|Index||3 reviews in total|
I caught this one SEVERAL years ago on the Disney Channel. I remember
originally seeing it on the Wonderful World of Disney in 1980(I think
WWOD was on CBS at the time;but I was only 4). Buxley Hall Military
Academy for Boys is steeped in tradition, founded by Gen. Eulace Buxley
in the 1800's and now run by his relative. The problem is enrollment is
way down, it owes money and the bank wants to foreclose. The only way
to save Buxley is to make it co-ed with a girl's school. Of course Col.
Joe Buxley hates the idea and doesn't warm up to the house mother or
the noisy girls. In comes Jeremy Ross who lost his parents. Jeremy's
uncle would like to enroll him and if Jeremy likes it, the uncle will
pay off the school's debt. The problem is Jeremy's leech of an aunt and
her gigolo husband are fighting Jeremy's uncle for custody(which
includes the boy's sizable inheritance). If they can secretly make his
life miserable at school, he'll beg to leave and they can offer him a
more "stable" home than his single uncle can. But that's not going to
happen soon because Jeremy finds a friend in young Posie(who despises
the military school's stiff rules). Jeremy is also protected by the
GHOSTS of Gen. Buxley, his wife Bettina and Sgt. Chester Sweet.
Together the ghosts plot to save Buxley from demolition and Jeremy from
Overall a fun, kid friendly movie with plenty of the common, goofy sight gags involving ghosts. Character actor Guy Raymond plays Ben Grissom the drunken caretaker who often see's ghostly activity but no one behind it. Coincidentally Raymond played Ed Peavey in the TV Show "The Ghost & Mrs. Muir" and had many of the same reactions. You can catch Monte Markam in a post "The New Perry Mason" role and Victor French in a pre "Little House on the Prarie"/"Highway to Heaven" role. Also memorable, character actor Vito Scotti playing another accented character(at least he plays an Italian) and actress Ruta Lee in an over the top comical performance. Another coincidence, Rad Daly who played Jeremy and Tricia Cast who played Posie, appeared together a year earlier in the TV version of the "Bad News Bears." Rad played Josh Matthews the snobbish baseball player of the elite team always razzing the bears and Cast played Amanda Whirlitzer.
When a military academy goes co-ed due to financial difficulties, the ghost of the school's founder doesn't approve. Also, a new cadet at the school is targeted by a scheming aunt after his inheritance. This enjoyable family film originally aired as part of Disney's Wonderful World TV series. If it had been made ten years earlier, it almost certainly would have been released theatrically. Dick O'Neill, Victor French, and Louise Latham are fun as the ghosts. Monte Markham and Renne Jarrett are the respective heads of the boy and girl sides of the school. Ruta Lee and Vito Scotti are the wicked aunt and her husband. All of the adult actors are good but the kids are pretty forgettable, which is unusual for a Disney movie. It's a pleasant way to pass the time but nothing particularly special. Thanks to TCM for showing it otherwise I'd probably never have seen it.
I think that The Ghosts Of Buxley Hall might have been a big screen
project for Dean Jones. Certainly Monte Markham plays a most Jones like
character as the head of the military academy that is about to go coed.
But Jones might not have been available so this was relegated to the
made for TV status.
Poor Markham is beset by the fact that women with their own dean and chaperon are about to invade his male domain. More opposed to it than Markham is the founder of the academy Dick O'Neill who together with his wife Louise Latham and his sergeant Victor French roam the Academy halls as spirits. As ghosts they do their business to scare that notion out of everybody.
One of the new students is orphan millionaire Rad Daly whose aunt Ruta Lee and uncle Vito Scotti are trying to get control of his millions. The ghosts, particular Victor French take an interest in his situation.
In fact by the time of the climax everyone realizes that it's to their rational self interest to stop Lee and her machinations. Ruta Lee is having a ball in this role playing her own version Cruela DeVille.
This is a nice easy to take Disney film and does credit to all involved.
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