The Canterville Ghost is entertaining comedy-drama, with the accent on comedy despite the mystery-chiller emphasis in the title. Tight scripting, nimble direction and excellent casting are about equally responsible for the satisfactory results.

The Canterville Ghost is entertaining comedy-drama, with the accent on comedy despite the mystery-chiller emphasis in the title. Tight scripting, nimble direction and excellent casting are about equally responsible for the satisfactory results.

Margaret O’Brien and Charles Laughton come through with topnotch performances, with the clever moppet a solid smash and topping everything. One of her outstanding bits is in a jitterbug terping number with an American soldier and her sedately demure dancing with Robert Young. Her solemn, dignified interpretation as the youthful Lady Jessica de Canterville, head of one of the great English landowning families, is terrific.

Yarn [from the Oscar Wilde short story] is about a 300-year-old ghost (Laughton), once walled up alive in the castle by his father because he proved a coward on the field of battle, who is looking for a kinsman to perform an act of bravery in his name so that he can be freed from his miserable existence.

The Canterville Ghost

Production

M-G-M. Director Jules Dassin; Producer Arthur L. Field; Screenplay Edwin Harvey Blum; Camera Robert Planck; Editor Chester W. Schaeffer; Music George Bassman;; Art Director Cedric Gibbons, Edward Carfagno

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1944. Running time: 95 MIN.

With

Charles Laughton Robert Young Margaret O'Brien Peter Lawford Una O'Connor Mike Mazurki
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