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Mary Carter inherits her family's ancestral home, located on a small island off Cuba, and, despite warnings and death threats, decides to take possession of the reputedly haunted castle. She is joined by radio broadcaster Larry Lawrence who, believing he has killed a mob gunman, flees New York with his butler, Alex. Once on the island the threesome enter the eerie castle and after viewing the ghost of one of Mary's ancestors and fighting off a menacing zombie, they find the key to the castle's treasure but are interrupted by an all-too-human foe.Written by
Doug Sederberg <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Bob Hope's death really shocked me. Not that I knew him personally, or thought about him often. In fact at that time I doubt if I had ever re-watched one of his movies for at least ten years. But it saddened me nevertheless.
You see, during my early teens, it was often only Bob and his movies that kept me going, that made me survive the hostility (well, that's how it seemed to me at the time) of life at school. I devoured any book on Hope that I could lay my hands one, caught as many movies as television broadcast, good ones bad ones, I saw the lot.
After school ended (in the mid-eighties), I discovered that I didn't need Bob any more. I gradually stopped watching his movies, gradually forgot all about him as I forgot my teenage worries. His death changed all that, like the burst of adrenaline you get when you slam hard on the brake, the memories flooded back. I ordered several DVD's; re- watched his movies with new interest.
The Ghost Breakers was a favourite of mine as a teenager and age hasn't diluted its quality. The forties was Hope's decade and he was never the same after it. Perhaps he needed the danger that the war years provided, as, in his best movies, the comedian thrives on danger. His was an uncertain world, with death at every elbow, yet, while not a hero, he managed to survive and come out top (perhaps it was this quality that my adolescent mind grasped on to). In The Ghost Breakers, the supernatural chills are there and are still effective; the zombie in particular, remains a very eerie creation. In fact, there are times when it is easy to forget that this is a Bob Hope comedy and not a straight horror movie (you can easily imagine, that Val Lewton, say, was out in the original audience, taking notes).
Hope is helped by the cast. Sexy Paulette Goddard reunited from the almost as good The Cat And The Canary, Anthony Quinn, perhaps a villain, perhaps a good guy. While Hope and the splendid Willie Best make an ideal partnership (though Best is sadly politically-incorrect these days).
Atmospheric, chilling and very funny, this is how I will always remember Bob.
Cheers Bob and thanks for the memories.
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