Uninvited [Criterion Collection]

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Synopsis

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. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Product Details

Release Date
10/22/13 
Studio
Criterion
MPAA Rating
NR -- Not rated
Length
1 hour, 39 minutes
Sound
  • Dolby Digital Mono
Region
  • USA & territories, Canada
Subtitles
  • English
Video 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
Number of Discs
1

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