The Ghost Goes West

What it’s about:

An unremarkable but pleasant enough rom-com about a rich American who buys a Scottish castle for his daughter, the castle owner who first sells it to them and then helps them transport it to the US and re-assemble it in Florida, and the owner’s ghostly ancestor who has been cursed to walk the castle grounds until such time as he can redeem himself for an embarrassment he faced at the hands of a rival clan.

Who’s in it?

  • Robert Donat as Murdoch Glourie and Donald Glourie
  • Jean Parker as Peggy Martin
  • Eugene Pallette as Mr. Martin

What I liked about it:

7001107_128341503045Eugene Pallette puts in a good performance as–what else?–a nouveau riche American who, while not exactly a paragon of taste and virtue when it comes to throwing his money around, nevertheless isn’t a rube and is able to apply good sense when it’s called for. There are lots of good character actors, but nobody ever owned a role more than he owned that of the garish but sincere fat cat with a heart of gold.

What could have been better:

The screwball comedy aspect of it promises much more than it delivers.  Peggy confuses the ghost of Robert Donat as ancient Murdoch Glourie for Robert Donat as the flesh and blood contemporary Donald Glourie, promising him a kiss upon failing to solve the riddle he has presented to her. Unaware she has in fact met a ghost, she confronts a confused Donald Glourie the next morning.  Mistaken identities and hilarity ensue. Or at least they should have. After what seems like a good setup, oddly, some but not much else is done with it. Boo.

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