Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Racing after spooks.

In which I continue in my Birth-of-a-Nation-lovin' racist ways.

The Ghost Breakers is an enjoyable light comedy romp starring Bob Hope and Paulette Goddard clearing ghosts out of an inherited castle. Willie Best, too, is in this one. From the evidence here and from what I've read elsewhere, he was probably one of the finest character actors of the 30s, notably so considering his being BLACK in a Honky's Hollywood. He's really great here even though he's not given all that much to do. What's great is how many explicit jokes there are based on his color. He's got a great line about his "albeeno" blood that worked well.

Ghost Breakers is also notable as the film directed by George Marshall after Destry Rides Again. Marshall is one of those guys who has directed 100+ pictures, but gets no respect from the auteurist crowd. While I know that I couldn't have looked at Ghost Breakers and said, "aha, that's by the distinctive visual genius behind Destry!," I also know that these are two really fine motion pictures in a row and what I can find out about the Marshall suggests that this is no fluke. I'm excited to see more Marshall pictures soon, especially A Message to Garcia, which is on the BCF 2012 schedule.

Oh yeah, whatever else you've heard, Paulette Goddard is really hard on the eyes in this one. That's the story you'll stick to when talking to Abby, alright? Luckily, Bob Hope's astounding physique is there to relieve us from the dreariness of having to look at Goddard.

Also, Anthony Quinn is great in this, too, just like he was in Conquest. He's a great smarmy villainish character in these early roles of his. It's probably his questionable ethnicity that makes him look so dastardly. :)

1 comment:

abigail said...

Eh, she's alright, but she has nothing on Lily Langtree.

Bob Hope, on the other hand...Oh, Hope!