The Ghost Goes West (1935)

“Did you ever meet a ghost with a sense of humor?” Rene Clair’s first English-language film, this offbeat comic fantasy produced by Alexander Korda features Robert Donat (Goodbye, Mr. Chips) in dual roles as eighteenth-century Scottish ghost “Murdoch Glourie,” a gregarious womanizer doomed to haunt the family castle until he can regain his honor, and as his rather timid twentieth-century descendant, “Donald Glourie.” Badly in debt, Donald is forced to sell the now-decrepit castle to wealthy American businessman, “Joe Martin” (Eugene Pallette) under the instigation of his beautiful daughter “Peggy” (Jean Parker). The castle is carefully dismantled stone by stone, meticulously boxed up, loaded onto one of the fakest ocean liners in movie history and reconstructed in the United States (with some built-in American-style “improvements” of course!). However, the ghost takes the trip as well and confusion arises when Peggie mistakes Murdoch for Donald thinking he is dressed up in Scottish garb just for kicks. When Murdoch makes his presence known on the ship, he becomes an instant celebrity. Somehow amid all the craziness Peggie and Donald manage to fall in love. The excellent supporting cast includes Elsa Lanchester, Ralph Bunker, Patricia Hilliard, Everley Gregg, Morton Selten (who appears briefly but memorably as “The Glourie”) and Chili Bouchier. The film’s working title was The Laying of the Glourie Ghost.

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