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A honeymooning couple (Gunn and Rice) travel to a country farmhouse together with their driver/manservant (McDaniel). Here, what was to be a quiet honeymoon turns into wild craziness when a coffin is delivered to the house... a coffin from within which the corpse vanishes!
"The Ghost and the Guest" is a screwball comedy crossed with a mystery movie. Despite some excellent comedic acting by the three leads (Gunn, Florence, and McDaniel) and passable performances by the rest, the film never quite gels as a comedy or a mystery. It never manages to rise beyond a point just below mediocre.
It's not for lack of jokes and action and energy that the film doesn't amount to much. From the moment Gunn and McDaniel appear on screen, the film is a steady stream of patter and gags, and the characters are constantly in some sort of motion or turmoil. Unfortunately, all the activity on screen is undirected; it is chaos that never builds to a crecendo, but remains at the same steady, swirling din trhoughout the film, with situations coming and going with barely a sense of connection between them.
James Gunn (who comes across like a low-rent Jack Benny) and Sam McDaniel (who plays a particularly sharp-tongued black servant for a movie of that day and age) are both excellent in this film, and their performances make it almost worth your time to sit through this movie. McDaniel in particular is fun to watch.
(By the way, if you decide to see this movie, be careful who might be around. With all the hysteria currently in the air about nooses, you might find yourself accused of committing a hate crime or attempting to intimidate more sensitive neighbors or flatmates. There is a particularly annoying character, a retired hangman, who wants to test his nooses on the visitors to the country house, including the black driver. So... watch out where you watch this film, or you may find Al Sharpton picketing your house!)
The Ghost and the Guest
Starring: James Gunn, Florence Rice, Sam McDaniel, Robert Dudley, Robert Bice, Jim Toney, and Anthony Warde
Director: William Nigh
mixes comedy with a mystery
Undercooked old house spoof that's kind of funny--Dust off the Spooky Old House!!
A newlywed couple receive a house for their wedding gift. When they arrive, they find the coffin of the former owner, who happened to be a criminal. When the criminal's family comes to claim his body, they find the coffin empty. The retired hangman (who follows around a Black chauffeur with a noose) and the police along with rest of the people try to unravel the mystery. Worth a watch for anyone who likes comedy/mystery with horror elements.
could be educational for some