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The Uninvited (1944)

4.8 out of 5 stars 685 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

A brother and sister move into an old seaside house they find abandoned for many years on the English coast. Their original enchantment with the house diminishes as they hear stories of the previous owners and meet their daughter (now a young woman) who now lives as a neighbor with her grandfather. Also heard are unexplained sounds during the night. It becomes obvious that the house is haunted. The reasons for the haunting and how they relate to the daughter whom the brother is falling in love with, prove to be a complex mystery. As they are compelled to solve it, the supernatural activity at the house increases to a frightening level.

DVD INFO: All-Region Disc will play Worldwide and is NTSC (North American compatible) format. This is the unedited Collector's Edition which features a very good quality print of the film, the original movie trailer, DVD menus, and a very nice DVD case with Artwork. DVD is an import but is in English entirely.

Starring:
Ray Milland (Roderick Fitzgerald)
Ruth Hussey (Pamela Fitzgerald)
Donald Crisp (Commander Beech)
Cornelia Otis Skinner (Miss Holloway)
Dorothy Stickney (Miss Bird)
Barbara Everest (Lizzie Flynn)
Alan Napier (Dr. Scott)
Gail Russell (Stella Meredith)

Directed by: Lewis Allen


Runtime: 99 minutes B&W

Product Details

  • Format: NTSC, Black & White, Collector's Edition, Import
  • Region: All Regions
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (685 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004QZQEA0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #140,086 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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