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A young couple buys a yacht and scoffs at the rumors that it is haunted. After a few incidents that ends their scoff they summon a professional ghost-tracker from the Institute for Investigation of Psychic Phenomena. He brings along a medium to assist him they learn, from her mumblings while in a trance, that the last owner of the ship---in its pre-haunted days---killed his unfaithful wife and her lover before they could do as much for him, and that their bodies are still concealed below the floor boards. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Not to be confused with "The Ghost Ship," one of four (!) classic Val Lewton films from 1943, OR the 2002 horror fest "Ghost Ship," 1952's "Ghost Ship" is an obscure little British picture that should just manage to please. In it, real-life husband and wife Dermot Walsh and Hazel Court play Guy and Margaret Thornton, a Canadian couple living in England, who buy the Cyclops, a 40-year-old steamer yacht, and realize, after a series of freakish incidents, that the darn thing really might be haunted. An aged biddy of a medium (a pale knockoff of the marvelous character brought to indelible life by Margaret Rutherford in 1945's "Blithe Spirit") holds a seance on board and, via a series of flashbacks, the viewer is allowed to witness the events that led to the ship's current state, culminating in a surprise ending of sorts. A fast-paced 72 minutes, "Ghost Ship"'s major lure for modern-day audiences is perhaps Hazel Court, who over the next 10 years would become one of British cinema's reigning queens of horror. With a perfectly shaped mouth that might make Angelina Jolie envious and a pair of zygomatic bones that could turn Deborah Harry green with envy, Hazel was indeed luscious to look at on screen, especially in this relatively early role; sadly, her striking red hair and green eyes cannot be appreciated in this B&W film. The picture in question is a lighthearted affair that is not a bit scary (even an initial glimpse of the ship's ghost fails to raise any hackles) but always engaging, thanks to some pleasant performances, a crackling, no-nonsense script from director Vernon Sewell, and a sprightly score by Eric Spear. In all, a minor affair, but an entertaining one, presented here on a surprisingly crisp-looking DVD courtesy of Wham! USA.
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