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|Index||17 reviews in total|
18 out of 19 people found the following review useful:
Dandy comedy-thriller. Swift, spine-tingling fun., 27 July 2001
Author: sdiner82 (email@example.com) from New York City, USA
Among all the Hollywood studios of the '30s and '40s, Warner Bros. excelled at churning out slick, swift, polished 'B' comedy-thrillers (see the 4 Nancy Drew treats for further evidence). "The Smiling Ghost" is a perfect example of this genre. This nifty, nutty 1941 charmer packs more entertainment value into 71 minutes than most of today's films do in 2-hours-plus. The ever-gorgeous Alexis Smith plays a wealthy heiress whose fiances have always met with ghastly fates before the nuptuals. In a plot to unravel the killer's identity, poor Wayne Morris is duped into impersonating her new betrothed. All the standard ingredients are hauled out and refreshened--a gloomy dark mansion, secret passageways, sliding panels, and, as the title promises, the genuinely eerie apparition of a "smiling ghost." Done to a turn by an engaging cast, one wonders why the handsome, appealing and wryly comic Wayne Morris never achieved full-fledged stardom, and why did it take another 30 years for the dazzling Alexis Smith to be duly celebrated (on Broadway in 1971's "Follies")?
15 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
A Nice Gem From Warner Bros., 4 January 2004
Author: mike battles (firstname.lastname@example.org) from Modesto Calif.
This is one of those films you dont hear alot about...but that said this is one GREAT! little film...Wayne Morris absolutely shines as the comic hero "Lucky Downing" and Willie Best give his usual excellent performance as Luckys Valet Clarence...It,s all about an heiress whos lost a few beau,s to shall we say "misfortune" Lucky answers an ad in the paper by the young ladys Grandmother.. Soon he and Clarence are enveloped in a mystery set in an old spooky mansion..with a cast of family characters who are all kooky or sinister in some fashion....Not a film that takes itself seriously, this is one of those comedy-horror gems that you can really enjoy on a dark night or a rainy day....definitely give this an 8******** on a 10 scale..try it you wont be dissapointed.
12 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
Excellent movie!!!!!!, 9 June 2005
Author: Jeffrey Skinner from Osceola, Arkansas
I saw this movie yesterday morning at 6 AM on TCM during the
celebration of Alexis Smith's Birthday Marathon.
Its about a widow Elinor Bentley (Alexic Smith) who seemingly can get to her wedding day dued to the fact her grooms to be get canned before the day comes.
So Elinor's grand mother sends out a add for 1000 bux for any man to be engaged with Elinor for 31 days.
A man named by Alexander Downing (Wayne Morris) who is called "Lucky" applies for the ad and takes the job not knowing that this woman is known as "The Kiss of Death Girl" He brings along his valet Clarence (The Infamous Willie Best) along with him to assist him for the monthly duty to achieve the 1 grand.
The rest of the movie is very funny, spooky, and a sort of mystery with it.
If people loves movies such as this, then I'd look it up on ebay and purchase it!!!!!
9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
Great fun in the traditional "B" fashion, 6 May 2000
Author: Ron Revere from west Virginia
If you are looking for a pleasant diversion that will make you laugh and be royally entertained with an old fashioned "B" mystery, this film is for you. Alexis Smith plays a gal who has been engaged to three different men, all of whom have met their demise before the wedding. The family hires Wayne Morris as a decoy fiancee in an attempt to get the murderer out in the open. The only problem is that Morris does not know that he's being used as bait. However, when he does find out his true status he decides to help trap the killer anyway. This movie is great fun with such devices as a secret panel, some funny acting relatives, and Willie Best playing his usual knee knocking, scared character. Yes, some will be offended by his characterization but, deal with it. That's the way things were done in those days. We would certainly and rightfully object if such antics were filmed today but, remember, this movie is from the early 1940s. The real identity of the killer is pretty obvious but, so what? It's a fun movie and well worth a little more than 70 minutes of your' time.
10 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
An EXCELLENT "Old House" film!, 27 March 2000
Author: Norm Vogel (email@example.com) from S. Bound Brook, NJ
A man is hired (for $1000) to be engaged to a beautiful heiress for a month.
Unbeknowst to him, she is known as the "Kiss of Death" girl, and every one
of her 3 previous suitors has been murdered by "the Smiling
An excellent, eerie "old house" film with secret panels, a midnite opening of a family crypt, the great "scared reaction' antics of Willie Best, and (of COURSE!) the creepy-looking "smiling ghost" all make this a top-notch yarn.
DEFINITELY worth seeing!
8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
a fine scary movie with elements of suspense and humour, 16 January 2003
Author: rlutton from newcastle - new south wales australia
I remember with fond 'scariness' this definitive film of the early 40s. It
had the unseen murderer, the witless hero, the beguiling heroine and the
bulging eyes of the hero's assistant.
It still remains a film that may be viewed with pleasure. It has all the elements of the 'scary' - darkened night - sliding panels - a gauche hero - humour and wit. It may lack the suspense of the Spiral Staircase, but it still remains a film worthy to be seen.
8 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
Willie Best, 9 September 2001
Author: orzobino from Emerald isle
This is a very good scary comedy flick. Wayne Morris is very good and Im surprised he wasnt in more movies. But I feel the Willie Best makes the movie with his statements especially the one about his "FEETS".
4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
lost classic, 6 July 2008
Author: drystyx from United States
This is a comedy mystery-more mystery than the usual comedy. It
involves a very likable young man and his valet, in true Shakespearean
tradition, and their efforts to ward off the collectors. He happens
upon a rich eccentric family who are willing to pay him a great deal of
money just to become engaged.
He is happy to see the lady he is engaged to is pleasant to look at, but when he meets a super hot gorgeous reporter lady, he is evidently attracted to her, but he feels he must keep his loyalties, particularly since the lady he is engaged to knows how to manipulate men.
It turns out she was engaged three times before, and a smiling ghost attacked all her suitors. And our hero, who is named Lucky, learns too late he is a marked man.
A lot of great adventure, spooks, night creepers, and an array of usual comic family members make this a deep movie, with trails leading in every direction. It even has The Skipper in it- or at least his look alike dad (and don't act like you don't know who he is).
What is great is the writing, acting, and the story, which turns up with an unexpected solution to the smiling ghost story. You won't guess who is responsible.
Did I mention this movie was fun, in a magical sort of way. There are a few magical movies. This is one.
It's the great charisma of Lucky that carries this through, along with the super gorgeous looks and charisma of the lady reporter. A lost classic.
6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
A light drama touched with comedy and mystery., 13 October 2000
Author: Michael O'Keefe from Muskogee OK
This is a light hearted, get away movie from the early 40s. Black and
"B" fare that lets your mind relax for awhile. A beautiful Heiress(Alexis
Smith) has trouble getting married, because her husbands-to-be seem to
make it to the altar. A bumbling rube(Wayne Morris) is hired to be a decoy
groom to bring the identity of the villain to light.
Also in the cast are Alan Hale, Brenda Marshall and Willie Best.
6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
I saw this film 58 years ago, 10 April 2000
Author: dgwyn66 (firstname.lastname@example.org) from Plymouth, England
I saw this film 58 years ago so don't expect any vivid detail but as I saw it with a group of my contemporaries i recall the atmosphere of the occasion with great clarity. It was a "B" feature(something that has disappeared from the cinema now)a filler before the main film and it was an example of a genre very dear to our hearts at the time-the comedy thriller.Very much in the mould of The Cat and the Canary(I refer to the Bob Hope version of course) it was chock full of one-liners,sliding panels and eccentric characters not the least of whom was the wonderful Willie Best.Even after all these years I can still remember his words when he catches sight of the eponymous apparition.Overtaking a galloping horse he wails "Move over horse.Make way for someone who can really run".It gave us all a lot of fun then and some recollected pleasure now for me anyway.
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