In the 1600s, cowardly Sir Simon of Canterville flees a duel and seeks solace in the family castle. His ashamed father seals him in the room where he is hiding and dooms him to life as a ghost until one of his descendants performs a brave deed. Simon believes he may be saved when he meets Cuffy Williams, an American kinsman stationed with a troop of soldiers at the castle in 1943. Will this blood relative save the family honor, or will his blood be as yellow as the rest of the Cantervilles?Written by
Daniel Bubbeo <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The veteran Charles Laughton and a very young Robert Young team up in this entertaining fantasy about the ghost of Simon de Canterville - condemned to haunt the halls of his family's castle until a descendant performs an act of bravery on his behalf. What's the catch? Simon was condemned by his own father for being a coward, and the Canterville line ever since has been a long line of cowards. (The greatest irony of the movie is that Simon has developed a reputation as the most fearsome ghost in all of England!) Finding a hero among this family won't be easy. Then along comes Cuffy Williams (Young), an American soldier whose platoon is billeted in the castle during the lead-up to D-Day. It turns out that Williams is a very distant descendant of the Cantervilles, and D-Day, of course, will provide the ultimate opportunity to show his bravery and to release Simon from his torment. The question is whether he'll be able to work up the courage to do it!
Laughton and Young offer excellent performances, and the very young Margaret O'Brien (who would have been about 7 when this was made) is convincing as Lady Jessica de Canterville. Some of the scenes as the American soldiers try to chase down the ghost to get a picture of him to prove that he exists to their commanding officer are also quite funny. 8/10
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