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Three Live Ghosts (1936)

Passed | | Comedy, Crime, Romance | 10 January 1936 (USA)
An investigator is asking Mrs. Gubbins about a William Foster, who was a friend of her stepson Jimmy. Both are listed as killed in action during the Great War. It is Armistice Day, 1918, ... See full summary »


(play) (as Frederick S. Isham), (screenplay)


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Complete credited cast:
William 'Bill' Jones, an alias of William Foster
Mrs. Gibbins
Lord 'Spoofy' Brockton (as Claude Allister)
Charles McNaughton ...
James 'Jimmie' Gubbins
Ann Gordon
Inspector Briggs
Peggy 'Peg' Woofers
Detective Bolton
Lady Brockton (as Lillian Cooper)
Robert Greig ...
John Ferguson, Brockton's Butler


An investigator is asking Mrs. Gubbins about a William Foster, who was a friend of her stepson Jimmy. Both are listed as killed in action during the Great War. It is Armistice Day, 1918, and the war is over. Who should be strolling down the street but Jimmy Gubbins, Bill 'Jones' and another man who has lost his memory. They are ghosts as the official records list them as dead and not as escaped P.O.W's. Jimmy's mother is not happy to see that Jimmy is still living as she has been spending the death benefits, but she is happy to see Bill as there is a large reward for him. No one knows much about the third one, called 'Spoofy', except that he can steal anything at anytime and that gets everyone is trouble. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Comedy | Crime | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

10 January 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Três Almas Errantes  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film actually started filming on 6 November 1935, but was halted on 8 November 1935 for script revisions. MGM then decided to scrap what had already been filmed and replaced cast members Ann Loring (who had the romantic lead), 'Una O'Connor', Charles Butterworth, May Robson and David Thursby. The setting was also changed from a contemporay one to World War I. See more »


Version of Three Live Ghosts (1929) See more »


While Strolling Through the Park One Day
Written by Ed Haley
In the score when Spoofy takes the baby for a walk in a pram
See more »

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User Reviews

Enjoyable but the resolutions to all the problems do seem to occur as if by magic!
6 November 2016 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

"Three Live Ghosts" is a wacky comedy--the sort where you just sit back and let all the craziness occur. In other words, don't think about it...just enjoy the zaniness and don't think too much when it comes to the ending!

The film begins with the Armistace in 1918. World War One has just ended and three friend who were in a German prisoner of war camp just escaped. However, all three were declared dead and the authorities insist that they are dead--hence the title of the film. One of them, Jimmie, has a very larcenous mother who doesn't want to stop getting government payments for her supposedly dead son...but she also has learned that someone is willing to pay one thousand pounds for the whereabouts of Jimmie's comrade, Bill (Richard Arlen). If this isn't enough there's 'Spoofy'...the third 'ghost' and a guy who is so shell-shocked that he mostly runs around stealing things...and comes home one night with a fortune in jewels AND a baby!! It's all one crazy mess...yet, miraculously, it all is resolved as if by magic at the end and all is well! Only in a movie!

This is a fun film...nutty, but fun. It's clearly a turn off your brain sort of thing and is filled with many cute moments. It was also, incidentally, filmed in 1929 but I haven't seen that version so I cannot compare them. Either way, try to get to this weird film if you can.

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