The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (20th Century-Fox) seems like a bit of ectoplasm left over from Blithe Spirit, but despite that handicap does fairly well by itself. A pretty English widow (Gene Tierney) rents a house by the seashore, complete with ghost. The ghost (Rex Harrison), all that is left of a fierce-whiskered sea captain who died there, still loves the place and jealously scares off new tenants.
But Widow Tierney scares so spiritedly, and is so fond of the house, that the ex-seaman gets to liking her. He even shoos off the in-laws who come to pester her, and at length settles down to dictating his memoirs, which are as briny ashore as at sea. The captain's bawdy memoirs become a bestseller, and settle the widow's money troubles. More intimate troubles are less easily attended to, for it is no fun to fall in love with a ghost. She tries to face reality by taking up with a simpering masher (George Sanders) who writes children's books, but she should have known better.
From there on out, unhappily, the story is just a series of clumsy, apologetic scenes which hurry Miss Tierney across enough time to die a natural death and thus qualify for Captain Harrison's ghostly embraces. The film's whimsy is a bit heavy-handed and it is short on wit, style and ingenuity. Yet most of it is pleasant enough fun, and pretty to watch. Harrison, apparently modeling himself after Bernard Shaw as a boy of 40, sports a handsome beaver. Miss Tierney wears beautiful turn-of-the-century dresses designed by her former husband, Oleg Cassini; her acting is neither better nor worse than usual. Edna Best is skilled and sweet as her maid, and George Sanders obviously enjoys playing a ninny, for a change, instead of the velvet scourge of womankind.
Surest gag: Miss Tierney, typing under Harrison's stern dictation, gingerly pecking out four letters which, it is clear, no lady would roll on her tongue.
They Won't Believe Me (RKO Radio) is a skillful telling of a pretty nasty story about a man (Robert Young) who loves money and women almost equally well, and finds that they get in each other's way.
Mr. Young first falls for Jane Greer, but abjectly drops her when his rich wife (Rita Johnson) yanks at the leash. She yanks him from Manhattan to Los Angeles and he tries to play safe in the new job she buys him. Unfortunately, Susan Hayward glides out of a filing cabinet, and in no time at all he is a dishonest man again. Again his wife calls him to heel; this time they move to a ranch. There isn't even a telephone and Mr. Young can't stand it. Because of his complicated efforts to run away but stay rich, both Miss Johnson and Miss Hayward die, and he is suspected of murder. In a courtroom, he tells his whole shameful story in flashbacks, understandably sure that nobody will believe him.