Blithe Spirit 

Adapted from playwright Noël Coward’s 1941 smash stage production, Blithe Spirit finds comedy in skepticism, supernatural events, and the marital woes of a man who accidentally conjures the spirit of his first wife, much to the chagrin of his second. For this filmed version, producers called on Kay Hammond and Margaret Rutherford to reprise their iconic roles as the ghostly, snarky Elvira and the hilarious, ineffectual “clairvoyant” Madame Arcati for Lean’s first comedic outing as a director. With Blithe Spirit, British artist Thomas Howard won his first Academy Award for Special Effects, rendered in otherworldly Technicolor by multi-Oscar-nominated cinematographer Ronald Neame. 

DIRECTOR: David Lean. WRITTEN BY: David Lean, Ronald Neame, Anthony Havelock-Allan. CAST: Rex Harrison, Constance Cummings, Kay Hammond, Margaret Rutherford. 1945. 96 min. UK. Color. English. 35mm. A restoration by the BFI National Archive in association with ITV funded by the David Lean Foundation.
Academy Museum film programming generously funded by the Richard Roth Foundation.