The Canterville Ghost

One brave act and the spell is broken! Charles Laughton (as the ghost), Robert Young and Margaret O'Brien conjure peals of merry laughter out of an exuberant, ingenious comedy based on an Oscar Wilde tale and cleverly directed by Jules Dassin.
The Canterville Ghost
3.5K ratings
Price: $11.10
List Price: $12.99
You Save: $1.89 (15% Off)
Available: Usually ships in 5-7 business days
Format:  DVD-R
item number:  FFJ8

DVD Features:

  • 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
  • Audio:
    • English

Performers, Cast and Crew:

Starring , , , &
Performer: , , &
Directed by
Written by
Story by
Director of Photography:

Entertainment Reviews:


Total Count: 7


User Ratings: 551
Rating: 5/5 -- MGM comedy-fantasy combined with WWII theme is classic.
Aug 29, 2005
Rating: 4/5 -- Sweet wartime comedy
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Aug 22, 2002
Oscar Wilde's story, upon being modernized, has become more likeable. [Full review in Spanish] Full Review
Sep 17, 2019
Rating: 6/10 -- ...a pleasant little fantasy, as well as a lighthearted bit of World War II propaganda. Full Review
Movie Metropolis
Dec 23, 2009
Rating: 4/5 -- Delicious fantasy with splendid performances by O'Brien, Young, and Laughton.
Movie Mom
Jul 26, 2003
Rating: C -- Its purpose was to foster good will between the UK and the USA. Full Review
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Nov 20, 2008

Description by

One brave act and the spell is broken! The specter of Sir Simon de Canterville has haunted Canterville Castle for 300 years, ever since he was walled up alive for cowardice. A daring deed by a kinsman will free his spirit. Unfortunately, the Cantervilles are a timorous lot and Simon is out of luck. Then World War II GIs are billeted at the castle and among them is Canterville descendent Cuffy Williams. But could Cuffy be cursed with the family lily liver?

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).

Product Description:

In Jule Dassin's adaptation of Oscar Wild's THE CANTERVILLE GHOST, a group of American soldiers waiting to fight in World War II are billeted in Canterville Castle. They are amused when Lady de Canterville, their hostess, instead of being the expected dowager, turns out to be seven-year-old Jessica (Margaret O'Brien). They are also amused to discover that the house is haunted. When Jessica's ancestor, Simon de Canterville (Charles Laughton), ran away from a duel, he was walled up in an alcove, his ghost doomed to roam the corridors of the ancestral home. The soldiers refuse to be intimidated by the ghost. Then, one of them, Cuffy Williams (Robert Young), discovers that he too is a de Canterville, and Jessica thinks he might be able to save the family honor.

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.


Production Notes:

  • 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).
This product is made-on-demand by the manufacturer using DVD-R recordable media. Almost all DVD players can play DVD-Rs (except for some older models made before 2000) - please consult your owner's manual for formats compatible with your player. These DVD-Rs may not play on all computers or DVD player/recorders. To address this, the manufacturer recommends viewing this product on a DVD player that does not have recording capability.

Movie Lovers' Ratings & Reviews:

Customer Rating:
Based on 3597 ratings.
Write an online review to share your thoughts with other customers.
The Canterville Ghost (1944, MGM) Movie Lover: from MOUNT LAUREL, NJ US -- November, 26, 2014

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.

Studio Vaults
Warner Archive Collection

Similar Products


Product Info

  • Sales Rank: 1,996
  • UPC: 883316225134
  • Shipping Weight: 0.25/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 1 item

To place an order or for customer service, call toll-free 1-800-336-4627 or outside the United States, call 1-610-649-7565
Open Monday-Friday: 9am-9pm, Weekends: 11am-7pm (Eastern Time)
Se habla Español! Spanish-speaking representatives available, Monday-Friday: 9am-5pm (Eastern Time)