For those of you unfamiliar with this movie, Bernard Herrmann wrote the voluptuous soundtrack, the most absolute genius silver screen composer. He sets the scenes with unforgettable orchestration; you can smell the wind sweeping across the sea and into the windows of Gull Cottage, get goosepimples when the old ship bell ding dongs just before the spirit of Captain Gregg enters a room, and you can actually feel the heavy passage of time as Lucia lives out her lonely life there by the sea.
Gene Tierney and Rex Harrison have such a magical chemistry on screen; both possess a haunting beauty. Though the title would suggest something sinister or frightening, the movie is instead a deliciously melancholy romance, made even more special in soft black and white.
I love this soliloquy by Captain Gregg and it is one of the most moving moments in the film:
I thought you were one woman with sense...but you're like all the rest of them.
Fall for any man who'll promise you the moon and end by taking everything you have to give. Oh, don't trouble yourself, my dear. It's not your fault.I should have known
it was on the chart.
You've made your choice...the only choice you could make. You've chosen life...and that's as it should be..whatever the reckoning..
And that's why I'm going away, my dear. Oh, I...I can't help you now. I can only confuse you more and destroy whatever chance you have left of happiness.
You must make your own life amongst the living. And whether you'll meet fair winds or foul...find your own way to harbor in the end.
Lucia, listen to me. Listen, my dear. You've been dreaming...dreaming of a sea captain that haunted this house...of talks you had with him...even a book you both wrote together. But, Lucia,you wrote the book...you and no one else--The book you imagined from his house...from his picture on the wall...from his gear lying around in every room.
It's been a dream, Lucia. And in the morning and the years after, you'll only remember it as a dream, and it'll die...as all dreams must die at waking.
How you'd have loved the North Cape and the fjords and the midnight sun...to sail across the reef at Barbados where the blue water turns to green...to the Falklands where a southerly gale whips the whole sea white!
What we've missed, Lucia! What we've both missed. Goodbye, my darling..
Why can't movies today be this good? Where have all the great actors and actresses and composers gone?
Now, can some other friend send me a box of Kleenex?