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The Canterville Ghost (1944)

Passed | | Comedy, Fantasy | August 1944 (USA)
The descendent of a ghost imprisoned for cowardice hopes to free the spirit by displaying courage when under duress.

Directors:

Jules Dassin, Norman Z. McLeod (uncredited)

Writers:

Oscar Wilde (story "The Canterville Ghost"), Edwin Blum (screenplay) (as Edwin Harvey Blum)
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Charles Laughton ... Sir Simon de Canterville / The Ghost
Robert Young ... Cuffy Williams
Margaret O'Brien ... Lady Jessica de Canterville
William Gargan ... Sergeant Benson
Reginald Owen ... Lord Canterville
Rags Ragland ... Big Harry (as 'Rags' Ragland)
Una O'Connor ... Mrs. Umney
Donald Stuart ... Sir Valentine Williams
Elisabeth Risdon ... Mrs. Polverdine
Frank Faylen ... Lieutenant Kane
Lumsden Hare ... Mr. Potts
Mike Mazurki ... Metropolus
William Moss William Moss ... Hector
Bobby Readick Bobby Readick ... Eddie
Marc Cramer ... Bugsy McDougle
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Storyline

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 <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It puts you in the best of spirits! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Fantasy

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After 38 days of shooting, director Jules Dassin replaced Norman Z. McLeod. Although a news item stated it was due to a "difference of opinion," many believe it was done on the insistence of Charles Laughton. At the same time, William H. Daniels replaced Robert Planck as director of photography. See more »

Goofs

All through the movie, the ghost walks through walls, doors, etc. One of the soldiers ties a string to his toe and runs the other end to the stairway to alert him when the ghost is moving about the castle. See more »

Quotes

Sir Simon de Canterville: Excuse me, I really must gibber at the oriole window.
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Soundtracks

Gertie from Bizerte
(1943) (uncredited)
Written by James Cavanaugh, Walter Kent and Robert C. Haring
Sung a cappella by the soldiers
Reprised a cappella by Charles Laughton and Robert Young
See more »

User Reviews

 
Safe and inoffensive fun.
19 April 2008 | by hitchcockthelegendSee all my reviews

Sir Simon of Canterville gets roped into fighting a duel for his cousin, realising he faces certain death he flees the field awash with cowardice. His father is so enraged as to this stain on the family honour - he walls Simon up in the castle without food and water until death does strike him down. He is doomed to haunt the Canterville castle until a fellow member of the family can commit an act of bravery and thus lift the cowardly stain that has besmirched the Canterville name.

Doesn't sound much like a comedy does it!, but it is, and a very amiable one at that. Loosely based on Oscar Wilde's story of the same name, The Canterville Ghost benefits from a couple of charming performances from Charles Laughton as Simon, and from a young Margaret O'Brien as Lady Jessica de Canterville. Laughton is clearly enjoying himself as the ghost, heavy on the "woe is me" theatrics coupled with gusto comedy, it's a very enjoyable performance from the big man. O'Brien is here enjoying being the center of attention and she positively lights up every scene she is in with youthful exuberance. The story follows a well trodden path to the rewarding ending, but it's a fun ride getting there regardless. Things really pick up a pace once a platoon of American soldiers are billeted at the castle and we are introduced to Cuffy Williams (Robert Young), a descendant Canterville of course, but he himself is showing a line in cowardice, so we are then left wondering if Cuffy can indeed show bravery and thus free Simon from his ghostly duties?. 7/10


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

August 1944 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Canterville Ghost See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(copyright length)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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