Edwardian widow, Gene Tierney, flees her overbearing in-laws to buy a small cottage by the sea. With small daughter and maid in tow, the formidable Mrs Muir sets up home in this idyllic setting. However, the house is haunted by the ghost of a sea captain, who doesn't much care for women invading, what he still sees, as his home.
At first, the uncouth captain (played with bearded handsomeness by Rex Harrison) tries to scare off the beautiful widow, but to no avail. She is tough and unmoving. A bickering friendship then begins to develop between the prim lady and the worldly-wise sailor. She agrees to write the captain's memoirs for him (a great success). Gradually unspoken feelings begin to deepen between the two, despite the obvious impossibility of their relationship.
Eventually Mrs. Muir meets a charming writer who manages to seduce her. You know this guy is no good, because he's played by George Sanders (the arch cad of many Hollywood films).
What I love about this film is that it starts off as a light comedy, but as the film progresses, the mood darkens, and then darkens again. The years roll by, while Bernard Herrman's romantic and doom-laiden music, crashes like waves on a beach.
The ending is tragic, uplifting and very, very moving.