Out 15 oc­to­ber / Cert PG / 99 mins

Empire (UK) - - RE.VIEW - Kim new­man

One of Hol­ly­wood’s first se­ri­ous ghost sto­ries — the grand­daddy of all films about sus­pi­ciously af­ford­able homes in­fested with spooks. Sib­lings ray Mil­land and ruth Hussey aban­don dis­sat­is­fy­ing London life — “Oh rick, it isn’t even as if you were a good mu­sic critic,” Hussey tells her brother — for a clifftop man­sion in Corn­wall that turns out to be haunted by at least two spir­its and one still-liv­ing per­son... un­earthly waif Stella (Gail rus­sell), who is drawn to the room where her mother sup­pos­edly died. A scent of mi­mosa, an eerie tune (which be­came a hit song, ‘Stella By Starlight’), and a wispy spec­tre threaten to waft Stella away to the be­yond. the so­phis­ti­cated script sneaks trans­gres­sive el­e­ments (les­bian­ism, il­le­git­i­macy) past the 1944 cen­sors. Di­rec­tor Lewis Allen was mostly a solid crafts­man — just this once, he was in­spired to greater things.

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