The Ghost Goes West

  • 1936
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Comedy, Fantasy, Science Fiction

This was the first English-language film for French master director Rene Clair, and it proved a winner. The story begins in 18th-century Scotland where Robert Donat, as the head of a clan, is insulted by another laird but dies before he can remedy the stain upon his stiff honor. His modern-day descendant, also played by Donat, is trying to maintain the...read more

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This was the first English-language film for French master director Rene Clair, and it proved a winner. The story begins in 18th-century Scotland where Robert Donat, as the head of a clan, is insulted by another laird but dies before he can remedy the stain upon his stiff honor. His

modern-day descendant, also played by Donat, is trying to maintain the sprawling family castle but is going broke, his creditors waiting for him behind every door. Salvation arrives in the form of loud, acquisitive Eugene Pallette, whose pretty daughter Jean Parker immediately falls for Donat.

Pallette has the castle transported to the US and rebuilds it stone by stone on his vast Florida estate. Parker and Donat--he goes along with the castle as caretaker--are eyeing the altar, but matters become complicated when it's discovered that the ghost of Donat's lookalike ancestor has also

made the journey to Florida and is haunting everyone in sight.

Clair's light comedic touch is everywhere in a film loaded with the screwball comedy which was so popular in the 1930s. At one point Clair considered removing his name from the credits--producer Korda frequently interrupted the shooting of the film to make changes--but enough of his imprint

remained to cause him to reconsider. US audiences took the stereotype of American materialism good-naturedly and made the film a hit.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: This was the first English-language film for French master director Rene Clair, and it proved a winner. The story begins in 18th-century Scotland where Robert Donat, as the head of a clan, is insulted by another laird but dies before he can remedy the stai… (more)

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