Category Archives: Ghosts

The Ghost and Mr. Chicken

I don’t want to hear it! I know this is a REALLY silly movie with terrible acting. It wasn’t even nominated for any Oscars (imagine that)! But we enjoy it;  our family watches The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966) every Halloween. We laugh at the same jokes every year.

You can head over to this website to read a little of the history on the studio house where the movie was filmed. http://www.thestudiotour.com/ush/backlot/street_colonial_2.html

Supposedly, Andy Griffith is the one who suggested expanding on an episode of The Andy Griffith Show entitled “Haunted House” from 1963. Don Knotts is, as usual, absolutely hilarious as the terrified Luther Heggs. Grab your popcorn and enjoy!

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The Ghost and Mrs. Muir

Movie #4 in our ghost line-up is a lovely film and the second in our list to star Rex Harrison; The Ghost and Mrs. Muir;

about an independent widow and her young daughter (played by Natalie Wood) who move to a house by the sea. The house is haunted by Captain Gregg. Eventually, Lucy Muir (played be Gene Tierney) must choose between love with a ghost and love with a live man (played by George Sanders). 

 

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir was filmed in the Carmel/ Monterey area, and nominated for an Academy Award in 1948 for best cinematography. 

It is considered a romantic comedy. It is definitely romantic, but its comedic moments are very subdued which adds to its charm in my opinion. Check out this link for more info. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0039420/awards

or better yet, watch The Ghost and Mrs. Muir for yourself and see why it made my list.

Blithe Spirit

Ghost movie #3 is (drum roll please) Blithe Spirit; a 1945 film based on a play by the same name written by Noel Coward.

The basic plot: Author Charles Condomine invites an eccentric medium and Madame Arcati, to his home to conduct a séance, for the purpose of gathering material for his latest book. The scheme backfires when the ghost of his annoying and temperamental first wife, Elvira shows up following the séance. Elvira decides to disrupt Charles’s marriage to his second wife, Ruth and get him back for herself. No one, except Charles can see or hear the ghost.

WARNING: SPOILER AHEAD!!

This movie is a dark comedy with (in my opinion) a very unsatisfying ending. I was REALLY hoping Charles would end up free from both of his wives. Now he’s trapped for all eternity with these shrewish women.

Tom Howard won the 1947 Academy Award for Best Special Effects for Blithe Spirit.

Margaret Rutherford steals the show with her portrayal of Madame Arcati.; Rex Harrison is very good as the poor harassed man in the middle; and it’s hard to decide which wife, practical Ruth or flighty Elvira, is more unlikable.

I found this film for sale on dvd and vhs on ebay.com Give this dark, but funny little film a try. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

The Others

May I recommend The Others from director Alejandro Amenabar. This is a rarity in my classics list; a modern, non-comedic film. It is also a rarity in modern moviedom; a real old-fashioned ghost story without frightening imagery, no blood or violence, no cursing.  The musical score truly adds to your watching enjoyment. The Others is wonderfully suspenseful and keeps you guessing right up until the end with arguably the best movie ending I’ve ever seen.  I will not give you the plot of the movie; I will let you watch it for yourself. I would also suggest that you check out the detailed information on TCM.com by following this link: http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title.jsp?stid=410960

Nicole Kidman is beautiful but understated in her performance. Her character, Grace Stewart, seems always on the verge of completely falling apart yet Kidman never overacts the part. And eventually you will find several films in my list starring actress Fionnula Flanagan. Even the children in this film do a great job.

I was able to find The Others on sale on dvd on both ebay.com and tcm.com

A thrilling movie that I highly recommend. Turn off the lights and enjoy!

Topper

A delightful film about a married couple, the Kerbys, killed in a car accident and trying as ghosts to do a good deed for their uptight banker friend, Cosmo Topper, by improving his boring, henpecked existence. The casting was wonderful though I thought that Constance Bennett and Billie Burke were the best part of this movie, but then again they usually are. I can’t really think of anything I didn’t like about this film, it was a great ride all the way through! Some people may be offended at the HUGE amount of drunk driving and car accidents and deaths caused by drunken driving; mores were quite different in 1937 (although I definitely do not approve). 

“Topper” was nominated for 2 Academy Awards in 1938:                                        Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Roland Young
Best Sound, Recording: Elmer Raguse

It probably would have been nominated for a special effects Oscar if there had been such an award in 1938; its special effects were considered very advanced for the time.

I really suggest you go to IMDB by clicking on the link and checking out their extensive info on “Topper”  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0029682/  According to their site, “Topper” was the first movie to be colorized in 1985, however I’ve never seen that version. What do you think about colorized movies? Take my poll and let me know. I didn’t really care for all of the Topper sequels; “Topper Returns” etc., nor the Topper television series.

 I found this movie for sale on dvd and the colorized version on vhs at ebay.com. I could not find it for sale on TCM.

Ghosts – Week 1 Theme

Ghosts are the primary focus in each of this weeks movies. You might think, in light of my theme, that most of my picks would be ‘scary movies’; but you would be oh so wrong. The majority of my ghost story choices are comedies; some old, some newer.

Most human beings believe that we continue to exist in some form or another after death. We seem to be fascinated with the paranormal. Just take a look at the popularity of such television programs as ‘Ghost Hunters’, ‘Ghost Whisperer’, ‘Celebrity Ghost Stories’, ‘Ghost Lab’, etc.. For crying out loud, there’s even a show about the paranormal encounters of pets and their owners on Animal Planet called ‘The Haunted’!

It seems to be human nature to fear the unknown; and to then laugh at and poke fun of our fears to make ourselves feel better. Some people actually enjoy being scared. Obviously I don’t; that’s why I have so many comedies on my ghost movie list.

Grab your popcorn and your raisinettes, turn off the lights, sit back and enjoy.

Teaser

Next weeks theme – ghosts. Be thinking about your favorite ‘ghost’ movies and watch for my list – coming soon!