The Ghost Breakers (1940)
Director: George Marshall
Writer: Walter DeLeon based on the play The Ghost Breaker by Paul Dickey and Charles W. Goddard
Stars: Bob Hope, Paulette Goddard, Richard Carlson, Willie Best, Pedro de Cordoba, Virginia Brissac, Noble Johnson, Anthony Quinn, Tom Dugan, Paul Fix, Lloyd Corrigan and Robert Elliott
Tagline: The two stars of “The Cat and the Canary” find love and laughter in a haunted house!
On a voyage to Cuba Mary Carter (Goddard) and Larry Lawrence (Hope) develop a flirtatious relationship. Mary is going to Cuba to claim an inheritance. Larry ended up on the ship by accident. When Mary is told about ghosts and zombies on the land and mansion she’s inherited, Larry decides to stick around. The mansion is just as creepy as she’d been told. It’s full of secret passageways, walls with hidden panels, and a painting that looks just like Mary. When what appear to be ghosts and zombies show up, it may be time to sell!
Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…
Due to the success of The Cat and The Canary, the studio wanted to quickly re-team Hope and Goddard. The Ghost Breakers fit the bill. Although they play different characters, the plots of both films are very similar.
This is the third time the play The Ghost Breakers was made into a film. The first two versions were silent. It was remade for a fourth time as Scared Stiff in 1953 with Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis.
The Ghost Breakers (1940) earns 3 of 5 stars.