Mary Carter inherits her family's ancestral home, located on a small island off Cuba, and, despite warnings and death threats, decides to take possession of the reputedly haunted castle. She is joined by radio broadcaster Larry Lawrence who, believing he has killed a mob gunman, flees New York with his butler, Alex. Once on the island the threesome enter the eerie castle and after viewing the ghost of one of Mary's ancestors and fighting off a menacing zombie, they find the key to the castle's treasure but are interrupted by an all-too-human foe. Written by
Doug Sederberg <email@example.com>
When Bob Hope first signed with Paramount what they had in mind for him were some B picture comedies playing the bottom half of double bills. Mr. Hope proved he was considerably more than that and his two films with Paulette Goddard and the film Never Say Die with Martha Raye proved he was a box office attraction.
The Ghost Breakers is the second of two Hope did with Paulette Goddard, the first being The Cat and the Canary. In this one Hope is Lawrence Lawrence Lawrence from parents as he said with a lack of imagination. He's a Walter Winchell type radio broadcaster and columnists and he spills some gangster information as Winchell was wont to do many times. Of course Winchell had the best source of information going in J. Edgar Hoover whereas Hope has raspy voiced stoolie Tom Dugan as his source.
When a story gets a little too close to home, Hope gets a summons from one of the gangland lords for a conference. But in the same hotel is Paulette Goddard who has just been warned by Anthony Quinn not to close a deal on a castle in an island off Cuba. When Quinn gets murdered Hope thinks he did it and Goddard and he are soon involved in every which way possible.
On my VHS copy is the trailer for The Ghost Breakers in which it's advertised that this new Bob Hope film will feature his 'boy' Syracuse played by Willie Best. Of course this is a play on Jack Benny's valet Rochester. Would that Willie Best was as fast on the uptake in putting down Hope as Eddie Anderson was as Rochester. Instead Best had to endure the indignity of being referred to as 'boy' in the trailer. He played the part as servile as the norm. Funny thing was his name in the film was Alex, he was never referred to as Syracuse.
Still the film does have its funny moments, especially when Hope and Goddard arrive at the haunted mansion. It's obvious there is more than ghosts haunting this place and Director George Marshall has a nice group of suspects to throw at us with Anthony Quinn, Paul Lukas, Richard Carlson, and Lloyd Corrigan. Yes, I did say Anthony Quinn who plays his own twin brother.
At the end it's actually Willie Best who saves them all. But what a surprise ending it would have been if Best had been the real villain of the piece.
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