One of the spookiest ghost stories ever put to film, The Uninvited is also one of the few classic haunted-house movies to treat the subject with respect and seriousness. Ray Milland and Ruth Hussey play a brother and sister who leave the city to live in a beautiful old house dramatically perched on a cliff overlooking the Cornish coast. As they discover some of the house's peculiarities--the unexplained chill that settles in certain rooms, the aroma of mimosas that wafts through the house, flowers that wilt when brought inside--they are told by local girl Gail Russell that the house is haunted, by the spirit of Russell's mother no less. The rationalist city folk first scoff at the idea but as Milland slowly falls in love with the frightened girl he investigates the legends and discovers some startling hidden truths. Donald Crisp costars as Russell's humorless, hard-bitten grandfather who forbids her visits to the house. Handsomely shot against the beautiful Cornish countryside, director Lewis Allen wisely suggests more than he shows and the uneasy tone and quietly restrained direction looks forward to such films as The Haunting and The Legend of Hell House. Though Allen ultimately reveals a suitably spine-tingling apparition, some of the film's best moments are chilling in their simplicity: nocturnal moans, slamming doors, and the dog's whimpering fear of the upstairs. --Sean Axmaker
Spotlight customer reviews:
Customer Rating: Summary: Where's the DVD? Comment: I can't believe that this classic is not out on DVD! Come on Amazon, this spooky classic deserves upgrading. Customer Rating: Summary: Favorite Ghost Story of All Time Comment: It's that ghostly time of year again, and as always I pull out "The Uninvited" to watch at 11 o'clock at night just to get the great chills running up and down my spine.
It's been my favorite ghost movie since I was a kid and our old rolling window shade flew up just as the ghost appeared. No slashing, no great Fx, just spine tingling atmosphere! I hope they're planning on getting it on DVD soon. Customer Rating: Summary: Atmospheric chiller Comment: I had read this book when I was younger and found it chilling. One night while watching the movie on TV, my mantle clock chimed the hour; after picking my heart up off the floor, I turned the lights back on and watched the rest of it. This movie is a classic. The casting is perfect and the atmosphere is frightening without being overwhelming, just the right amount of "goose bumps". Customer Rating: Summary: Chilling ghost story is superior entertainment... Comment: If you're in the mood for a chilling, well-plotted, atmospheric mystery, you owe it to yourself to see this house-on-the-edge-of-a-cliff type of mystery. The intricate plot will delight mystery fans and the acting by Ray Milland, Ruth Hussey, Gail Russell, Donald Crisp and Cornelia Otis Skinner is excellent.
Especially fascinating and chilling is the performance of Miss Skinner as Miss Holloway, the sinister owner of a clinic for disturbed women. Victor Young's background score adds immeasurably to the tense proceedings. His "Stella by Starlight" has become a classic composition for piano and orchestra.
The old house itself on the coastline of Cornwall, England, with its huge windows overlooking the sea and its spacious interiors inhabited by an unseen presence, is the sort of dream house anyone would love to live in--except for 'The Uninvited'. Truly a high quality ghost story that also happens to be an absorbing mystery.
The low-key horror is more effective than ever because director Lewis Allen doesn't show the creepy happenings literally--he leaves it up to the viewer's imagination with things that go bump in the night. It works beautifully.
Lovely Gail Russell is at her most beautiful as Stella, the girl who finds herself drawn to the house by the sea for reasons she can't understand--and Ray Milland and Ruth Hussey are delightful as the brother and sister intent on getting to the bottom of the mystery.
Summing up: Haunting and unforgettable as the classic Victor Young song.
Customer Rating: Summary: Best haunting movie ever Comment: This movie is at the top of the heap in "haunting" movies. Here is a movie that doesn't have million dollar special effects yet is very effective with the subtle wispy portrayal of the main ghost. You will fall in love with the characters as well as the story. I wish movie theaters would show it again and with "smell-a-vision" as Emeril jokingly calls it. If we could smell the perfume of the one ghost when the actors do it would really be an exciting addition. Hmmmm. Maybe someday soon I hope.