Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


THE GHOST GOES WILD (1947). Director: George Blair.

Monty Crandell (James Ellison) is a magazine illustrator who lives in a house that is supposedly haunted by the ghost of Benedict Arnold. When he uses a caricature of his fiancee's Aunt Susan (Ruth Donnelly) for the latest cover of the periodical he works for, she's so outraged that she decides to sue him. Adding to his troubles are the amorous but very married former client Irene (Stephanie Bachelor) and her gun-toting husband (Grant Withers). Rumors of Crandell's death lead everyone to think he's become a ghost ... Frankly, with its amusing storyline and superior cast (Edward Everett Horton plays Crandell's butler, Charles Halton of Dr. Cyclops is Susan's lawyer, and Lloyd Corrigan is a genuine ghost as well as Susan's late husband), you would think The Ghost Goes Wild would emerge a laugh-riot, but while it does have its funny moments, after all is said and done it's really no more hilarious than one of those Bowery Boys in the Haunted House kind of movies. One suspects that with some different lead players (although Ellison and Anne Gwynne as his fiancee are not bad), a more gag-laden script, and punchier direction this might have emerged a contender. As it is, it's not without some entertainment value. Stephanie Bachelor is sexy and adept as the Crandell-hungry Irene, but she only made a few movies, retiring in 1948 (she lived until 1996). During a very busy career, director Blair helmed at least one episode of Mr. and Mrs. North as well as the grotesque horror item The Hypnotic Eye.

Verdict: Watch Hold That Ghost instead. **

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