Criterion Collection: The Uninvited

Criterion Collection: The Uninvited

Director: Lewis Allen Cast: Ray Milland, Ruth Hussey, Donald Crisp

DVD (B&W / Full Frame)

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The Uninvited is one of the rare Hollywood ghost stories that does not cop out with a "logical" ending. In fact, the film has more in common with British ghost tales of the period, in that the characters calmly accept spectral visitations as though they were everyday occurrences. Roderick Fitzgerald (Ray Milland) and his sister, Pamela (Ruth Hussey), buy a house on the Cornish seacoast, never suspecting that it is a "bad" house, subject to haunting. Before long, Roderick and Pamela are visited by Stella Meredith (Gail Russell), whose late mother, it is said, is the house ghost. It is further supposed that the ghost means to do Stella harm. Stella's grandfather Commander Beech (Donald Crisp) is close-mouthed on the issue, but it is clear he knows something that he isn't telling. Sure enough, there is a secret to the manor: it is inhabited by not one but two ghosts, one of whom is merely trying to shield Stella from harm. Once the film's deep dark secret is revealed (courtesy of a virtuoso "mad speech" by supporting actress Cornelia Otis Skinner), Roderick is able to single-handedly exorcise the estate and claim Stella as his bride. Based on the novel by Dorothy Macardle (with a few uncredited "lifts" from Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca), The Uninvited remains one of the spookiest "old dark house" films ever made, even after years of inundation by computer-generated special effects. Less effective was the 1945 sequel, The Unseen, which starts well but degenerates into a substandard murder mystery.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/22/2013
UPC: 0715515111911
Original Release: 1944
Rating: NR
Source: Criterion
Region Code: 1
Presentation: [B&W, Full Frame]
Time: 1:39:00
Sales rank: 42

Special Features

New 2K digital restoration; New visual essay by flmmaker Michael Almereyda; Two radio adaptations, from 1944 and 1949, both starring Ray Milland; Trailer; Plus: a booklet featuring an essay by critic Farran Smith Nehme and a 1997 interview with director Lewis Allen

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
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
Jessica Newcombe Miss Ellis
John Kiernan Foreword Narrator
Rita Page Annie, Maid
Norman Ainsley Chauffeur
David Clyde Boot Owner
Helena Grant Servant
Lynda Grey Body for Portrait
Holmes Herbert Charlie Jessup
Leyland Hodgson Taxi Driver
George Kirby Gas Station Attendant
Queenie Leonard Mrs. Taylor
Moyna MacGill Mrs. Coatsworthy
Ottola Nesmith Mrs. Carlton
Evan Thomas Col. Carlton
Betty Farrington Mary Meredith
Elizabeth Russell Portrait of Mary Meredith

Technical Credits
Lewis Allen Director
Charles Brackett Producer
Hans Dreier Art Director
Farciot Edouart Special Effects
Ernst Fegte Art Director
Doane Harrison Editor
Edith Head Costumes/Costume Designer
Charles B. Lang Cinematographer
Frank Partos Screenwriter
Stephen Seymour Set Decoration/Design
Dodie Smith Screenwriter
Wally Westmore Makeup
Victor Young Score Composer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Uninvited
1. The Haunted Shores
2. An Offer for Windward House
3. The New Owners
4. Afternoon Sailing
5. Sleeping Beauty Magic
6. "It Comes From Everywhere and Nowhere"
7. "Say a Little Prayer"
8. "To Stella by Starlight"
9. Mimosa
10. "Are You My Mother?"
11. The Mary Meredith Retreat
12. To The Cliff and the Rocks Below
13. "The Danger is For You!"
1. Color Bars

Customer Reviews

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Uninvited 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best ghost stories on film, one of a kind and truly scary. The atmosphere is suitably creepy and the effects, while minimal to today's standards, are remarkable and well, effective. A ghost story has to have credibility, and less is always more where FX are concerned. This film is never boring, and it will make you think twice about walking down that long hallway when you have to use the bathroom in the middle of the night. "The Uninvited" was worth the wait, as the Criterion edition gives it the justice this classic rightly deserves. Very highly recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was an elegant and suspenseful ghost story with a great plot twist. Although this is an older movie, the sound and picture were good quality. People who like violence and gore and sex should give it a miss.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago