Blithe, indeed. This adaptation of the Noel Coward play (Coward was a producer) is almost too breezy; you come away feeling that the very experience of watching it was inconsequential. Not that it isn’t entertaining. Rex Harrison charmingly natters away as Charles Condomine, a well-off novelist who invites a medium into his home for amusement and research purposes and ends up summoning the spirit of his late wife (Kay Hammond). This delights the medium (Margaret Rutherford conjures up a witch’s brew of comedic mannerisms in the part), but doesn’t go over very well with Ruth (Constance Cummings), Charles’ second wife. Silliness and a lot of verbal slapstick ensue. Despite the stakes involved, no one takes any of it very seriously save for Ruth, which makes her something of a bore. An early feature from director David Lean, Blithe Spirit has some striking Technicolor touches (including Hammond’s red nails and lips) and a dramatic, theatrical lighting scheme. (There also some impressive special effects for the time period.) But not much of this sticks. It’s all too pleasant to count as satire—of love and death, life and marriage, or really anything at all. When it’s over you feel like offering the same gesture Charles Condomine would: a shrug.