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Blithe Spirit Overview:

Blithe Spirit (1945) was a Fantasy - Comedy Film directed by David Lean .

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No?l Coward on Screen: Blithe Spirit (David Lean, 1945)

By Virginie Pronovost on Jul 26, 2019 From The Wonderful World of Cinema

British playwriter No?l Coward was considered one of the most prolific figures of the theatre world. Not only did he wrote plays, but also directed, acted (both on stage and in films), composed, and sang. Known for his unique fancy style and his originality, No?l Coward surely became an undeniable B... Read full article


Margaret Rutherford in Blithe Spirit (David Lean, 1945)

By Judy on Jun 28, 2013 From Movie Classics

Margaret Rutherford on her bike This posting is my contribution to the Funny Lady blogathon being organised by the Movies, Silently blog. Please do visit and read the postings on a host of actresses from different eras. If there’s a film moment that sums up Margaret Rutherford’s screen p... Read full article


Classic Films in Focus: BLITHE SPIRIT (1945)

By Jennifer Garlen on Jan 4, 2013 From Virtual Virago

While Noel Coward's 1941 play remains a community theater favorite, the 1945 film adaptation offers viewers a chance to see the story performed by professionals under the direction the brilliant David Lean, best remembered today for his work on such classics as The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), L... Read full article


Blithe Spirit (1945) (1)

By Kristen on Oct 3, 2012 From Journeys in Classic Film

I misjudged dates when I originally planned my 31 Days of Horror and thus I ended up scheduling I Walked With a Zombie before it airs on TCM so with some?re-configuring?you get Blithe Spirit today, and I Walked With a Zombie tomorrow (sorry about that). Anyway, today’s film is a refreshing rep... Read full article


Blithe Spirit (1945) (2)

By Lindsey on Sep 3, 2012 From The Motion Pictures

(Image via fourcolorcomics.com) Charles (Rex Harrison) is an author who is conducting odd research for his next book. In order to get background on psychic mediums, Charles and his second wife Ruth (Constance Cummings) make an appointment for a seance in his home with Madame Arcati (Margaret Rutherf... Read full article


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Quotes from

Violet Bradman: I must say I find bicycling very exhausting. Those awful hills...
Madame Arcati: Just knack. Down with your head, up with your heart, and you're over the top like a flash and skimming down the other side like a dragonfly.


Violet Bradman: Can you foretell the future?
Madame Arcati: Certainly not. I disapprove of fortune-tellers most strongly.
Violet Bradman: Oh, really - why?
Madame Arcati: Too much guesswork and fake mixed up with it - even when the gift is genuine - and it only very occasionally is - you can't count on it.
Ruth Condomine: Why not?
Madame Arcati: Time again. Time is the reef upon which all our frail mystic ships are wrecked.
Ruth Condomine: You mean because it has never yet been proved that the past and the present and the future are not one and the same thing?
Madame Arcati: I long ago came to the conclusion that nothing has ever been definitely proved about anything.


Charles Condomine: What do you suppose induced Agnes to leave us?
Ruth Condomine: The reason was becoming increasingly obvious, my dear.
Charles Condomine: Mm. We must keep Edith in the house more.


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Facts about

David Lean and cinematographer Ronald Neame decided not to use double exposure to create Elvira's ghostly appearances. Instead, Lean created an enormous set that allowed Kay Hammond to move freely in each shot. Hammond wore fluorescent green clothes, makeup, and a wig, with bright red lipstick and fingernail polish. Each time she moved, a special light would be directed on her, allowing her figure to glow even in dimly-lit scenes, and giving her an otherworldly appearance.
Following the success of the play in London and on Broadway, every studio in Hollywood wanted to make the movie of Blithe Spirit. However, Noel Coward took the project to his friend David Lean, with whom he had co-directed the Oscar-winning In Which We Serve. However, Coward was not at all happy with Lean's film of Blithe Spirit. He later asked Lean, "How the hell did you fuck up the best thing I ever did?"
Margaret Rutherford and Kay Hammond played Madame Arcati and Elvira, respectively, in the original West End production. Jacqueline Clarke played Edith in the original Broadway production.
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