Paulette Goddard

The Ghost Breakers (1940) - George Marshall

This movie really showcases the comedic talent that Bob Hope has. It's more than just another Old Dark House type movie. It isn't that flat. However, it suffers from being a product of its time. It has a charm. A certain quality that seems unmatched. It is one of the more well-preserved films from the time. My copy was excellent.

Paulette Goddard inherits a small island near Cuba, with an old plantation. Bob Hope is a loudmouth radio crime reporter that literally gets mixed up with the mafia and has to run for his life. He ends up stowing away in Goddard's luggage as she has decided to travel to the island to gather her inheritance. However, she is confronted with Zombies and Ghosts. She suspects someone is just trying to scare her away from the treasure, err... inheritance. 

Horror movies during this period didn't really have a lot of depth. They all followed a similar plot and had very similar characters. The most obviously used is the Old Dark House storyline. The Ghost Breakers appeared be another, factory run horror movie. Reusing the same old tropes. Only, this proved better. Bob Hope is in top form. Paulette Goddard is a looker. You get Ghosts, Zombies, Voodoo, and yes... an Old Dark House. But it's done so well! It's based on a play Paul Dickey. 

It's a fun movie that I recommend to the hardcore horror fans. It's a chore to get casual horror fans enjoy a movie as dated as this one. However, if you can appreciate the fast talking and quick wit of Bob Hope then I think you will like this one. Watch this with your grandparents. They might like it. 


George Marshall




Comedic Horror

Did ya know...

The play, "The Ghost Breaker," by Paul Dickey and Charles W. Goddard, was filmed twice as a silent film, in 1914 (directed by Cecil B. DeMille), and in 1922. Both silent versions are considered lost. The play was filmed a final time as Scared Stiff (1953), starring Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. Bob Hope made a cameo appearance in the film
One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since.