Wanting to flee the oppressive orbit of her in-laws, headstrong young widow Lucy Muir (Tierney) decides to move to the English seaside with her young daughter Anna (Wood) and faithful maid Martha (Best). Despite the warnings of real-estate agent Mr. Combe (Coote), Lucy rents a house haunted by its deceased former owner, crusty Captain Daniel Gregg (Harrison). The seaman is hardly welcoming, but over time, Lucy and the handsome, bearded spirit develop an unusually close friendship.
The ever-talented Mankiewicz’s deeply romantic “Mrs. Muir” is pure Hollywood fantasy, driven by the entrancing presence of its two fabulous co-stars. While a love story between a gruff dead seaman given to salty turns of phrase and a gorgeous grieving mother might sound a bit hokey, the chemistry between Tierney (radiant as ever) and Harrison (quite dashing as an unapologetic man’s man) is not only credible but winning. Worlds better than its ‘70s TV spinoff and heartier than latter-day imitations like 1990’s “Ghost,” this is one cinematic haunted house you should be sure to visit.