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Two bumbling service station attendants are left as the sole beneficiaries in a gangster's will. Their trip to claim their fortune is sidetracked when they are stranded in a haunted house along with several other strangers. Written by
Daniel Bubbeo <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This film went into production under the title "Oh Charlie!" as Bud Abbott and Lou Costello's second feature film and follow-up to their wildly successful Buck Privates (1941). Production was completed in February 1941 just as "Buck Privates" was breaking box office records across the country, and Universal was worried that the new scare comedy had no real connection to the first hit (preview audiences reportedly asked where The Andrews Sisters were). A nervous studio decided to shelve "Oh Charlie!" and rework it at a future date and concentrated instead on pushing a new service comedy, In the Navy (1941), through production as the team's next feature. Upon completion of "In the Navy," this film went back into production in May 1941 as "Hold That Ghost" with the addition of the opening and closing nightclub scenes (which added Mischa Auer, Ted Lewis, The Andrews Sisters and musical numbers to the proceedings). The new scenes required a rewriting and reworking of the existing footage. Joan Davis, who had by that time reported to 20th Century-Fox for a role in Sun Valley Serenade (1941), was unavailable for the re-shoots and had to be written out of the new scenes (including the new nightclub finale). See more »
Near the end when Ferdie is sitting at the desk and the left candle is sliding across the table, and the right candle is moving up and down, the strings used are clearly visible. See more »
When I said gone with the wind, I should've said never the twain shall meet.
The twain on twat twee.
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The opening credits show animated figures representing Abbott and Costello being chased by a giant white flying ghost, whose body morphs into Abbott's and Costello's names and then into the title of the film. See more »
Another nice early film from A&C, with a good supporting cast and the usual thickly laid on Universal atmosphere included. I've seen it maybe 10 times now over the decades with no loss of pleasure.
It has Ted Lewis and the Andrews Sisters as pleasant musical bookends to what has previously been described as a Ghosts & Gangsters tale. Add comedy and murder and that's what this is all about, the lid is firmly kept on the romance between Carlson and Ankers - and may I add, she seldom looked lovelier than in here. Favourite routines: Ferdie's bedrooms changing into gaming rooms behind his back, to Chuck's harsh disbelief; The candles moving to the spluttered "Oh Chuck! What Kept You"; the figure of speech gag finished by the gangsters arrival. Abbott got in more face slapping Costello than in other films, and although it's something that never really appealed to me it's not too bad. Joan Davis has some good lines too but wasn't fully exploited. Not in A&C's Top 5, but still a nice b&w inconsequential entertaining spooky old house comedy.
All told, good stuff for A&C fans like me - masochists who already know that they don't like 'em should really try to save themselves the 81 minutes running time + their IMDb commenting time and do the rest of us a favour.
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