The Canterville Ghost
Warner Archive Collection (series)
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- Rated: Not Rated
- Run Time: 1 hours, 37 minutes
- Video: Black & White
- Released: December 1, 2009
- Originally Released: 1943
- Label: Warner Archive Collection (MOD)
- Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
- Aspect Ratio: Full Frame
Performers, Cast and Crew:
|Starring||Charles Laughton, Robert Young, Margaret O'Brien, William Gargan & Reginald Owen|
|Performer:||Una O'Connor, Peter Lawford, Mike Mazurki & Rags Ragland|
|Directed by||Jules Dassin|
|Written by||Edwin Blum|
|Story by||Oscar Wilde|
|Director of Photography:||Robert Planck|
Description by OLDIES.com:
Charles Laughton (as the ghost), Robert Young (as Cuffy) and Margaret O'Brien (as the castle's six-year-old current owner) conjure peals of merry laughter out of an exuberant, ingenious comedy based on an Oscar Wilde tale and cleverly directed by Jules Dassin (Rififi, Topkapi).
In 1887, Oscar Wilde wrote his story about the Canterville ghost, telling of an American family who annoy the ghost by refusing to believe in him. In updating the setting of the tale to wartime Britain, screenwriter Edwin Harvey Blum and director Jules Dassin radically rework Wilde's story. The result is an amusing tale, with Margaret O'Brien as the grave young heroine, Young as the charming American struggling with the Canterville curse, and Laughton having a great time as the weary ghost.
- Theatrical release in New York City: July 28, 1944.
- In the 1940s, Jules Dassin taught at the Actors Lab with, among others, Jeff Corey. Many Hollywood actors who were unsatisfied with their film work went to the Actors Lab. Among those in Dassin's class was Charles Laughton, The Canterville Ghost himself. Later, as a result of the House Un-American Activities Committee hearings, both Dassin and Corey were blacklisted, and the Actors Lab was forced out of existence.
- Although Margaret O'Brien's career stretched into the 1990s, the child star's biggest successes--which included JANE EYRE (1944), MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS (1944) and LITTLE WOMEN (1949), as well as THE CANTERVILLE GHOST--all came before she was 13 years old.
- Additional cast: William Moss (Hector); Bobby Readlick (Eddie); and Marc Cramer (Bugsy McDougle).
Movie Lovers' Ratings & Reviews:
Based on 2943 ratings.
I remember growing up with this one, always playing on The Late Show or Late, Late Show around Halloween. Laughton is hammy, a bit over the top, but effective, as always. O'Brien played her cute English kid to the max, playing well to Young's Army Ranger character. Also of note, Universal's favorite English maid, Una O'Connor appears as, what else? A maid. I believe it's also Peter Lawford's debut, with a bit part in the very beginning. A favorite, even though the special effects aren't very effective.