The Ghost And Mrs Muir's idiosyncrasy rests largely on the third act, which transforms a charming, eccentric love story into something far more haunting. Upon leaving her overbearing in-laws, widow Lucy Muir (Gene Tierney) purchases a house on the English coast, only to find that it is haunted by a roguish ghost (Rex Harrison), with whom she gradually falls in love, leading her to transcribe his dictated memoirs and publish them under her own name. In the process, she comes across 'Uncle Neddy' (George Sanders), a well-known children's writer, and the stage seems set for a poignant - if predictable - choice of life over death. However, a sudden, unexpected turn of events allows the ghost's love to triumph, albeit in a manner that sets him free from haunting, and so reduces Lucy's own love to a series of memories so vague as to hardly even warrant the term, and more comparable to the fragmented recollection of dreams. The result is a love story in which the romantic lead remains lonely for the majority of the film - and her life, which unfolds in its entirety over the third act - and consummation is not only identified with death, but even postponed once it arrives; or, more specifically, in which Lucy becomes a sailor's widow, gazing aimlessly out to sea, without ever having been a sailor's wife. Beneath this melancholy romanticism, Harrison's brittle, slightly abrasive charm finds perfect expression as frustrated sea-legs, while clarifying the film as a late invocation of the swashbuckler ethos, albeit in which the imperial fringe has become sufficiently meaningless to only find expression in the terms of the stretch of English coastine around which the narrative hangs.