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The Ghost and the Guest

USA 1943
produced by
Arthur Alexander, Alfred Stern for PRC
directed by William Nigh
starring James Dunn, Florence Rice, Robert Dudley, Mabel Todd, Sam McDaniel, Jim Toney, Eddy Chandler, Robert Bice, Renee Carson, Anthony Warde, Anthony Caruso, Eddie Foster, Charles King
story by Milt Gross, screenplay by Morey Amsterdam, musical director: Lee Zahler

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Newly weds Webster (James Dunn) and Jackie (Florence Rice) decide to spend their honeymoon on a farm Jackie insists on moving into before long. To their surprise though, they find the place already occupied by Ben Bowron (Robert Dudley), a recently retired hangman, who has no objections about them spending the night here, but has this uncomfortable habit of still making nooses. Plus, he has the coffin of his last victim delivered to his house, which apparently served as a hideout for the deceased. Now that's really troubling for Webster and Jackie, and it doesn't get any better when a) the corpse is gone (actually the coffin contained very much alive Killer Blake [Anthony Ward], a prison escapee with an agenda of his own), b) two cops (Jim Toney, Eddy Chandler) show up to properly confuse the whole affair, and c) the deceased's gang shows up as well, posing as mourning relatives but actually looking for the loot he is supposed to have hidden here. Before long, everyone is properly spooked out by Killer Blake, murders start to happen, Webster and Jackie find hidden passageways aplenty, and they only manage to stay alive by posing as gangsters themselves. However, then Killer Blake makes himself known to Jackie too soon because she has accidently gotten her hands on his loot without even knowing it, and that blows the whole operation sky high, and ultimately, the police manages to arrest all the baddies, and Webster and Jackie leave their farm in a hurry to never come back again ...

Sam McDaniel plays Webster and Jackie's black valet.


Objectively speaking, this film's screenplay is way too muddled to actually work, but then again this is no dead-serious old-dark-house-thriller but a comedy, so not everything does have to make sense. And as a comedy, this film is actually not bad, James Dunn and Florence Rice in the lead are a likeable couple, and especially she is pretty amusing, the jokes here range from average to pretty good, and the occasional macabre idea certainly doesn't hurt the film either. Of course, the film is nothing out of the ordinary and you will have forgotten it in a day or two, but that hardly matters while watching, right?


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD