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Hold That Ghost (1941)

Passed  |   |  Adventure, Comedy, Music  |  8 August 1941 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 2,257 users  
Reviews: 55 user | 13 critic

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 ... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (screenplay) (as Fred Rinaldo) , 3 more credits »
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Title: Hold That Ghost (1941)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Camille Brewster
...
Gregory
Evelyn Ankers ...
Norma Lind
...
Charlie Smith
...
Russell Hicks ...
Bannister
William B. Davidson ...
Moose Matson (as William Davidson)
Ted Lewis ...
Ted Lewis
...
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Storyline

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 <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Here's That ALL-AMERICAN LAUGH TEAM! (original ad) See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 August 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Don't Look Now  »

Box Office

Budget:

$190,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Ferdie: If you see a pair of pants go flyin' through the air, don't grab 'em.
Chuck: Why not?
Ferdie: I'll be in 'em!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Although the Andrews Sisters are credited onscreen only as a group, Ted Lewis (I) identifies each of them orally. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jennifer 8 (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

When My Baby Smiles at Me
(1920) (uncredited)
Music by Bill Munro
Lyrics by Ted Lewis & 'Andrew Sterling (II)'
Played during the opening credits
Played by Ted Lewis and His Orchestra (as Ted Lewis' Orchestra) and sung by Ted Lewis at the nightclub
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Beautifully Produced and Sustained Abbot &Costello Comedy Classic
26 July 2005 | by See all my reviews

This durable comedy is a favorite of Abbot and Costello fans for many reasons. it is their first non-service comedy, their first involving spooks, monsters or hauntings and their first with a strong supporting cast and "A" production values. The story-line involves Bud and Lou inheriting a haunted house from a gangster named Moose. Since the crook's loot is supposed to be hidden there--it comes complete with ghosts, a bad reputation and cryptic clues--their trip there to take possession of their property proves to be a very lively adventure.Before this portion of the narrative, there is quite a bit of fun in a nightclub, involving the Andrews Sisters, a curious "Me and My Shadow" Number with legendary Ted Lewis and a truly black partner, the Ted lewis orchestra and much more. The other passengers along for the fun ride to the new property include Richard Carlson, very good as a science specialist incredibly oblivious to the admiration and the extreme physical charms of Evelyn Ankers, hilarious Joan Davis as a perfect foil for the lead duo and the others, plus durable bad guy Marc Lawrence, hilarious Mischa Auer, Shemp Howard, Russell Hicks as the gangster's lawyer and William Davidson as Moose Matson the gangster. Look for familiar faces among the gangsters and in the nightclub scenes. The direction of this film by skilled Arthur Lubin and the screenplay by Robert Lees, Fred Rinaldo and John Grant keeps the gags coming and the pace moving. The remarkable aspect of the film is that its musical numbers and sight-gags do not impede the progress of the plot. I had never seen this film until last year; so its freshness and the luminous results of its production team were a major discovery for me. The cinematography was done by Elwood Bredell, art direction by Jack Otterson with the set decoration by the famous Russell A. Gausman, and are all outstanding achievements. The costumes by Vera West are fine and thanks to the nightclub scenes unusually varied. This B/W classic would undoubtedly have been an expensive color production later on; but in any case, the money is found, the mystery is solved, the ghosts are mostly explained, lovers are united and the laughs generated by this delightful entertainment remain in the mind--as I and other viewers of this very funny film have testified-for years to come. Not to be missed.


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