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 ...
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An insane murderer is on the loose, and gunning for the men who put him away. Will Hay is on the list, and co-opts Claude Hulbert to try and stop him from meeting a grisly end. This black ... See full summary »
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Will Hay is a teacher in a prison, who applies for the Headship of Narkover, a public school. This is the first screen appearance of Hay in his (to be ) famous schoolmaster role, in a story... See full summary »
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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
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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