Blithe Spirit • 1h 36m
Directed by David Lean • 1945 • United Kingdom
Starring Rex Harrison, Margaret Rutherford, Kay Hammond
BLITHE SPIRIT, David Lean’s delightful film version of Noël Coward’s theater sensation (onstage, it broke London box-office records before hitting Broadway), stars Rex Harrison as a novelist who cheekily invites a medium (Margaret Rutherford) to his house to conduct a séance, hoping the experience will inspire a book he’s working on. Things go decidedly not as planned when she summons the spirit of his dead first wife (Kay Hammond), a severe inconvenience for his current one (Constance Cummings). Employing Oscar-winning special effects to spruce up Coward’s theatrical farce, BLITHE SPIRIT is a sprightly supernatural comedy with winning performances.
Up Next in Blithe Spirit
Barry Day on BLITHE SPIRIT
In the following interview, recorded in October 2011, Noël Coward expert Barry Day, author of “Coward on Film: The Cinema of Noël Coward,” discusses BLITHE SPIRIT.
The Southbank Show: Noël Coward
This 1992 episode of “The Southbank Show,” hosted by Melvin Bragg, covers Noël Coward’s life and his career in theater, film, and music. It features archival footage and interviews with actors John Gielgud, Daniel Massey, and John Mills, among others.