Ghost Catchers (1944)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Adventure Comedy, Slapstick  |   Release Date - Jun 16, 1944 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 67 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Bruce Eder

Colonel Breckinridge Marshall (Walter Catlett) of Clearwater, GA -- who puts on a big front but is actually only a step away from the poor house -- rents a luxurious townhouse in Manhattan in anticipation of the Carnegie Hall debut of his two daughters, singer Melinda (Gloria Jean) and pianist/singer Susannah (Martha O'Driscoll). But on their first night there, they hear strange noises and other disturbances, including the sound of someone tap-dancing -- Susannah runs for help to the next building, which turns out to be a nightclub where Olsen (Ole Olsen) and Johnson (Chic Johnson) are working, and finds herself in the middle of one of their "nut humor" Hellzapoppin'-style sketches. The two comics try to make amends by helping her out and find themselves up to their neck in strange warnings ("First is worst"), noises, and bizarre, ghostly apparations seemingly from nowhere, and alleged ghostly goings on. They eventually figure out that the house once belonged to one Wilbur Duffington, a wealthy ne'er-do-well out of New York's "gilded age" whose main hobbies were tap-dancing and drinking plum brandy, before he fell from a third-story window in the year 1900 at a party he was throwing. The boys reason that Wilbur, if he is there, might want to finish the party he was having the night he died; when that doesn't work, they reason out that he had to be a real square because he died in 1900, and so they bring in a swing band and a bunch of jitterbug dancers to drive him out -- that seems to do the trick, the ghost seemingly departing. But then the noises continue and the Marshalls are at their wits' end, until Olsen and Johnson accidentally discover far more sinister goings on, involving a band of criminals who have already committed one murder, something in that house worth killing for, and a plan to eliminate the Marshall family. Before it's over, a pitched battle ensues between the heroes and a band of costumed thugs (including a pair of ill-tempered dwarves), and a race against time to get the Marshall girls to a performance on time to save their careers, plus the unmasking of the man behind all of the mayhem, all intermixed with lots of Olsen and Johnson's patented nut-humor and the presence of a pre-Sky King Kirby Grant leading a band, singing, and playing a violin.



ghost, haunted-house, swing-music, cellar, chase, nightclub, police, capture, girl, robbery, daughter, father, jitterbug, music, rescue, tenant, gangster, mask [disguise]