Lucky Ghost

Watch Lucky Ghost

"You Can Bet Your Bottom Dollar It's THRILLING - EXCITING - FUNNY!"
  • Approved
  • 1942
  • 1 hr 1 min
  • 5.8  (230)

Lucky Ghost is a feature-length comedy film released in 1942, during an era when Hollywood was still navigating the complexities of racial representation in cinema. The film stars Mantan Moreland, F.E. Miller, and Maceo Bruce Sheffield, three notable African American actors of the time, who brought their unique comedic talents to audiences across the United States.

Moreland was particularly known for his quick wit and recognizable roles in the Charlie Chan film series, where he portrayed the character of Birmingham Brown. In Lucky Ghost, Moreland, along with F.E. Miller, takes on a central role which allows him to showcase his wide range of comedic expressions and timing. Though many of Moreland's roles during this period may reflect the limitations placed on Black actors at the time, his performances often surpassed the material, endearing him to audiences with his charisma and talent.

The plot of Lucky Ghost follows the adventures of Washington and Jefferson, played by Moreland and Miller respectively. These two down-on-their-luck characters find themselves unexpectedly drawn into a haunted and mysterious world following a series of peculiar events. As they navigate this new environment, the pair stumble upon an opportunity to change their fortunes—however, they soon realize that the opportunity comes with a spooky and hilarious twist.

The film unfolds as Washington and Jefferson get involved in the wacky shenanigans linked to a haunting at a local gambling house. The establishment, which plays a central role in the narrative, is not merely a backdrop for the story but becomes a character of its own, brimming with ghosts and odd occurrences that defy explanation. As they encounter these supernatural elements, Washington and Jefferson's comedic instincts come to the fore, leading to much of the film's humor.

Lucky Ghost is set apart by its blending of genres. It creates a unique concoction of slapstick comedy, supernatural hijinks, and elements of the "old dark house" genre, which was popular during the 1930s and 1940s. The film builds an atmosphere of spooky ambiance that serves as a playground for the actors' comedic talents. The typical haunted house tropes are used to comedic effect, ranging from eerie noises and floating objects to unexplained apparitions, all while maintaining a light-hearted and fun tone.

The ensemble cast of Lucky Ghost includes Maceo Bruce Sheffield, who plays the role of a formidable character within this ghostly narrative. Sheffield brings a certain gravitas to the plot, setting up scenarios that Washington and Jefferson must cleverly navigate. The interplay between Sheffield, Moreland, and Miller is crucial to the comedic rhythm of the film, as each performer brings a different energy and comedic style to their respective roles.

The film also explores themes of luck and fortune—not just the luck of the protagonists but also the good fortune of those around them. The gambling house serves as a metaphor for the uncertainty and chances in life. One of the primary sources of humor comes from how Washington and Jefferson handle their serendipitous twist of fate, often in ways that no one, including themselves, can predict.

Despite being a comedy, Lucky Ghost is not devoid of social commentary. During this time in history, African American actors were often relegated to secondary or stereotypical roles. The film, however, centers on Black characters and provides the lead actors with an uncommon opportunity to carry the story. This presentation speaks to the resilience and adaptability of these performers in an industry that frequently marginalized their talent.

The technical aspects of the film are typical of the era's low-budget productions. The sets, visual effects, and cinematography are straightforward, reflecting both the period's limitations and the ingenuity required to create an engaging experience for viewers. The special effects used to depict the supernatural occurrences, while not sophisticated by today's standards, are effective within the context of the film's comedic objectives.

Director William Beaudine was a prolific filmmaker who helmed a vast number of productions, spanning from silent movies to television episodes. Known as "One Shot" for his efficiency and speed in directing films, Beaudine brings his pragmatic approach to Lucky Ghost, achieving a quick-paced narrative flow that maintains audience engagement from start to finish.

Lucky Ghost represents a moment in film history where Black actors were given a chance to shine in leading roles, albeit within the constraints of the time. It remains a testament to the talent of Mantan Moreland, F.E. Miller, and Maceo Bruce Sheffield, whose performances left a mark on audiences and continue to be a point of reference in the conversation about Hollywood's past representations of race. The movie is a mix of the absurd with a touch of the supernatural, tied together by a strong thread of humor, making it a unique viewing experience for fans of classic film comedies.

Lucky Ghost is a 1942 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 1 minute. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.8.

Where to Watch Lucky Ghost
Lucky Ghost is available to watch free on Plex and Tubi TV. It's also available to stream, download on demand at Amazon Prime, Apple TV Channels, FuboTV, FlixFling and The Roku Channel. Some platforms allow you to rent Lucky Ghost for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 1 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    5.8  (230)