Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Canterville Ghost

When a British aristocrat is injured and unable to duel, his bumbling brother is called on to defend his honor, who then scampers away in cowardice. For his act of pusillanimity, his father walls him up in a back room of the Canterville Castle until one of his descendants commits an act of bravery and frees his imprisoned ghostly soul. Fast forward to WWII where the matron of Canterville manor hat let her castle out for some American GIs to stay, and wouldn't you know it, one of the private happens to be a distant relative of the long suffering ghost. Now the blithering ghost along with a young resident of the manor must help the timid private find his footing when enemy troops mount a nearby attack. "The Canterville Ghost" is a wartime update of Oscar Wilde's short story and is a silly yet enjoyable excursion boosted by the very fine performance of Charles Laughton on the title ghoul, the affability of Robert Young as the timid GI, and some pretty inventive special effects.