HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, A
Sons of Denmark
Light of My Life
Umbrellas of Cherbourg, The
Jerky Boys, The
Chambre en Ville, Une
Joker
Relaxer
Mustang, The
Baie des Anges, La
Ready or Not
Seven Days in May
Bliss
Hollywood Shuffle
Uncut Gems
Wilt
Daniel Isn't Real
Presidio, The
Curvature
Puzzle
Farewell, The
Challenge of the Tiger
Ad Astra
Winslow Boy, The
Pain and Glory
Judgment at Nuremberg
Rambo: Last Blood
Sansho the Bailiff
Iron Fury
Ride in the Whirlwind
Deathstalker II
Cloak and Dagger
Honeyland
Love Ban, The
Western Stars
League of Gentlemen, The
Higher Power
Shinsengumi
IT Chapter Two
Rich Kids
   
 
Newest Articles
Demy-Wave: The Essential Jacques Demy on Blu-ray
The Makings of a Winner: Play It Cool! on Blu-ray
Sony Channel's Before They Were Famous: A Galaxy of Stars
Start Worrying and Hate the Bomb: Fail-Safe on Blu-ray
Completely Different: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 2 on Blu-ray
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
   
 
  Hold That Ghost Ring For Doom ServiceBuy this film here.
Year: 1941
Director: Arthur Lubin
Stars: Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Richard Carlson, Evelyn Ankers, Joan Davis, Marc Lawrence, Mischa Auer, Shemp Howard, Russell Hicks, William B. Davidson, Ted Lewis, The Andrews Sisters
Genre: Comedy, Thriller
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Chuck (Bud Abbott) and Ferdie (Lou Costello) are the new waiters at a swanky nightclub where Ted Lewis and his Orchestra are in residency, but how long will they keep their jobs after the head waiter (Mischa Auer) finds them gambling in the kitchens? He gives them the benefit of the doubt, but as a team they're not so good at the job and soon they are causing minor amounts of havoc with the customers. The head waiter has no choice but to sack them and Chuck and Ferdie are back at their old job of gas station attendants the next day. However, they have a fateful meeting there with gangster Moose Matson (William B. Davidson) which sets them on an adventure they hadn't counted on...

Hold That Ghost, scripted and packed full of jokes by Robert Lees, Federic I. Rinaldo and John Grant, was for a long time thought of as the best Abbott and Costello comedy, but watching it today the stream of vaudeville routines and lines don't run as smoothly as they once did. As The Cat and the Canary remake with Bob Hope had recently been a big hit, there was a revitalised trend in Hollywood to make comedy thrillers and horrors, and this particular team were not immune to the charms of the genre, although for about a third of the running time you'd never know there were thrills coming up, and the title promises ghosts that never appear at all.

Chuck and Ferdie are typical Abbott and Costello characters, with Chuck pushing Ferdie around, slapping him occasionally (which seems a bit unnecessary), although as usual, mainly the only person who listens to the brusque Abbott is the cowardly Costello. The duo somehow find themselves in the back seat of Moose's car while he's being chased by the cops, and in a gunfight to boot, which ends when the gangster is fatally wounded. As no one was mentioned in Moose's will, Chuck and Ferdie rather unbelievably inherit his fortune, which as nobody knows where it is, amounts to a run down hotel in the middle of nowhere.

Costello was adept at acting scared, and this film gives him ample opportunities to do so once they reach the hotel in the middle of the night. As they've hired a bus, there are other people with them along for ther ride: gangster Charlie (Marc Lawrence) who means to kill Chuck and Ferdie, scientist Doc (Richard Carlson with glasses to make him look intellectual), and two women, love interest Norma (Universal horror leading lady Evelyn Ankers) and extra comic relief Camille (the appealing Joan Davis). When the bus driver zooms off with their luggage, they are stranded and forced to spend the night in the hotel.

Well, apart from Charlie, who while in the basement is strangled - I'm still not entirely sure why, after all, he was one of the baddies. Nevertheless, it provides the plot with a corpse to frighten the cast, and the rest of the film consists of various routines with a lot of reliance on that old standby, having Costello see something scary happen, call for Abbott only for the thing to have disappeared or stop happening - hey, if you've got a formula, use it. Interestingly, there's not an obvious leader or manly hero amongst the cast, with Doc more interested in testing the water (literally) and everyone else frequently spooked. As there are so many jokes a fair number hit the mark ("He had a gag in his mouth," "If he did, he didn't have time to tell it!"), and there's a comfortable feeling to its cosy chills and humour. Maybe it wasn't their very best, but Hold That Ghost is the kind of thing fans like to see Abbott and Costello doing, and they do it well.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 4429 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Butch Elliot
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
   

 

Last Updated: