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Gildersleeve’s Ghost (1944)
July 28, 2015, 4:05 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Gordon Douglas
3 Stars
Gildersleeve's GhostGildersleeve’s Ghost was the last in a series of four B-pictures that were based on the popular The Great Gildersleeve radio program. As is expected of any series of its ilk, part of the amusement of each installment was in seeing which direction the characters would take. While not as genre-hopping as the Maisie series, Gildersleeve’s Ghost certainly points in that direction by having very little to do with previous installments and instead following the model of classic scare comedies like The Ghost Breakers and Hold That Ghost. The plot is as baffling as they get–Gildersleeve’s ancestors return from the grave in spectral form and wish to aid in Gildersleeve being elected as Police Commissioner. Their plan? To release an ape from a mad scientist’s lair, which would lead him to said scientist and his plot to perfect an invisibility potion that would threaten the world. It’s a convoluted excuse to utilize a number of the familiar gags in which a real ape and a character in an ape suit are confused, as well as the ghostly cinematic tricks that would be seen in The Invisible Man and Topper films. As a lustful showgirl who can vanish and reappear at will, Marion Martin steals the show, channeling Ginger Rogers with her sassy deliveries. Nicodemus Stewart has a stereotypical role as the easily scared black chauffeur (a role that actors like Willie Best made famous), but he shows great comic timing and is given a substantial amount of screen time. This last installment is certainly the most absurd of the series, but fans of this hybrid genre will find it mildly amusing.

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