info
- DVD DVD DVD DVD DVD DVD!!! RELEASE IT NOW!!!
This movie is so amazing. I first saw it as child and some parts scared the living crap out of me, but it was still good because it wasn't loaded with blood, gore, and sex. The quiet scenes are scariest and this is one of the first films to start the whole "Jump Scare" that is still used and reused in horror/thriller movies today.
I agree with everyone else here that this movie NEEDS to be released on DVD! It's also a cruel joke that it isn't even out on VHS anymore. Everyone write to Paramount Pictures and annoy the heck out them to release this underrated classic on DVD!!!...more info
- The Uninvited
This was a movie that scared my older sister when she was younger. I had never seen this movie but after hearing my sister talk about this movie for years I had to find it and buy it. It is a classic creepy movie. Great price and very fast shipping....more info
- The Univited
"The Univited" is undoubtedly the best ghost story ever put out by Hollywood, but that's no longer the reason I like to watch it, still. It harks back to a social milieu in which courtliness, humor and inherent respect was still part of the male-female interaction. The time was 1944, but Paramount Pictures in those days, deliberately avoided stories that included the war in its background; at least, in stories where the war was not primary. The time in this movie could have as easily been the mid 1930's. The principals are very appealing.
- The Uninvited
This is probably the best Ghost Story ever brought to the screen. The acting is great, Ray Milland is suave, sheer class. The story is suspenful. I had read the book...long since out of print and hard to find and when I stumbled across the movie on late night television in the 50's I was hooked. I have the VHS version but am really anxious for the DVD. I would buy it immediately. I do hope that Universal will find it in their heart to release it to us die-hard fans of this wonderful, timeless and excellent Ghost Story....more info
- Great! Where is the DVD
This fine movie, scarry, spooky, wonderful...where is the DVD???!!!!...more info
- Stellar by starlight
Top-notch movie. A spectacular blend of spooky atmosphere, spirited characters, and hauntingly beautiful music.
This is one of my all-time favorite movies. The plot plays absolutely fair with the clues, too. Those who pay attention can solve the mystery of the haunting.
Ray Milland gives a great performance as Rick Fitzgerald, a lighthearted composer whose sister talks him into buying a house by a seacliff that turns out to be haunted. (Personally, I'd kill for a home like that, ghost or not.) Ruth Hussey as his sister Pamela Fitzgerald has never looked better. She has beauty, class and humor. Gail Russell as Stella Meredith, who play's Milland's love interest and inspiration for his song, "Stella by Starlight," has a haunted beauty of her own.
This movie should be on every top 10 list....more info
- This movie is terrific!
This is one movie that is just as great to watch as it is to read! Ray Milland is just wonderful, in fact the entire cast is well chosen. Being in Black and White just makes it that much better. NO CGI, but interestingly good special effects. I have it on VHS, but want it on DVD....more info
- Best haunting movie ever
This movie is at the top of the heap in "haunting" movies. Here is a movie that doesn't have million dollar special effects yet is very effective with the subtle wispy portrayal of the main ghost. You will fall in love with the characters as well as the story. I wish movie theaters would show it again and with "smell-a-vision" as Emeril jokingly calls it. If we could smell the perfume of the one ghost when the actors do it would really be an exciting addition. Hmmmm. Maybe someday soon I hope....more info
- A Romantic Mystery
The sunny and romantic feel of Dorothy Macardle's wonderful book about a young brother and sister buying a home on the English coast and getting more than they bargained for was kept in tact in this true film classic. Victor Young's beautiful score captured perfectly the light and comical intruded upon by a haunting mystery and ghost story. His Stella by Starlight is on a par with David Raksin's Laura as one of the most romantic songs ever written for film.
If asked who the most beautiful star of the 1940's was, most would probably say Hedy Lamarr or Gene Tierney. But if asked who was the prettiest, most would say Gail Russell. She will always be remembered for her role as the young and lovely Stella Meredith, looking for love and acceptance from a mother long deceased. Tragedy took her from us at a young age but she lives on in films like this one.
Ray Milland is excellent as always as Roderick (Rick) Fitzgerald and Ruth Hussey is his sister Pamela. They are both excited when they happen upon the beautiful house along the coast called Wynwood (Cliff End in the novel). They purchase it from the Commander (Donald Crisp) under protest from his lovely grandaughter Stella (Gail Russell). Her reason for not wanting the house sold is revealed when a light and enjoyable romance blooms between she and Roderick.
She and Roderick go sailing and Russell is breathtaking with the ocean breeze blowing her hair. Roderick gets sea sick in an amusing moment and Stella's longing for a connection to the mother she lost when she was three is highlighted for the first time when she reveals the perfume she wears has the same mimosa scent as the one her mother wore. It is a scent that fills the nursery in Wynwood and gives Stella a feeling of being loved when she is there.
But all is not well at Wynwood, with a sobbing heard late at night and a sea fog driving Stella to the cliff where her mother fell and died. It is all tied to the mystery of a young Spanish Gypsy girl named Carmel who posed for Stella's father, who was an artist. Stella is protected and loved one moment, and in danger the next. Roderick loves Stella and knows he must somehow solve the mystery of what happened to rid their lives of this cloud so he and Stella can be happy.
Dr. Scott (Alan Napier) may help them find the answers as he has access to notes the doctor of Stella's mother and Carmel made. Dr. Scott is also smitten with pretty Pamela, and it appears both Roderick and Pamela could be happy if only they could bring warmth back to Wynwood House.
To reveal more would lessen your pleasure if you have not experienced this wonderful film from the 1940's. There are some genuinely eerie moments mixed in with the lighthearted, but at its heart this is really a romance. It is that blend of romance and supernatural mystery which make this the best film of this kind ever made.
This is one of the most romantic films of the 1940's and the shy and beautiful Gail Russell will always be associated with the young and searching Stella Meredith in the hearts and minds of moviegoers. Those who fall in love with Russell after seeing this film will want to check out The Great Dan Patch, Angel and the Bad Man and Wake of the Red Witch for a further dose of her sunny beauty. This was one of her most memorable roles and is not to be missed by any film buff. ...more info
- Bump In the Night
Ghost stories have always struck me as being something of a breed apart from your typical horror film. Unlike monster movies or stories with more fairy tale elements (witches, goblins and ghouls), ghost stories at least hint at possible post mortem fates of the human soul. A life after death (at least for some people) is posited as a given in most such films--except, of course, in those occasionally ambiguous stories where the "ghosts" are just as likely to be delusions or psychological manifestations of aspects of living characters.
Put another way, if a werewolf, hobgoblin or mutational sci-fi monster kills you, that's it: you're dead. Or at least, in the context of that particular film you are. Most scary movies, leave it at that. The afterlife as such does not figure in. But ghost stories, almost by definition, take on additional metaphysical implications. If a ghost scares you to death or causes your death, what happens? Do you become a ghost yourself (or do only some people become ghosts)? Can a maleficent spirit really destroy your own? If they can't and you become a ghost yourself, can you then take them on in their own otherworldly playing field and maybe give them a taste of their own spooky medicine.
Now of course a lot of people who concern themselves with such matters are of the considered opinion that ghosts are often more "troubled" themselves than downright evil. Relatively recent films like THE SIXTH SENSE have made a lot of hay with such notions. As scary as we may find them to be, maybe all those restless spirits really need is a good counseling session or two before they can leave this world behind and move on to the next spiritual plane, whatever that might be.
The much admired 1944 film, THE UNINVITED, can be said to invite similar speculations. This film too plays with the notion that some departed spirits may be lingering in order to take care of unfinished business (good or bad). It does not begin to answer why these spirits remain obsessed by earthly concerns once they've moved onto another realm--call it arrested spiritual development. Whatever the case, they can and do wreak havoc in the lives of those they've left behind.
THE UNINVITED is a fairly early example of the modern ghost story--replete with the initially disbelieving, urban sophisticates (a composer played by debonair Ray Milland and his elegant sister portrayed by Ruth Hussey), an eerie mansion on the sea that they purchase despite rumors that it's haunted, an innocent young girl (Gail Russell) whose fate is somehow wrapped up in the strange goings-on at the mansion. Throw in an otherworldy mystery woman (Cornelia Otis Skinner) who may hold the key to the mysteries of the past and you've got quite the makings of a real potboiler.
But the pot never actually boils over, thankfully. And that of course, is the reason why this film remains so widely admired even today. Even though there are one or two appartions in the film, the movie actually relies more on atmosphere than special effects. And as many have pointed out, the horror is balanced out by romance and (especially) by humor. Brother and sister and the young physician they befriend--modernists all--don't totally lose their wits or their spunk as they come to accept that there may indeed be more things in heaven and earth than were ever dreamt of in their philosophies.
But philosophically modern they remain. How else can you explain Ray Milland's character effectively telling off a troublesome ghost and suggesting, in so many words, that she get an afterlife.
THE UNINVITED was always on my list of spooky must sees. I'm glad to have finally gotten around to it (just in time for Halloween 2005). Unlike some of the film's champions, I don't consider it quite a masterpiece. But it's certainly a good way to while away a few hours on a chilly fall evening.
One interesting casting note. I am not certain where the movie was filmed, but it is at least interesting that the cast is international, and even though all characters are supposedly British only a few even bother to affect an English accent. And is it just coincidence that all the male actors in significant roles (Ray Milland, Donald Crisp and Alan Napier) actually were Brits and all the women (Ruth Hussey, Gail Russell and Cornelia Otis Skinner) were American born? Very mysterious indeed.
- What A Bunch Of Animals
"The Uninvited" is classic and enchanting with nearly perfect casting, especially the fragile Gail Russell as Stella. What struck me as absolutely incredible, however, are the scenes featuring animals.
In the opening sequences, a terrier named Bobby takes after a squirrel that seeks refuge inside Windward House through an open window. How in the world the following scenes were filmed is a miracle: the squirrel dashing into a room with hardwood floors and achieving just enough traction with its claws to avoid the teeth of Bobby who "spins his paws" on the slick surface in frustrating earnestness; as if on cue, the squirrel running through the hallway and underneath the stove in the kitchen, then escaping out the doorway with the dog leaping in pursuit from the arms of Pamela; and finally the squirrel scrambling into the fireplace and up the chimney just in time to foil Bobby.
All that action is done so seamlessly that it almost escapes notice. The intent of the director was to have Bobby take the Fitzgeralds - and therefore the audience - on a tour of elegant Windward House. That could have been accomplished more easily by other means, and the fact he used animals (and a squirrel at that) just adds to the film's texture of quality.
Other positive reviews have aptly given tribute to this classic. Hopefully this one highlights another facet of a film gem. ...more info
Like many others the first thing I ask is WHY ISN"T THIS ON DVD!
The 'chilling' creepy effect doesn't come from SpeFx, but from a well told ghost tale. ...more info
- Great movie, but put it on DVD, please!
This is one of the best movies I've ever seen. Ray Milland and Ruth Hussey are superb together in this movie, and Donald Crisp, of course, is the "old master" when it comes to acting.
Why hasn't this wonderful movie been put on DVD yet? Us movie buffs need this movie on DVD. ...more info
- Where's the DVD?
I can't believe that this classic is not out on DVD! Come on Amazon, this spooky classic deserves upgrading....more info
- One of the best of its genre
Some of the bad reviews garnered by the recent "The Others" (2001) make one ponder just what it is that audiences now expect from classic genres such as the ghost story. Have we now seen it all? Does there have to be some amazing twist or dazzling special effects to make such a film work for today's audiences?
Perhaps, but I don't think so. Just about everything that could be done with a ghost story had already been done by 1900, yet fine stories continue to be written. The appeal is in the execution, not the explanation, and every good writer of ghost stories will know that the trick is in the gathering of unsettling details and their resulting effects on the protagonists.
This is true of fiction and it is equally true of movies. One of the best of the genre is "The Uninvited," a staple of AMC cable network, but worth having on one's video shelf (and hopefully soon on one's DVD shelf).
"The Uninvited" is about a brother and sister (the Welsh Ray Milland and the American Ruth Hussey, both here effortlessly English) who buy a remote seaside house in Cornwall and are then unable to afford to get rid of it when strange things start happening. Milland meets Gail Russell (not so effortlessly English), the sweet and over-sheltered granddaughter of the retired sea captain (Donald Crisp), from whom the house was purchased. They are attracted to one another, but it soon becomes evident that the source of the haunting is in her tangled family history and that something in the house is a danger to her.
The effects of "The Uninvited" are simple and traditional, often as simple as someone walking into a room and saying, "Oh, isn't it cold in here! And what is that strange aroma?" But it all works: the spectral mists, the ghostly weeping, the dog that won't go up the stairs, the ad hoc seance, and so on.
My only objection: the visits to a super-efficient insane asylum for the rich break the accumulating mood. On the other hand, the asylum is made so creepy that one might well happily retreat to a haunted house! (original review 2001)...more info
- One of the Great 40's B&W Ghost stories
This is just one of the most fun, innocent, silly, gothic, entrancing movies of the 40's. Yes it is B&W. Yes the special effects are not CGI nor much else. They are wonderfully spooky for the times they were created and heck give me the shivers even now when that ghost comes down those stairs.
The actors are fresh, seem terribly earnest and open to each other as characters and make some fine performances.
The simple truth is that this is a simple, well written, well directed, very well photographed for special affects story. Much better than the foul mouthed, gory, grungy, creepy, 20 something 21st century substitutes for intelligent writing and casting that pass for modern horror movies.
People who watch it thinking they are going to see something from the normal garbage that Follywood puts out as horror flicks in these modern times best move along and not pan something that is beyond there mental or educational capacity to understand.
- Best Ghost Story Ever
If it is possible to be in love with a movie, then this is it for me! This is the best ghost story ever filmed. It's believable, its well written with great dialogue, performances, sets and costumes - its just plain classy. I watch this several times a year, and have most of my adult life. There are some fine movies in this genre, "The Haunting (1963)" "The Ghost and Mrs Muir" and "The Others" are just a few, but this tops my list.
Why this is not on DVD boggles the mind. Universal, please put this on DVD!...more info
- Chilling ghost story is superior entertainment...
If you're in the mood for a chilling, well-plotted, atmospheric mystery, you owe it to yourself to see this house-on-the-edge-of-a-cliff type of mystery. The intricate plot will delight mystery fans and the acting by Ray Milland, Ruth Hussey, Gail Russell, Donald Crisp and Cornelia Otis Skinner is excellent.
Especially fascinating and chilling is the performance of Miss Skinner as Miss Holloway, the sinister owner of a clinic for disturbed women. Victor Young's background score adds immeasurably to the tense proceedings. His "Stella by Starlight" has become a classic composition for piano and orchestra.
The old house itself on the coastline of Cornwall, England, with its huge windows overlooking the sea and its spacious interiors inhabited by an unseen presence, is the sort of dream house anyone would love to live in--except for 'The Uninvited'. Truly a high quality ghost story that also happens to be an absorbing mystery.
The low-key horror is more effective than ever because director Lewis Allen doesn't show the creepy happenings literally--he leaves it up to the viewer's imagination with things that go bump in the night. It works beautifully.
Lovely Gail Russell is at her most beautiful as Stella, the girl who finds herself drawn to the house by the sea for reasons she can't understand--and Ray Milland and Ruth Hussey are delightful as the brother and sister intent on getting to the bottom of the mystery.
Summing up: Haunting and unforgettable as the classic Victor Young song.
- A Classic Old Ghost Story
Since, Amazon (my favorite place to buy DVDs) didn't have this classic on DVD, I had to search. A person at work told me to check out Videoretro (online). I did find it there, however the transfer is not that good. The sound was not updated and it really didn't sound too good on my home theater system. As for the movie, it is a charming ghost story. It wasn't scarey at all and had parts that are funny and romantic, as well as mysterious. Ray Milland and Ruth Hussey were good as usual. They played a brother and sister that bought a house together on the Cornwall coast in the United Kingdom. The previous owners had apparently "left" something in there. The siblings were out to "right" the ghost and make her leave. There were a couple of scenes that, to me, kind of dragged on, but overall it is a defintite buy for any classic movie buff.
- It's time to release The Uninvited (1944) on DVD
[THE FOLLOWING REVIEW WAS POSTED ON FEBRUARY 12, 2008.]
Please re-release the classic, The Uninvited, UNIVERSAL STUDIOS!
The DVD is long overdue.
I have been getting movies that I enjoyed when I was young to share with my children. And I'm not going to pay $30 for a former-rental VHS (nor will I pay the $50 or more that secondary-market dealers want for the better quality VHS tapes).
I will check back from time to time, for the DVD of The Uninvited (1944). In the meanwhile, I will spend my money for movies from other studios that keep their classics in print.
Do you hear me UNIVERSAL? You lost a sale today.
[7/29/08 UPDATE: ABOUT A MONTH AGO, A LISTING APPEARED ON AMAZON FOR A DVD OF THE UNINVITED. NO STUDIO IS LISTED, NOR IS THERE A RELEASE DATE IN THE ITEM INFORMATION. I SIGNED UP ON JUNE 24, 2008, TO BE NOTIFIED WHEN THE DVD BECOMES AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER. AS OF TODAY, THE ITEM IS STILL UNAVAILABLE.]
- Top 5 Ghost Stories ever made
Produced in 1943 and released in 1944, staring Ray Milland, this "Horror Film" is subtle, emulating the British approach to 'ghost tales' and that is (their) existence and message is real, it is about understanding what they need to tell - an injustice, lie or betrayal.
I first viewed this film at the age of 9, home from school on a Wednesday afternoon because the District had closed the schools as an overnight snow blizzard made travelling impossible. (my sisters and I loved these days) Every afternoon channel 5 would broadcast a film from the 30's or 40's, thus my sisters, Mom and I watched "The Uninvited" on one such day and, let me tell you, I was shaking so hard from fright, the entire couch shook, making my sister get a blanket - the shaking was not from the cold but pure fear.
The story concerns two female spirits, one good the other bad. Ruth Hussey plays Milland's sister, who buy a beautiful cottage where strange events unfold. A classic for its genre, we have strange knocks, doors opening and closing of their own accord and that utter coldness when entering a particular room.
What is extraordinary about this film is the sub plot connecting with the main story.
Murder is at the bottom of the plot, however, the 'bad' spirit becomes jealous, when Milland's character starts to fall in love with the girl next door - now the film moves into fright mode as the bad spirit lets her feelings known.
Why is the good spirit so sad and unwilling to do anything to stop the tirades of her fellow vengeful spirit?
As the tale continues, the 'good' spirit attempts to reveal the awful secret about the house and what happend in the past.
A few of the 'special effects' might seem lame to a few, but still, exceptionally done for the time period, particularly the pages of a book turning, giving a clue as to the on-going sadness and evil in the cottage.
Directed by Lewis Allen, (Valintino, Suddenly) managed to produce one of the top five great "horror films" of all time.
A Classic in the truest sense.
(It is shameful that this classic has not been upgraded to DVD, giving the masses one of the best ghost films in the last two centuries.)
- Long OverDue
I couldn't agree more with the comments already written. This is the best ghost story, and it should be on dvd. It is very long overdue ...more info
- The best
This is one of the best ghost stories on film. If you consider the time, the effects are amazing. Ray Milland is always great! A must see for any lover of ghost stories...more info
- Atmospheric chiller
I had read this book when I was younger and found it chilling. One night while watching the movie on TV, my mantle clock chimed the hour; after picking my heart up off the floor, I turned the lights back on and watched the rest of it. This movie is a classic. The casting is perfect and the atmosphere is frightening without being overwhelming, just the right amount of "goose bumps"....more info
- Bad movie, bad acting, bad ending......
It was just bad people and in no way a classic-no wonder I never heard of it....more info
- A Serious Case of the "Creeps"
I don't want to give anything away about the story, but if you think this is just an old, corny, black and white movie about silly ghosts, you'd be dead wrong. The first time I saw this film I had no idea that I was watching a ghost picture. It started so innocent and carefree, but I can honestly say that by the end of the film the hairs on the back of my neck were standing straight up. Believe me, you do not want to watch this film alone late at night! You'll end up with a serious case of the "Creeps".
As other reviewers have said, there is no blood or gore. It is just an example of a film that takes the subject of psychic phenomenon seriously (and this was back in the 40's). The only other film that gave me the "Willies" this bad was Robert Wise's original "The Haunting", another film I highly recommend. In fact, in my opinion, these two films are the greatest ghost movies ever made. I can only hope that DVD producers, such as Criterion, will finally restore this creepy masterpiece and release it on DVD....more info
- Best in spook
This is one of the best ghost movies there is, without all the gore and blood. Ahead of it's time in special effects. So how come it's not out on DVD yet....more info
- Read the book!
If you have ever read the book...the movie is a disappointment. I bought the book at a thrift shop before I ever saw the movie and let me say that there were parts of the book that were so scary I had to put the book down. For instance, there is a part where Rick and Pamela are standing on the staircase and Rick pulls Pamela close to him "so that she would not see what he saw coming up the stairs towards them"...I had to close the book on that part and come back later...(By the way, I was reading the book at night). I finally saw the movie and was disappointed that they had chose to put "light-hearted" parts in it...it took away from the scariness of the movie...almost made the movie seem like a comedy, which disappointed me..the old black and white ghost movies are my absolute favorites, and this story line had such potential. My advice is to read the book. It's a classic scare. For a movie that scares...watch the original The Haunting with Julie Harris...now that's a classic!...more info
- Romanticized 1940's ghost story
Lewis Allen's "The Uninvited", while a decent flick was mixed with too much comedic flair provided by leading man Ray Milland, to truly capture the creepy and tragic nature of the plot and setting. A more dramatic portrayal of his character would have increased my appreciation for the movie.
Brother and sister Roderick and Pamela Fitzgerald played by Milland and Ruth Hussey, while ambling through the craggy cliffs of the English seaside come across an old abandoned mansion. They enter the house and become charmed by its ambiance and breathtaking views of the sea. The beautiful cinematography of the rugged English coast does much to add a sense of foreboding and intrigue to the film. Hussey convinces her music critic brother that they should purchase the property.
They make inquiries about the mansion with the owner Commander Beech played by familiar English actor, Donald Crisp. They are stunned when the asking price falls within their budget. There is a proviso however, the mansion is thought to harbor haunting disturbances. Beech lives close by with his attractive young granddaughter Stella Meredith, played by the tragic, in real life, Gail Russell. Beech had bequethed the mansion to his daughter Mary Meredith, thought to be a saintly figure, who had tragically fallen to her death from the cliffs in front of the house. Strange forces seem to be drawing Russell to the mansion, but her grandfather had forbidden her to go there.
Milland and Hussey move in and begin to observe strange occurrences especially in a room once used as an art studio with a beautiful panoramic view. They soon learn the the apparition is most likely that of the departed Mary Meredith. It seems that Mary and her husband, known as Meredith, had employed a Spanish gypsy housekeeper named Carmel. Mr. Meredith apparently had a lengthy affair that caused internal strife. While the Fitzgeralds are investigating the mysteries of the mansion, Milland and Russell are being drawn together romantically.
Crisp trying the shield his granddaughter from the mansion recruits his daughter's oldest and dearest friend Miss Holloway played by reknowned author and stage actress Cornelia Otis Skinner. Skinner's eerie performance is the highlight of the film. She plays the director of an asylum or convalescent home in Devonshire. Unbeknown to the Fitzgeralds, Stella Meredith is being held there with permission from her grandfather. As they question Miss Holloway she tells a tale that reveals a lesbian undertone.
Milland and Hussey unveil the mystery, eventually purging the mansion of the spirits and go one to live happily ever after.
Veteran actor Alan Napier, better known as Alfred the butler from the Batman TV series, plays a pivotal role in the film as Commander Beech's country doctor, Dr. Scott. Using medical records he inherited from his predecessor, he helps Milland and Hussey unravel the strange circumstances surrounding the haunted mansion....more info
- Favorite Ghost Story of All Time
It's that ghostly time of year again, and as always I pull out "The Uninvited" to watch at 11 o'clock at night just to get the great chills running up and down my spine.
It's been my favorite ghost movie since I was a kid and our old rolling window shade flew up just as the ghost appeared. No slashing, no great Fx, just spine tingling atmosphere! I hope they're planning on getting it on DVD soon....more info
- Nice Old-Fashioned Ghost Story, But Please Do Read The Book
I can add little to the review of the movie that the other people haven't. This is an old-fashioned type ghost story, relying on atmosphere rather than special effects and splattering blood. I did want to mention, though, that if possible the viewer should get a used copy of the book "The Uninvited" by Dorothy MacArdle. It's even more eerily atmospheric, with no "comic relief" at all, and with some wonderful side characters that unfortunately were left out of the movie. In addition, there is an interesting sub-plot (relevant to the ghost story) about a play that the main character is writing that was dropped from the movie when they decided to make him a composer rather than a theater critic/author. Then, after you read "The Uninvited" you might want to pick up a copy of "The Unforeseen" by the same author. It's not as good as the former, but will tell you what happened to the main characters from "The Uninvited" after the book ended. ...more info
- The Best Scary Movie Ever
This movie is truly the best scary movie that I have ever seen. The first time that I saw it, I was alone in a dark room. Half way through the movie, I had to turn on the lights. The amazing part is, there is no gore what-so-ever in this film. It doesn't need it. Watch this film with your ten year old for a Halloween treat, it will scare the kids, but what self-respecting Halloween movie wouldn't? At least it is good, clean scary fun; there is no sex, and no disgusting, bloody, gore....more info
- Please release this classic on DVD
The Uninvited is a classic ghost story. The scary scenes can still give me the chills. It's also funny, and beautifully filmed. Please release the Uninvited on DVD!...more info
- One of the best scary movies ever
This movie is not as well known as other ghost stories, but, as a lifelong lover of the genre, I believe it is one of the finest: subtle, surprising, believable and extremely well-acted. Unlike modern "horror" movies that leave nothing at all too the imagination and rely more on battering the viewer into submission with violence and gore, "The Uninvited" draws you into the story, involving you in the characters' lives so that, by the time the eerie things start happening, you too are part of the story. Well written, well acted, and worth the watch. I'm going to get the DVD as soon as Amazon tells me it's available....more info