The Canterville Ghost

Watch The Canterville Ghost

"It puts you in the best of spirits!"
  • Passed
  • 1944
  • 1 hr 35 min
  • 6.9  (3,316)

In the 1944 film adaptation of "The Canterville Ghost," Charles Laughton portrays the titular ghost, Sir Simon de Canterville. The movie opens with Sir Simon's backstory - he was a brave knight who murdered his wife for infidelity and has been haunting Canterville Chase ever since. Despite his attempts to scare away potential homebuyers, the American Otis family purchases the estate and moves in, completely unbothered by the ghost.

Robert Young plays the patriarch of the Otis family, Mr. Hiram Otis, who is a no-nonsense businessman and skeptic when it comes to ghosts. Mrs. Otis is played by Margaret O'Brien and their four children are played by various child actors. Upon moving in, the Otis family quickly realizes that Sir Simon is real and is still determined to scare them away.

Throughout the movie, Sir Simon tries various methods of scaring the family, including banging on pots and pans and materializing in front of them. However, the family remains unfazed and even begins to play tricks on the ghost. The youngest daughter, played by O'Brien, quickly becomes friends with Sir Simon and convinces him to try a kinder approach to haunting, such as singing lullabies to help her sleep.

As the story progresses, it becomes clear that Sir Simon wants to rest in peace and move on from haunting Canterville Chase. He eventually confides in O'Brien's character and reveals that his wife was actually innocent and he killed her out of jealousy. The family offers to help Sir Simon make restitution for his crime by returning his wife's stolen necklace to her descendants.

The climax of the movie involves a haunting performance by Sir Simon, where he finally scares the family and reveals his true form to them. However, the Otis family still remains unafraid and eventually Sir Simon is able to move on from haunting the estate. The movie concludes with an emotional goodbye between O'Brien's character and Sir Simon as he disappears into the afterlife.

Overall, the 1944 movie adaptation of "The Canterville Ghost" provides a lighthearted and comedic take on the classic ghost story. The film's unique approach to depicting Sir Simon as a more sympathetic character, rather than a terrifying villain, allows for a more nuanced and emotional portrayal of the ghost. The performances by Charles Laughton and Margaret O'Brien are particularly noteworthy and contribute to the movie's enduring popularity.

The Canterville Ghost is a 1944 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 35 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.9.

The Canterville Ghost
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 35 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.9  (3,316)