7.2/10
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9 user 3 critic

The Ghost of St. Michael's (1941)

Will Hay, back in his role as a hapless teacher, is hired by a grim school in remotest Scotland. The school soon starts to be haunted by a legendary ghost, whose spectral bagpipes signal ... See full summary »

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Writers:

(original story and screenplay) (as Angus Macphail), (original story and screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Claude Hulbert ...
Hilary Tisdaile
Felix Aylmer ...
Dr. Winter
Raymond Huntley ...
Mr. Humphries
Roddy Hughes ...
Amberley
Manning Whiley ...
Stock
...
Sir Ambrose
Charles Hawtrey ...
Percy Thorne
...
Sunshine
Clive Baxter ...
Ritzy
Elliott Mason ...
Mrs. Wigmore (as Elliot Mason)
...
Jamie
Hay Petrie ...
Procurator Fiscal
David Keir ...
Dr. Ritchie
Brefni O'Rorke ...
Sergt. Macfarlan
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Storyline

Will Hay, back in his role as a hapless teacher, is hired by a grim school in remotest Scotland. The school soon starts to be haunted by a legendary ghost, whose spectral bagpipes signal the death of one of the staff. Hay, assisted by Claude Hulbert and Charles Hawtrey, has to unravel the mystery before he becomes the next victim. Written by D.Giddings <darren.giddings@newcastle.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

school | bagpipes | ghost | scotland | spy | See All (16) »

Genres:

Comedy

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 May 1941 (UK)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Ultra Violet Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

When Will Hay has his massage treatment after falling off 'a high chair', he gets dressed again in two or three seconds; there was nowhere near enough time for him to dress properly. See more »

Connections

Referenced in 'We Are the Boys...': John Laurie (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

The Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond
(uncredited)
Traditional
Heard as the bus leaves on the island
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Hay makes good with a new team
15 December 2008 | by (England) – See all my reviews

I thoroughly enjoyed this Will Hay comedy, which successfully combines the school story and the requisite nod to wartime concerns with the spoof haunting theme that had featured in some of his most successful earlier work. The old team of Graham Moffat and Moore Marriott are here absent, but Hay is teamed very effectively with chinless Claude Hulbert and a young Charles Hawtrey as a precocious schoolboy. Hay's protagonist treads a skilfully effective line between annoying (we relish watching him get taken down a peg, rather than wincing) and sympathetic, while Hawtrey's gadfly-like persistence as a boy far brighter than his teachers is equally well judged, and Claude Hulbert makes ineffectuality likable.

The film has its share of broad comedy (watch for what Hay does with that piglet...) but often avoids obvious expectations, and is the funnier for it. The suspiciously Teutonic teacher is not, of course, what he seems; the ghost is, of course, not what it seems either; and the motivation which ultimately enlists the boys on the side of their erstwhile petty dictator is certainly not the type customary in school stories!

Overall "The Ghost of St Michael's" is a blend of guffaw-rich visual humour with accomplished misdirection to produce a very appropriate vehicle for its star. The beginning is a little hit and miss, but the film is still full of laugh-out-loud moments.


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