After numerous failed attempts to commit suicide, our hero (Lloyd) runs into a lawyer who is looking for a stooge to stand in as a groom in order to secure an inheritance for his client (... See full summary »
After numerous failed attempts to commit suicide, our hero (Lloyd) runs into a lawyer who is looking for a stooge to stand in as a groom in order to secure an inheritance for his client (Davis). The inheritance is a house, which her scheming uncle "haunts" so that he can scare them off and claim the property. Written by
Herman Seifer <email@example.com>
Filming was interrupted when Harold Lloyd, posing for publicity photos, had a prop bomb explode in his hand. He lost two fingers, his face was badly burned and he was temporarily blinded. In subsequent films, he is always seen wearing a prosthetic glove on his injured hand. See more »
This Harold Lloyd short film is very funny indeed! You cannot watch this short without laughing at something every 30 seconds!
But before I comment on this hilarious short, I disagree with the fact that this is racist. This is because F Gwynplaine MacIntyre says that the title of this movie is meant to be a racial pun: 'spooks' being a 1920s slang term for Negroes. This is, in my opinion, extremely pointless to note for this when watching this film! This is because that the film's 'spooks' are supposed to be the uncle, played by Wallace Howe, who is trying to scare the Girl, played by Milfred Davies, who has just married to the Boy, played by Lloyd. Therefore, the black servants have nothing to do with scaring them away, because they just hide behind curtains, get covered in flour after jumping in the flour, or hide in a huge pair of trousers, or caught the Uncle in disguise as a ghost!
Now I am going to discuss the film.
First of all, the casting list at the beginning of the film gives the first chuckle from the film by saying that the Girl had 'never-well,only once or twice..' and the Uncle is a 'man of sorts-we are not saying what sort'! Pretty funny... or what?
The Boy's suicide attempts are very funny too. From trying to shot himself with a water pistol, falling off a bridge over shallow water, to falling over another bridge into a boat, it's all great slapstick!
The scene in the mansion where the Boy, the Girl, and the servants run away from the 'spooks', hide behind curtains or in flour or trousers is all hilarious. I could not stop laughing at those antics!
The only criticism I have is the well appropriate score is performed in a midi format. But with a silent film to create mood without music is pretty hard. So there is nothing they could do about it when they released this onto an all-region DVD,which was were I watched it from.
Apart from that, the score for this film is fantastic. I especially enjoyed the piece of music when the Boy and Girl entered into the mansion for the first time. That was a great piece to suit the eerie mood of the place.
Also, I thought the Little Boy, played by Ernest Morrison, almost stole the show by creating the illusion of that table moving, hiding in the flour, which made him look like a ghost when he scrambled out of it, and creating that illusion with the big pair trousers really was hilarious. I was glad that Morrison went on to have a well-establsihed career until his death.
I could not agree with Spuzzum, I do wish Harold Lloyd would get more attention.While Keaton and Chaplin ruled the roost of silent comedies , Harold Lloyd is ignored like that. This is too bad, but he could do it all, prat falls, stuntwork, very subtle comedy and he was a great actor as well. Also nothings justifies this opinion any more then the 5-7 minutes of Haunted Spooks. This is because we see Lloyd as a suitor of a rich socialite competing with another suitor, and in this amazing montage, we see them ducking it out, with Lloyd easily getting the better hand of the frustrated suitor.
Overall, if I was to describe this film in three words they would be very funny indeed!
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