Blithe Spirit

Director: David Lean
Year Released: 1945
Rating: 3.0

Noël Coward-produced version of his very popular - and very fluffy - stage play puts Rex Harrison in the lead role as a writer who, with the 'assistance' of a medium (Margaret Rutherford), 'accidentally' summons the spectre of his late wife Elvira (Kay Hammond) ... much to the dismay and irritation of his current wife Ruth (Constance Cummings). This is about shamelessly posh living (servants! brunch! the elite!) and endlessly clever word play, done (of course) with cheeky aplomb: when they all end up dead in some kind of ghostly three-some it's Coward, again, poking fun at his creations. Rutherford, as the wacky medium, provides much-needed goofiness to combat the dry humor; the very nature of the story suggests Coward did, in fact, believe there might be a hereafter ... and that it might be less-than-heavenly (for everyone's sake, there better be bone-dry martinis).