Like its TV-sitcom counterpart of the 1960s, the original film version of The Ghost and Mrs. Muir was based on the novel by R.A. Dick. Gene Tierney plays turn-of-the-century widow Lucy Muir, who escapes her impossible in-laws by moving into an old house on the English seacoast.
Despite the warnings of realtor Combe (Robert Coote) that the house might be haunted, the tenacious young widow calmly establishes residence with her young daughter Anna (Natalie Wood) and housekeeper Martha (Edna Best) in tow.
Sure enough, the place is haunted by the spirit of its previous owner-a bombastic, profane, yet somehow attractive sea captain named Daniel Gregg (Rex Harrison).
When Lucy steadfastly refuses to be frightened by Captain Gregg, he takes a liking to her, and the two become close friends (in standard ghost-movie tradition, only Lucy can hear or see the Captain).
Realizing that Lucy is in dire financial straits, the Captain offers to dictate his colorful memoirs to her, which she promptly parlays into a best-seller and a lasting literary career. Slowly but surely, Gregg falls in love with Lucy.