The Ghost Breakers Reviews

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Super Reviewer
May 28, 2007
Lovely cinematography, a sharp witted Hope, and a gorgeous Goddard. Even with all that, the film's primary standout was it's casual racism and depiction of African Americans; it often undercut the humor and suspense.
Super Reviewer
September 5, 2010
One of my favourtie Hope movies, it's really very funny. If you're a fan, check it out. It's sort of a spoof of old horror and mystery movies.
Super Reviewer
July 3, 2008
Good paranormal humor.
½ October 11, 2009
This is one of Bob Hope's funniest and best movies. His comic timing has rarely been better. Paulette Goddard is terrific and Willie Best steals every scene he's in. It is always entertaining and a must for anyone who appreciates Bob Hope's special brand of humor.
½ September 4, 2009
A crime/suspense/comedy/romance/horror film starring Bob Hope. Hope's character thinks he kills someone, so he flees from the scene and ends up on a boat heading for Cuba along with his manservant. This manservant isn't as funny as the one in King of the Zombies, but as a whole the movie was really funny and had some parts that were sure to scare when it was released. Organized crime, a ghost, a zombie, a castle, slimy Caribbean characters, voodoo, and a pretty innocent lady inheritoress all play parts in this hilarious film. Probably the best Bob Hope film I have seen (no singing and dancing).
April 11, 2008
What a blast! Bob Hope was refreshing in every scene. There were a lot of lose ends left to tie up, but for the time, I think it was an excellent flick.
April 14, 2007
Larry (Bob Hope) and his man Alex (Willie Best) help a lovely lady (Paulette Goddard) in pre-pubescent-Castro Cuba (1940 to be exact).
Alex, Larry's (in the vernacular of the time) Negro or colored man, has as many good lines and delivers them as well as Hope. He's stereotypical, of course, but he still comes off as cool.
The ghost and treasure plot, an old Hollywood staple, has been done dozens of times under various titles. Silll, being well paced and fairly well written, this version is one perfect little couch movie on a hungover afternoon.
½ January 20, 2015
Divertidisima pelicula con un hilarante Bob Hope y una hermosa Paulette Goddard.
½ March 30, 2013
Two great leads in this horror comedy film. It is not the best of either of them by a long shot and it is not much to write home about but if you like the stars you will probably get some laughs out of it

It is a dark and stormy night in Manhattan when Goddard learns that she is the new owner of a supposedly haunted island. Hope on his part is a radio man who is soon on the run from mobsters after a comment he made on air. After a shooting Hope finds himself face to face Goddard and she helps him out of a pickle. Soon she boards her ship heading for her island and he has no choice but to tag along. There everything comes to fruition and the Ghost Breaksers take on the haunts and the dangers of Castillo Maldito. This is a good example of the horror comedies of the 1930s and 40s. Hope was better with Crosby and Goddard was better with Chaplin, but this film certainly has some hilarity.
½ June 23, 2012
great late night viewing.
August 18, 2011
A lot of laughs are in this one folks! Mary (Goddard) has inherited the dreaded Black Island Castle that has been in her family for centuries. She's excited at first, but when murder suspect Larry (Hope) and his sidekick (Best) get in the picture, the fun begins! "The Ghost Breakers" was one of the many pairings of Bob Hope and Paulette Goddard. Their previous film "The Cat and the Canary" (which is unfortunately not on NF) was a big hit, and I KNOW the studio wanted some more green. Hope and Goddard are considered by many to be two of the best comedy actors, and here they of course, prove it. Hope is as usual good, his comedic timing is spot on, and every trip, every fall is hilarious, and never tiring or annoying. The fast-talking silly character that seems to be in every single movie of his is put to good use, and when he has a chance to wave a gun, is it funny? Of course. Goddard also (as usual) is quite a watch, and even though she had many many many comedy roles throughout her career, this is kind of a slide. She isn't silly or goofy here, but seems to play the innocent pulled into the mix. Though it was not was I was expecting, she has great chemistry with Bob and they're really fun together. I love these two, but the person that won me over AND made me laugh the most was Hope's sidekick played by Willie Best. It was a shock to me that he was black in the first place: most African-Americans had bit parts in the olden days, and he could have gotten billed third had it not been for his skin color. His slow, dim-witted persona is SO good here, and almost makes Bob seem smart for once. He delivers fun lines, and when his eyes go wide, what can I say? He's got to be one the best black comedic actors in the '40's. "The Ghost Breakers" is funny and short, and isn't a waste of time at all.
February 11, 2009
** (out of four)

A lot of people seem to like this Bob Hope comedy, but for me it is disappointing.

I am a fan of Hope's and always enjoy seeing him onscreen even in something that isn't quite worthy of his wit and talent. Paulette Goddard is sweet and cute, but doesn't really connect the way I had wished. But my biggest issue is that I didn't find it as fun as it should have been given the premise.
November 27, 2010
Just a fun, pleasant film for all.
January 20, 2009
It's true. Bob Hope pretty much played one character. People get down on Robin Williams for that sort of thing, but consider this. Bob Hope lived to be 100 years old. His first job in show business was working for [i]Fatty Arbuckle[/i]. I mean, that was when Fatty Arbuckle was still allowed to work under his own name. (Look it up. It's another one of the great Hollywood scandals proving that scandals were more interesting in the early days.) Okay, he was a dancer then, but still. Let's say his schtick started at his first film--which I'm pretty sure it didn't. That only pushes it forward ten years, to 1934. That was, counting until his last TV appearance in 2003, that's [i]seventy years[/i] of doing the same basic character. No [i]One Hour Photo[/i] for Bob. Just cowardice and golf jokes for longer than a lot of people are alive.

In this one, Bob's a radio figure. A Walter Winchell-y sort, I think. (Look that up, too.) Anyway, he somehow manages to piss off the mob, which somehow gets him into the room of one Mary Carter (Paulette Goddard), which somehow ends with him stowing away to Cuba. How doesn't really matter, does it? I mean, it would [i]now[/i], because, you know, Castro, but back then, Cuba was a popular vacation spot for Americans. Anyway, Mary owns some little island off what I guess is Havana, and the island has a castle on it, and the castle is supposed to be haunted. Hilarity ensues as Hope and Goddard and Hope's stereotyped black manservant, Alex (Willie Best) end up on the island, in the dark, trying to find out the secrets of the castle, which may even include zombies. Because, you know, zombies.

I do not expect a Bob Hope movie to make sense. This, of course, is a good thing. Because I can pretty much promise you that this one doesn't. I may have missed some details, because I wasn't giving it my full attention, but the plot is just a place to carry us from one set of hijinks to another. You know that Bob Hope will solve the mystery, though getting the girl isn't always a guarantee for him--see all the [i]Road[/i] pictures--and he will be scared of the ghosts the whole time. Though I will say that, in this one, the patented Hope cowardice isn't as prominent.

So let's talk about Alex for a minute. He is the stereotyped black manservant, as I said. However, compare him to Eddie Anderson, Jack Benny's sidekick and "Eddie the chauffeur" in [i]Topper Returns[/i]. (And Uncle Peter in [i]Gone With the Wind[/i].) In [i]Topper Returns[/i], everyone else in the film is of sterner stuff than Eddie. There's a real, live (so to speak) ghost wandering around the picture, but he's afraid of everything, not just the ghost. Alex manages to keep his cool in at least on crisis over the course of the movie, helping Bob Hope out of a situation he couldn't've gotten out of on his own--or even, possibly, with the help of Goddard. He doesn't get much of a personality, but Bob Hope doesn't talk down to him as Topper talks down to Eddie. Then again, he doesn't need to--Alex is smarter.

This is not a complicated film. There's a fair amount of plot here, but again, it just kind of slides us from one place to another. The beginning has to happen in New York, so there has to be a reason to get the characters on the boat. Bob Hope has to encounter the ghost story, so there has to be a reason to get him on the island. Step by step, the whole thing gets set up. It makes just enough sense to hang the story on, and you kind of get the feeling that it's all anybody really cared about.
½ June 1, 2005
This is one of Bob Hope's funniest and best movies. His comic timing has rarely been better. Paulette Goddard is terrific and Willie Best steals every scene he's in. It is always entertaining and a must for anyone who appreciates Bob Hope's special brand of humor.
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