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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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
One of the most polished pieces by endearing British comic Will Hay.
Will Hay was adored by British audiences who saw his seedy, doddering con man character as preferable to the brash American comics they were offered. However distribution patterns make it seems unlikely that his reputation will outlast those who grew up with it.
This is an excellent example of the cycle with the shift to Ealing providing production values - settings that are just a fraction removed from real, superior character actors and Hulbert and Hawtrey a fair swap from his old Moore Marriot and Graham Moffat sidekick team.
The film is spun off THE GHOST TRAIN with enough variation to get attention. Aylmer's school is moved to the Channel Islands during WW2 and finds itself in a castle reputedly haunted by a bagpipes blowing, homicidal phantom. Hay, doing his incompetent school teacher character, proves a hit with the boys and blunders into solving the mystery.
The film is short on the great gags you might find in a W.C. Fields movie of the kind which must have served as a model for these but the lead trio are endearing and the pacing sharp enough to keep attention. The set pieces, the police inquiry held in the local dairy at milking time and a pursuit through the castle's secret passages, are more than adequate.
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