The Ghost Breakers (1940)

Article #164 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 8-27-2001
Posting date: 1-10-2002

A radio broadcaster gets involved with gangsters and a woman who inherits a haunted castle off the coast of Cuba.

I’m going to admit right off the bat that I don’t have a whole lot of use for Bob Hope. It’s not that I think he’s bad per se (I do laugh occasionally), but he was a little too laid-back and seemed far too easily satisfied with himself for my taste; I always felt he would crack just barely enough jokes to get by. I prefer his Road movies to his other work, largely because the Road movies never pretended to be about anything at all, which I thought fit well with his style. That being said, THE GHOST BREAKERS was entertaining enough; there were enough laughs and familiar faces to hold my interest (Paulette Goddard, Richard Carlson, Paul Lukas, Willie Best, and Anthony Quinn are all on hand), and it really delivers on the atmosphere when they finally reach the haunted castle in the last twenty minutes of the film, where we get a great scary zombie played by Noble Johnson. It’s not my favorite horror comedy, but it’s certainly not an embarrassment by any means, and it’s a pleasant enough way to spend an hour and a half; I just wish it were a little more than that.


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