Blackbeard’s Ghost, a lively and entertaining Walt Disney production, features Peter Ustinov in a tour de farce title role as the restless spirit of the famed pirate. Dean Jones and Suzanne Pleshette share top billing. Robert Stevenson’s direction is highlighted by several very amusing chase and special effects sequences.
Ben Stahl’s novel has been adapted into an essentially one-situation script – some hoods want to take over an island for a gambling casino; Ustinov and Jones thwart the scheme – loaded with self-contained vignettes.
The inspired direction makes it all come alive via firstrate special effects and sight gags, and through a fanciful script that, in a most adroit way, is neither too literate nor too sketchy.
Ustinov plays his part to the hilt: mugging and cutting up, as the wandering spirit who must do a good deed to achieve repose.
Joby Baker is the lead heavy, and Pleshette’s presence lends a romantic, also sympathetic touch to the proceedings.