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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Ghosts (1987)

A widow (Judi Dench) is about to dedicate an orphanage in her husband's name and her son (Kenneth Branagh) has come home for the ceremonies. But he brings a horrible secret shame with him and the phrase the sins of the father are visited upon the children becomes a terrible reality. Based on the play by Henrik Ibsen. While perhaps not as well known as some of Ibsen's more popular works like HEDDA GABLER and A DOLL'S HOUSE, GHOSTS caused a sensation when first publicly performed in 1882 and was even banned in London (the play had to be performed "privately"). The play concerned itself with incest, venereal disease, euthanasia, out of wedlock children, adultery and religious hypocrisy. Frankly, it's still a bit of a shocker even today. Directed by Elijah Moshinsky, this is an excellent production with a spectacular performance by Dench. I've often complained how "dark" so many films are, however in this case, the oppressive darkness is pivotal and often referred to. With Natasha Richardson, Michael Gambon and Freddie Jones. 

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