'Blithe Spirit' Though David Lean is best known for such epic classics as "The Bridge On the River Kwai," "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Doctor Zhivago," he got to show his lighter side in this joyous 1945 adaptation -- it was released in the U.S. in 1946 -- of Noel Coward's classic play. Rex Harrison, who starred in the London stage production, plays Charles, an author writing an expose on psychics. For research for his book, he hires a dotty psychic named Madam Arcarti (a wonderful Margaret Rutherford) to hold a seance at his house. Though Charles and his second wife, Ruth (Constance Cummings), think the outrageous Arcati is a hoot, during the seance she accidentally summons the spirit of Charles' late wife, Elvira (Kay Hammond, also from the stage version). Needless to say, Ruth is not thrilled with the presence of Elvira, and neither is Charles after he learns she's plotting to kill him. But when Elvira mistakenly kills wife No. 2., Charles ends up being haunted by both spouses. Ronald Neame supplied the gorgeous Technicolor cinematographer.
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