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The Uninvited [VHS]

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Product Details

  • Actors: Ray Milland, Ruth Hussey, Donald Crisp, Cornelia Otis Skinner, Dorothy Stickney
  • Directors: Lewis Allen
  • Writers: Dodie Smith, Dorothy Macardle, Frank Partos
  • Producers: Buddy G. DeSylva, Charles Brackett
  • Format: Black & White, HiFi Sound, NTSC
  • Language: English, Spanish
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: MCA/Universal Home Video
  • VHS Release Date: August 27, 1992
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (561 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6302503493
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,678 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews


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

Customer Reviews

I do recommend this as one of the best ghost movies ever made.
Judy H.
I love, love, LOVE this movie and have waited for years for it to come out on DVD.
Lori J. Kaumans
The Uninvited is a great ghost story with very good special effects for the time.
Norm Le Clercq

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

162 of 164 people found the following review helpful By Jarrod Kirkland on December 21, 1999
Format: 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.Read more ›
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127 of 131 people found the following review helpful By Bear 87 on July 23, 2013
Format: 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.
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119 of 125 people found the following review helpful By Gary F. Taylor HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 31, 2001
Format: 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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72 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Kevin L. Bray on July 26, 2013
Format: Blu-ray
"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" has received the much-deserved Criterion treatment. Hot Dog!!
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The Uninvited on DVD
Turner Classic Movies ran the Uninvited tonight. It was just as good as I remember. Their website lets one vote on which movies should be given a DVD release. Go vote for the Uninvited at http://www.tcmdb.com/title/title.jsp?stid=94482
Jun 18, 2007 by Paul C. Gorman |  See all 12 posts
ditto.. seeking DVD legal copy or copies of this film to purchase. personally i prefer colorized version if/when available.
Jan 2, 2011 by Jay C. Dillon Jr. |  See all 2 posts
The Uninvited: OFFICIAL DVD release!!!!!!!
That's great! However, it will be in Region 2, correct? My DVD player is not good for region 2. That's a bummer!

May 31, 2012 by E. Sadowski |  See all 2 posts
Airing on TCM in October (2011) Be the first to reply
The Uninvited, with Ray Milland Be the first to reply
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