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The Ghost Breakers (1940)

Passed | | Comedy, Horror, Mystery | 21 June 1940 (USA)
A radio broadcaster, his quaking manservant, and an heiress investigate the mystery of a haunted castle in Cuba.

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(screen play), (based on a play by) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Larry Lawrence
... Mary Carter
... Geoff Montgomery
... Parada
... Alex
... Havez (as Pedro De Cordoba)
... Mother Zombie
... The Zombie
... Ramon Mederos / Francisco Mederos
... Raspy Kelly
... Frenchy Duval
... Martin
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Storyline

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 <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The two stars of "The Cat and the Canary" find love and laughter in a haunted house!

Genres:

Comedy | Horror | Mystery

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 June 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El castillo maldito  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Remade as the 1953 Dean Martin/Jerry Lewis comedy Scared Stiff. See more »

Goofs

When Raspy Kelly goes to Lawrence's apartment, the entire city is in a blackout due to the storm. He uses the doorbell and intercom, even though there's no power. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Mary Carter: Hello, operator? Operator? Operator, the lights in my room. What? The lightning?
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Soundtracks

Thanks for the Memory
(1938) (uncredited)
Music by Ralph Rainger
Lyrics by Leo Robin
Sung briefly by Bob Hope
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User Reviews

 
Bob Hope's best movie.
3 June 2004 | by See all my reviews

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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