5.7/10
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Francis in the Haunted House (1956)

Approved | | Comedy, Fantasy, Horror | 9 July 1956 (USA)
Francis the Talking Mule witnesses a murder. He takes a bumbling reporter named David Prescott under his wing and the two of them set out to solve the crime.

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(as Herbert Margolis), | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... David Prescott
... Lorna MacLeod
... Police Chief Martin
... Neil Frazer
... Lorna Ann
... Police Lieutenant Hopkins
Ralph Dumke ... Mayor Hargrove
... D.A. Reynolds
... Jason
... Sergeant Arnold
... Malcolm
... Hugo
... Mrs. MacPherson
... Howard Grisby
... Edward Ryan
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Storyline

Francis the Talking Mule witnesses a murder. He takes a bumbling reporter named David Prescott under his wing and the two of them set out to solve the crime.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THE LAFFS ARE SIMPLY KILLING! (original print ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Fantasy | Horror

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

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Release Date:

9 July 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Francis Entre Fantasmas  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Final of seven Francis (1950) movies & sixth after the original, filmed in 1950. {Francis the talking Mule - character name}. See more »

Connections

Follows Francis Goes to West Point (1952) See more »

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User Reviews

Francis without Chills, in two ways
28 November 2006 | by See all my reviews

This is the last of the seven Talking Mule pictures in the series put out by Universal during the fifties. This one is the wild card, seeing as it not only does without Donald O'Connor, but also Chill Wills' voicing of Francis. This time we've got Mickey Rooney in the lead and Paul Frees as the voice of Francis. I have lots of admiration for Rooney who can be dynamite when properly directed, but here he is directed by notable hack Charles Lamont and is allowed to sputter away cartoonishly throughout. And Rooney, only in his mid-thirties, looks quite aged, far removed from the youthful looks of his heyday only a decade previous to this. Then there is the heroic attempt by Paul Frees to imitate Chill Wills, which is impossible because Frees' voice is almost as well known and distinctive.

The film itself is one of those estate inheritance murder mysteries with Francis saving the day by alternately helping Rooney solve the case and rescuing him from being killed during the investigation. David Janssen has a small part as a cop, and Timothy Carey plays a hulking worker at the estate (without getting one line of dialogue). The film's title and advertising campaign tries to make you think this is a spooky story, but there's nothing supernatural about it and the scenes at the estate aren't played for chills. Sadly, there aren't any laughs either, unless you find mirth in the umpteenth time Francis reveals his talking ability to some hapless bug-eyed character.


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