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The Ghost of St. Michael's (1941)

A hapless teacher named Will Lamb is hired by a grim school in Scotland. The school soon starts to be haunted by a legendary ghost, whose spectral bagpipes signal the death of one of the ... See full summary »

Director:

Marcel Varnel

Writers:

Angus MacPhail (original story and screenplay) (as Angus Macphail), John Dighton (original story and screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Will Hay ... Will Lamb
Claude Hulbert ... Hilary Tisdaile
Felix Aylmer ... Dr. Winter
Raymond Huntley ... Mr. Humphries
Roddy Hughes ... Amberley
Manning Whiley Manning Whiley ... Stock
Charles Mortimer Charles Mortimer ... Sir Ambrose
Charles Hawtrey ... Percy Thorne
Derek Blomfield ... Sunshine
Clive Baxter Clive Baxter ... Ritzy
Elliott Mason Elliott Mason ... Mrs. Wigmore (as Elliot Mason)
John Laurie ... Jamie
Hay Petrie ... Procurator Fiscal
David Keir David Keir ... Dr. Ritchie
Brefni O'Rorke ... Sergt. Macfarlan
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Storyline

A hapless teacher named Will Lamb is hired by a grim school in Scotland. The school soon starts to be haunted by a legendary ghost, whose spectral bagpipes signal the death of one of the staff. Lamb has to unravel the mystery before he becomes the next victim. Written by D.Giddings <darren.giddings@newcastle.ac.uk>

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Plot Keywords:

school | bagpipes | ghost | scotland | spy | See All (15) »

Genres:

Comedy

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 May 1941 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Ealing Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Ultra Violet Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

When the rest of the class rescue Will Hay, Claude Hulbert and Charles Hawtrey from the torture-chamber at the end, Stock, the language teacher/British Agent is nowhere to be seen - until he aims a gun at Mrs. Wigmore (matron/Nazi spy). See more »

Connections

Referenced in 'We Are the Boys...': John Laurie (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

The Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond
(uncredited)
Traditional
Heard as the bus leaves on the island
See more »

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User Reviews

One of the most polished pieces by endearing British comic Will Hay.
8 January 2003 | by MozjoukineSee all my reviews

Will Hay was adored by British audiences who saw his seedy, doddering con man character as preferable to the brash American comics they were offered. However distribution patterns make it seems unlikely that his reputation will outlast those who grew up with it.

This is an excellent example of the cycle with the shift to Ealing providing production values - settings that are just a fraction removed from real, superior character actors and Hulbert and Hawtrey a fair swap from his old Moore Marriot and Graham Moffat sidekick team.

The film is spun off THE GHOST TRAIN with enough variation to get attention. Aylmer's school is moved to the Channel Islands during WW2 and finds itself in a castle reputedly haunted by a bagpipes blowing, homicidal phantom. Hay, doing his incompetent school teacher character, proves a hit with the boys and blunders into solving the mystery.

The film is short on the great gags you might find in a W.C. Fields movie of the kind which must have served as a model for these but the lead trio are endearing and the pacing sharp enough to keep attention. The set pieces, the police inquiry held in the local dairy at milking time and a pursuit through the castle's secret passages, are more than adequate.


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