The Ghost Breakers (1940), starring Bob Hope, Paulette Goddard, Willie Best
Cast of characters
- Bob Hope (The Facts of Life) as Larry Lawrence. The radio crime reporter, who wrongly thinks that he’s shot a crime boss/informant. This leads to him following Mary to her inheritance, to hide out while he thinks.
Paulette Goddard (Modern Times) as Mary Carter. She’s unexpectedly inherited a plantation and mansion on a small island off the coast of Cuba. Despite being warned away by two sinister gents, she goes there anyway. Since Larry’s hiding in her trunk, she unwittingly takes him along.
- Richard Carlson (The Young in Heart) as Geoff Montgomery. An old acquaintance of Mary’s, who tells the trio stories of ghosts, zombies, and voodoo.
- Paul Lukas (Watch on the Rhine) as Parada. The sinister attorney who informs Mary of her inheritance. And, tries to warn her away from it.
- Willie Best (Kentucky Kernels) as Alex. Larry’s valet, and comedy relief. A very funny, very good performance. Yes, he’s a scaredy cat that runs from trouble … but all of the protagonists are. Some unfortunate racial stereotyping, however.
- Virginia Brissac (Executive Suite) as Mother Zombie.
Noble Johnson (The Mummy 1932) as The Zombie. Yes, there’s a zombie for all three protagonists to run away from.
- Anthony Quinn (Requiem for a Heavyweight) as Ramon Mederos / Francisco Mederos. Yes, that Anthony Quinn. Here, he’s a sinister gent who warns Mary not to sell the newly inherited property to Parada.
- Paul Fix (To Kill a Mockingbird) as Frenchy Duval. The crime boss, who invites Larry to his hotel to discuss the latest broadcast so he can “correct” Larry’s report. This leads to Larry wrongly thinking he’s shot a henchman.
Editorial review courtesy of Amazon.com
Ghosts and gags collide in this witches brew of laughs, with Bob Hope as a Manhattan radio commentator who finds himself marooned on an island of the walking dead! Larry Lawrence (Hope), sought for murder, is hiding in a steamer trunk. Soon the trunk (and Larry) are aboard a ship bound for Cuba where the trunk owner pretty Mary Carter (Paulette Goddard), is sailing to take possession of a recent inheritance: a Haunted castle. Sensing that Mary is in danger Larry and his valet Alex (Willie Best) precede her to the island which is inhabited by a ghost, zombie and perhaps even a flesh and blood fiend. There’s romance, comedy and chills as Hope and Goddard commend with earthly and un-earthly foes and try to keep from ending up as ghosts themselves.