Saturday, November 03, 2007

The Uninvited (Lewis Allen, 1944)

***½
USA

Siblings Ray Milland and Ruth Hussey purchase a Cornish seaside mansion, despite its unusually low asking price, its attic that sends pets squealing to the neighbours, and its adjacency to a very steep cliff that formed the site of a suspicious death 17 years earlier. Sure enough, they find themselves caught up in a very polite but very watchable ghost story, with the exquisitely wooden Gail Russell as the maiden in peril and a lady called Cornelia Otis Skinner playing a graduate of the Gail Sondergaard School of Sapphism and Psychiatry. The spooky effects are that much more effective for bursting out amid all the light-hearted banter and irreproachable civility.

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