The Haunted Screen

Ghosts in Literature and Film

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About the Book

While ghosts often inhabit films and literature devoted to the horror genre, a group of literature-based films from the 1930s and 1940s presents more human and romantic apparitions. These films provide the underpinnings for many of the gentle supernatural films of the 1990s. Tracing the links between specters as diverse as Rex Harrison’s Captain Gregg and Patrick Swazye’s Sam Wheat, the text presents the evolution of the cinematic-literary ghost from classic Gothic to the psychological, sociological, and political ideologies of today. Included are analyses of the literary and film versions of classic ghost stories—Wuthering Heights, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, Portrait of Jennie, Letter from an Unknown Woman, The Uninvited, Liliom, and Our Town—as well as interpretations of modern films not based on literary works that show the influence of these predecessors—Ghost and Truly, Madly, Deeply. The text includes stills, a bibliography, and an index.

About the Author(s)

Lee Kovacs is an independent scholar and writer who lives and works in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Bibliographic Details

Lee Kovacs
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 191
Bibliographic Info: photos, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2006 [1999]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2605-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction      1

I. The Gothic Ghost      7

1. Wuthering Heights      9

II. The Romantic Ghost      29

2. The Ghost and Mrs. Muir      31

3. Portrait of Jennie      50

4. Letter from an Unknown Woman      68

5. The Uninvited      87

III. The Theater Ghost      105

6. Liliom      107

7. Our Town      126

IV. Contemporary Ghosts      145

8. Ghost      147

9. Truly,Madly, Deeply      160

Bibliography      177

Index      181

Book Reviews & Awards

“recommended”—Interzone; “crisply written…beautifully illustrated…engaging narrative that will entertain and challenge”—SFRA Review; “[an] eloquently written analysis of ‘the romantic ghost film’”—Video Watchdog.