Earthbound (1940)

Article #870 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 8-2-2003
Posting Date: 12-30-2003
Directed by Irving Pichel
Featuring Warner Baxter, Andrea Leeds, Lynn Bari

A man is murdered by an ex-lover, and his ghost tries to help his wife unravel the murder.

Title check: Since a ghost who can’t go to heaven is indeed earthbound, the title is appropriate. Unfortunately, the title reminds me of a stupid science fiction movie from the early eighties, which is, of course, not this movie’s fault. It just reminds me that I’ll have to cover that movie some day.

This is a remake of a movie from 1920 of the same name. It starts out strong, but once the murder occurs, the movie loses a bit of steam. I get a bit annoyed at how long it takes for the murder victim to figure out he’s a ghost, and ultimately the movie never really finds novel ways to handle the concept. Granted, this one predates some other movies with similar plots, but they tend to be a bit more creative with their concept than this one is. It may be of interest to fans of ghost movies, but you may want to keep your expectations at a reasonable level.

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