Along with Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, Edward F. Cline's Ghost Catchers (1944) was probably the horror comedy movie that most appealed to kids growing up in the '50s and early '60s. It wasn't done nearly as well as the Abbott & Costello feature, and it more closely resembles their earlier comedy outing Hold That Ghost (which gets mentioned and parodied here). The mix of Ole Olsen and Chic Johnson's nut-humor and the ambience of nightclubs and haunted old townhouses, as well as the familiar faces among the villains (including Andy Devine, Lon Chaney Jr., and Abbott & Costello alumnus Joe Kirk), and the elegant surroundings for the comedy just seemed to punch the right buttons -- especially in the irreverence department -- for juvenile viewers of a certain era. And it holds up wonderfully more than 60 years after it was made -- the "in" references to other movies (especially one Disney-related gag) and aspects of popular culture still resonate, and the wisecracking nature of the two heroes gives them a certain timeless appeal as well. And as for the jokes...just the notion of manifesting a ghost (Jack Norton) by holding up a bottle of his favorite alcoholic beverage is worth a giggle, but the idea of Jack Norton (who specialized in dipsomaniac roles) playing that ghost puts the needle over the top. Add in two very pretty female leads and more than able support by Walter Catlett as a slightly bombastic Southern colonel, and the result is a comedy that still has legs 60 or 70 years on.
by Bruce Eder review