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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

Hold That Ghost (1941)

(aka: Oh, Charlie)



Reviews and Comments

From the thirties until about the sixties, nearly every movie comedian made a haunted house picture at some point in their careers. Laurel and Hardy did it. Bob Hope did it. Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis did it. Don Knotts did it. Hold That Ghost is Abbott and Costello's contribution.

I'm not a big fan of the formula. Too often, the writing relies solely on watching the leading performers get scared for laughs. That's partially true of Hold That Ghost, and it's only because Lou Costello has one of the all time funniest "scared" acts that this film is as good as it is -- which is not as good as it should have been. It's no worse than the average Abbott and Costello flick, and fans of the duo will probably like it; but it came early on in their careers when their act was at its freshest and funniest. The movie should have been better.

Oddly, later on, it was. Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, made years later, mines its humor in the same sort of way and is much more successful.