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135 of 135 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars YOU CAN ALMOST SMELL THE MIMOSA!
Based upon Dorothy Macardle's 1942 novel "Uneasy Freehold" THE UNINVITED is a wonderful and unique film which keeps the viewer mesmorized throughout. On the last day of their vacation in May, 1937, Rick and Pam Fitzgerald (brother and sister!) find an empty house on the seaside which they purchase for a ridiculously low price. Naturally, the place has...
Published on December 21, 1999 by Jarrod Kirkland

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Classic ghost story
One of the classic ghost stories. Told well and I never get tired of it. Ray Milland does a good job with his part.
Published 10 months ago by Holly Kaufmann


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135 of 135 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars YOU CAN ALMOST SMELL THE MIMOSA!, December 21, 1999
This review is from: The Uninvited [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Based upon Dorothy Macardle's 1942 novel "Uneasy Freehold" THE UNINVITED is a wonderful and unique film which keeps the viewer mesmorized throughout. On the last day of their vacation in May, 1937, Rick and Pam Fitzgerald (brother and sister!) find an empty house on the seaside which they purchase for a ridiculously low price. Naturally, the place has "disturbances" in the form of two spectres,one of which just happens to be the daughter of the previous owner, Commander Beech (Donald Crisp).The other ghost is the spirit of Carmel Casada an artist's model. The commander's grand-daughter, Stella Merideth makes friends with the Fitzgeralds and she is ecstatic about visiting them in the childhood home she loves dearly. Gail Russell is luminous as the moonstruck Stella; this was her second film and her lack of acting experience is actually an advantage-her eerie lustre and shy, naive demeanor suit her role perfectly. There is a great sequence involving a seance, complete with Russell going into a trance (as a Spanish Gypsy) and the mysterious scent of mimosa which permeates the room. The very tall Dr.Scott is played by Alan Napier of BATMAN fame. The unsavory Miss Holloway is played to the hilt by Cornelia Otis Skinner (hers is a key role in the mystery) That's Angela Lansbury's mother Moyna MacGill in the tobacconists shop asking for a copy of "Amateur Gardening". The Cornish sets are done quite well and Windward House is a gothic beauty which I've always wanted to own myself! Ruth Hussey had to sleep with the lights on while making this movie! The voice of Mary Merideth was provided by Betty Farrington and Victor Young's "Stella by Starlight" is the lovely theme. Absolutely brimming with charm, this movie has ingenious atmospheric touches: the scent of parfum mimosa, a rose which wilts in the cold, dank studio, candles that burn dim and the classic scene where the French doors abruptly burst open. THE UNINVITED is chilling old-fashioned ghost story which takes itself seriously; there's no trick ending in this ingenious film. Highly Recommended.
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117 of 119 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Its about time!, July 23, 2013
This review is from: The Uninvited (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Finally, one of the best, and most awaited ghost/haunted house stories is given the million dollar treatment by Criterion. This 1944 film had me sneaking upstairs (against explicit instructions by my parents to "go directly to bed") to watch the late show with a blanket nearby for the scary parts. Honestly its not really scary, no mater what my 12 year old self still thinks, but it's one of the creepiest and well produced supernatural movies from Hollywood.

Ray Milland (Rick) is the perfectly suave leading man who falls in love with the beautiful Gail Russell, (Stella) a young 20 year old daughter of the mystery spirit who maybe haunting "Windward House", that sits perched upon a tall cliff on the haunted Cornish coast in England. [Oh, yeah, very Gothic!] Milland and his sister (Ruth Hussey) buy the house while on vacation at a heavily discounted price from the stern Commander Beech (Donald Crisp). His granddaughter, Stella, becomes upset with the sale until she is invited to visit the house, by Rick and his sister. From this point on it's "Katie bar the door!" as the house comes alive with mysterious scents, moans, cold spots, and murderous attempts on the life of young Stella.

The movie was produced by Paramount, based on the novel by Dorothy Macardle. It was directed by Lewis Allen and is in glorious black and white. For an on-the-set, studio produced film, it seems very realistic. (Check out the village scenes and the 1937 headlines of Soviet Airmen flying over the pole.) The suspense is well handled and for one of the first times, Hollywood treats hauntings as actually happening instead of laying it on some human pranks at the end of the movie. The ghost is handled respectfully, and in an almost English cinema type trait, you don't see the spirit until the last 30 minutes of the film. The movie has humor, thrills, and romance, and even hints at a "love that may not speak its own name".

I love this film. Take a chance. Invite your female friends over for the evening, pop some popcorn, turn out the lights, power down your cell phones, and have a few blankets next to the sofa, just in case.
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116 of 121 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Old Fashioned Ghost Story Effectively Told, December 31, 2001
This review is from: The Uninvited [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Neatly playing light-hearted daytime fun against unsettling nighttime hauntings, THE UNINVITED is very much a traditional ghost story. When Ray Milland and sister Ruth Hussey buy a house on the Cornwall coast the purchase seems ideal--particularly as Milland is attracted to the seller's granddaughter, beautiful Gail Russell. But once settled in, Milland and Hussey soon find they are not quite alone in their new home.
The film is particularly notable for an "every day ordinary" style: there are no manipulative camera angles or unexpected editing tricks; there is no foreshadowing soundtrack; there are precious few special effects--and by refusing to use such time-honored elements, the story's ghostly elements seem all the more disturbing by comparison. The strong cast, which also includes Donald Crisp, Alan Napier, Cornelia Otis Skinner, is first rate and plays expertly, and Lewis Allen directs with restraint but never allows the pace to drag. THE UNINVITED is not a horror movie by any stretch of the imagination, and viewers who expect to rocked, jolted, shocked, and shuddered will probably be disappointed. But as a traditional ghost story with a mysterious and truly creepy plot it has more than a few chills, THE UNINVITED more than holds it own.
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67 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Long, Long Wait is Finally Over!, July 26, 2013
This review is from: The Uninvited (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
This is the greatest news in DVD/Blue-Ray movie releases since I found that "Carnival of Souls" had been released by Criterion years ago. I have been waiting for this film to be released for many years, and in October it will finally be on the home video market in a Region 1 format. "The Uninvited" is a stylish film that owes much of its look to "Rebecca," as well as the Val Lewton films that were contemporaneous with this 1944 release from Paramount. "The Uninvited" is a genuinely scary haunted house tale that takes its ghosts seriously...very seriously, indeed. For me, this film, "The Innocents" and "The Haunting" (1963) make up THE trilogy of well-made movies about ghosts, and I'm ecstatic about the fact that "The Uninvited" is getting the much-deserved Criterion treatment. Hot Dog!!
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57 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SUPERB GHOST STORY, December 8, 1999
By 
Scott Barkley (Carmel,California) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Uninvited [VHS] (VHS Tape)
An usual and fascinating item, a ghost story which takes itself seriously. A "classy" film with considerable charm, "The Uninvited" is a ghost story with Freudian overtones which lingers in the mind long after one has seen it. During their fortnight vacation from their London flat, brother and sister Rick and Pamela Fitzgerald (excellently portrayed by Ray Milland and Ruth Hussey) buy an old Georgian house on the Cornish coast which is haunted by the spirits of two women. One of these ghosts is found to be Mary Merideth and the other a model who posed for Mary's artist husband Llewellyn, a Spanish gypsy girl named Carmel Casada. Gail Russell,in her best-known performance, luminously plays the ethereal Stella, and her strong performance is no small part of the effectiveness of the picture;her limpid eyes seem to conceal the mysteries of life and death. Stella believes it is the spirit of her mother who haunts Windward house (it was her Grandfather who sold the house to the Fitzgeralds for TWO THOUSAND POUNDS!) The strange happiness which steals over her in the house along with the mimosa scent awakes her intuitive recognition that "somebody loves me with all of her heart". Stella's faith is rewarded at the seance which Pamela arranges to be held at Windward; when the spirits are asked why they stay at the house, the reply is "I Guard". Carmel is there to prevent Mary from driving Stella into throwing herself off the cliff, something she tries to do twice in the film. There are many key scenes which are chilling, the most famous being when the French doors fly open at breakneck speed; the audience is totally unprepared for this start. Based on Dorothy Macardle's "Uneasy Freehold" this film is considered Hollywood's first attempt at filming a serious ghost story and it's still among the top 5 classics of the genre. Cornelia Otis Skinner is magnificently sinister as Miss Holloway and Donald Crisp is fine as Stella's over-protective Grandfather. That's Alan Napier (he played Alfred on "Batman" in the sixties) as Dr. Scott and Dorothy Stickney has a memorable cameo as Miss Bird (Stickney died at the age of 101 in 1998) Gail Russell was a tragic figure in real life (see was referred to as "Hollywood's Haunted Heroine". An insecure introvert, she developed a drinking problem and died at the age of 36 in 1961.The astonishingly beautiful Russell (she looks rather demure in this early role) was perfectly cast as Stella Merideth since her vulnerable personality and eerie lustre suited the role she was playing. Lizzie Flynn, the Irish housekeeper is amusingly played by Barbara Everest (notice in the scene where everyone holds candles at the foot of the stairs Everest looks straight into the camera for an instant.)The film's theme is the beautifully haunting "Stella by Starlight" It would be 20 years before Hollywood produced another dilly of a ghost story ("The Haunting") Highly Recommended!
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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting and powerful, March 12, 2011
This review is from: The Uninvited (1944) (DVD)
I was quite surprised how good the quality was for a film this old (nearly 70 years old!!!). I was worried there might be chinese subtitles but all my fears would put to ease as I played
the DVD...I was pleasantly surprised to say the least. As HeathMcEwan said, This 1944 classic film is one of my very favorites. Long hailed as Hollywood's first attempt at a "serious" ghost story, it will no doubt please most all fans of the genre. Ray Milland and Ruth Hussey play Roderick and Pamela Fitzgerald who are siblings. They are nearing the end of their seaside holiday in Cornwall, England when they happen to come across a lovely old deserted Georgian house while chasing their terrier, Bobby. The Fitzgeralds meet the dour owner (played by Donald Crisp) and they purchase the small mansion for a surprisingly affordable amount of money. Naturally, the house is haunted. The acting - particularly that of Gail Russell as the luminous, moonstruck Stella Meredith - is effective and charming. The black-and-white cinematography by Charles Lang is exquisite as is Victor Young's hauntingly lovely theme, "Stella by Starlight". The film has a moody, frisson quality which few films of the "ghost genre" can match. In one of her very few film appearances, Cornelia Otis Skinner is memorably sinister as Miss Holloway who was a friend of Stella's mother, the deceased Mary Meredith. A thoroughly enjoyable film with some real jolts and a great atmosphere, ghost fans should be enthralled by this one.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the wait, July 23, 2013
This review is from: The Uninvited (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
The UNINVITED is scary without being over-the top. Atmospheric, and with a cast of excellent actors and actresses, I would recommend it. It is probably the best ghost movie ever made.
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47 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Re-EDIT: CRITERION vs. MEDIA ASIA GROUP, October 4, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Uninvited (1944) (DVD)
The Uninvited (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]This review is for 'The Unintived' on Blu-Ray / DVD from CRITERION.

I purchased the Blu-Ray copy of this film. This is a very good print with a crisp picture and good sound there are some nice extras including a booklet (Blu-Ray Version) Below is the review I posted for a previous purchase from MEDIA ASIA GROUP.

MEDIA ASIA GROUP COPY:
I had looked for years for this excellent ghost story on DVD with no success. I had found a copy offered by MEDIA ASIA GROUP and this is what I got: The film was a fair print, but not nearly as good as I've seen on TMC and the digital transfer was TERRIBLE!! This is a black and white film with a mono sound track running less than 100 min. with NO-EXTRAS. So it should fit easily on a standard single-layer DVD. The amount of compression applied made the film look fuzzy and pixelated and it stuttered and stopped and finally made a 'Fatal Error' that made my player quit in the first 3 mins. of play. MEDIA ASIA GROUP made the transfer and despite all of the 'Quality Control/Assurance' stickers it is one of the worst I have purchased and I have bought DVDs from the $1.00 bin.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DVD DVD DVD DVD DVD DVD!!! RELEASE IT NOW!!!, November 21, 2004
This review is from: The Uninvited [VHS] (VHS Tape)
This movie is so amazing. I first saw it as child and some parts scared the living crap out of me, but it was still good because it wasn't loaded with blood, gore, and sex. The quiet scenes are scariest and this is one of the first films to start the whole "Jump Scare" that is still used and reused in horror/thriller movies today.

I agree with everyone else here that this movie NEEDS to be released on DVD! It's also a cruel joke that it isn't even out on VHS anymore. Everyone write to Paramount Pictures and annoy the heck out them to release this underrated classic on DVD!!!
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glad I was invited, May 14, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Uninvited (1944) (DVD)
This is the best ghost story Hollywood has ever filmed. It has atmosphere to burn and the musical score is positively haunting. The acting is first rate and the direction is fine. The photography and sets make the film and it looks so much better in black and white; colour would have ruined it. I was also glad that very little "special effects" were used. There is an eeriness to this film that is not to be found in very many others. And it's not a scary or terrifying film. It's just that atmosphere, coupled to a great story that will keep you on the edge of your seat. For my money no one before or since has come close to this one. Don't miss it.
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The Uninvited (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
The Uninvited (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] by Lewis Allen (Blu-ray - 2013)
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