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The Canterville Ghost (1944)

Passed  -  Comedy | Fantasy  -  July 1944 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 1,581 users  
Reviews: 29 user | 14 critic

In the 1600s, cowardly Sir Simon of Canterville flees a duel and seeks solace in the family castle. His ashamed father seals him in the room where he is hiding and dooms him to life as a ... See full summary »


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Title: The Canterville Ghost (1944)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Cuffy Williams
William Gargan ...
Sergeant Benson
Rags Ragland ...
Big Harry (as 'Rags' Ragland)
Donald Stuart ...
Sir Valentine Williams
Elisabeth Risdon ...
Mrs. Polverdine
Lieutenant Kane
Lumsden Hare ...
Mr. Potts
William Moss ...
Bobby Readick ...
Marc Cramer ...
Bugsy McDougle


In the 1600s, cowardly Sir Simon of Canterville flees a duel and seeks solace in the family castle. His ashamed father seals him in the room where he is hiding and dooms him to life as a ghost until one of his descendants performs a brave deed. Simon believes he may be saved when he meets Cuffy Williams, an American kinsman stationed with a troop of soldiers at the castle in 1943. Will this blood relative save the family honor, or will his blood be as yellow as the rest of the Cantervilles? Written by Daniel Bubbeo <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

castle | blood | ghost | soldier | family honor | See more »


It puts you in the best of spirits!


Comedy | Fantasy


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

July 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Canterville Ghost  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(copyright length)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on June 18, 1945 with Charles Laughton and Margaret O'Brien reprising their film roles. See more »


There were no German motorcycle patrols in England during World War II. The only large groups of German troops in England were POW's. A large action like that shown in this film never happened in England. See more »


Sir Simon de Canterville: I have roamed these halls for three centuries and I am so tired. If only I could rest...
See more »


Version of Strasidlo cantervillské (1989) See more »


Bless 'em All
Written by Fred Godfrey (1917)
Revised lyrics by Jimmy Hughes and Frank Lake (1940)
Additional lyrics by Albert Stillman (1941)
Sung a cappella by the soldiers
See more »

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User Reviews

delightful story of a tired ghost and his cowardly family
24 November 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Margaret O'Brien tries to help one of her long-dead ancestors in "The Canterville Ghost," a 1944 film also starring Charles Laughton, Robert Young, and Frank Faylen. Jessica de Canterville's (O'Brien) family owns a castle which is being used to house soldiers during their stay in the area. The castle has a very famous ghost named Sir Simon de Canterville (Charles Laughton) whose father had him imprisoned inside a wall for cowardice centuries earlier. Simon roams the castle, looking like the Cowardly Lion in royal costume. The only way he can rest for eternity is if a relative performs a courageous act in his name, i.e., by taking his signet ring and wearing it when he does the brave thing. Alas, the entire family for centuries has run the other way when danger appears, so Simon isn't having any luck. When six-year-old Lady Jessica de Canterville realizes that one of the soldiers is related to her, she begs him to help poor, tired Simon.

This is a wonderful movie, buoyed by the presence of Margaret O'Brien, surely one of the most adorable children to ever hit the screen. She's a fine actress, too - very sincere and natural. Although Mary Astor wrote in her diary that she was terrified of O'Brian during the filming of "Meet Me in St. Louis," it's kind of hard to believe. Charles Laughton turns in another masterful performance as Simon, who scares people because he thinks that as a ghost, it's what he should do. He's a riot. As Cuffy Williams, the soldier related to Jessica and Simon, Robert Young is very good as a man who begins to doubt his own courage.

"The Canterville Ghost" is loads of fun for the entire family, with plenty of comedy and some nice lessons, one of which is, when you really want something, you often need patience until you achieve it.

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