Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Hold That Ghost (1941)

Director: Arthur Lubin

Writers:Robert Lees, Frederic I. Rinaldo, John Grant

Composer: Hans J. Salter

Starring: Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Richard Carlson, Joan Davis, Mischa Auer, Evelyn Ankers, Marc Lawrence, Shemp Howard, Russell Hicks, William B. Davidson, Ted Lewis, The Andrews Sisters

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Those slap-happy screamsters go a'haunting!

Plot: Two bumbling service station attendants are left as the sole beneficiaries in a gangster's will. Their trip to claim their fortune is sidetracked when they are stranded in a haunted house along with several other strangers.

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again? Sure.

It's A&C in a haunted house but with gangsters thrown into the mix.  There's a lot to like here even if it's not as consistently funny as their best films.  Marc Lawrence (I've loved that guy since I was a kid seeing him in GOLDFINGER (1964)) plays the tough gangster, Charlie Smith but you've also got a fun cameo with Shemp Howard and a couple of tunes to bookend the film by The Andrews Sisters.  I love their music and they're a great staple to these war time A&C pictures.  The boys are fun but it was Joan Davis (as Camille) that stole the show.  I know I've seen her before but she was friggin' hilarious.  There aren't any big routines from A&C in this one but there are a few that look like the promise of a good beginning but there are enough laughs to keep me coming back to the well.  A while back I picked up the big ass box set that has just about every film they made.  This disc has a commentary with film historian Jeff Miller, some text production notes and the theatrical trailer.

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