Possible Movie RemAkes: Armitage as a ghost–in a KILT!

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Leigh mentioned the possibility of a more comedic film that is due for a remake: the 1935 English-U.S. co-production, The Ghost Goes West. The U.K.’s most successful film of 1936, this enticing cinematic blend of satire, fantasy, ghost story and sweet romance was also a hit in the U.S.

Starring the very talented and handsome Robert Donat in a dual role of 18th century Scottish ghost Murdoch Glourie, a dashing ladies’ man, and his 20th century descendant, a laird dealing with the modern realities of being cash poor and land rich with a large castle demanding expensive upkeep.  Enter a wealthy American businessman (Eugene Pallette) and his pretty daughter (Jean Parker) into the picture. A Scottish castle is just what the businessman wants. He just wants it on his estate in sunny Florida. And so the castle is dismantled, stone by stone, and shipped overseas to be reconstructed.

affiche-Fantome-a-vendre-The-Ghost-Goes-West-1935-1

 A French poster for the film. I liked the design. And everything sounds better in French, mais oui?

And guess who also goes along? That’s right, the ghost, who, after dishonoring the family name, was cursed by a disgruntled father to forever haunt the ancestral castle–no matter where in the world it stands–until that wrong can be righted.  Murdoch experiences no lack of culture shock in the land of palm trees and rampant materialism.

The film has much to recommend it– a charming and witty script, the always outstanding cinematography of Jack Cardiff (whose exquisite color work can be seen in Black Narcissus and The Red Shoes), excellent direction by Rene Clair, and delightful performances by Donat and frog-voiced Pallette in particular.

Jean Parker and Robert Donat in a publicity still for "The Ghost Goes West."

Jean Parker and Robert Donat in a publicity still for “The Ghost Goes West.”

The flirty-girty Murdoch woos a fair lady in the film's prologue.

The flirty-girty Murdoch woos a fair lady in the film’s prologue.

The laird faces off with the ghost thanks to split screen.

The laird faces off with the ghost thanks to split screen.

And it offers a handsome man–in a kilt. We know Richard can do a Scottish accent from the RH audiobooks. We know he truly rocks a kilt from that one photo shoot. We know he can nail a flirtatious ladies’ man–Lee “Speedo” Preston, anyone? We know he’s got the acting chops to play two roles in the same film.  We know he needs to do something with a little humor in it for a change. So, Mr. A, how about something with comedy and romance and fantasy–and kilts!!

Richard in a image that orginated with Rob Roy, I do believe.

Richard in an image that I think originated with “Rob Roy.”

This bonny lad appears to be part of an event such as the Scottish Highlands Game that takes place here at Blount Park next to the Alabama Shakespeare Festival.

This bonny lad appears to be part of an event such as the Scottish Highlands Game that takes place here at Blount Park next to the Alabama Shakespeare Festival.

This started out as a photo of another fave of mine who is a Scotsman, Ewan McGregor. The grin seemed appropriate.

This started out as a photo of another fave of mine who is a Scotsman, Ewan McGregor. The grin seemed appropriate.

All RA images created in Faceinhole with additional editing in BeFunky.  “The Ghost Goes West” screencaps & poster courtesy of Bing Images

29 responses »

    • Oh, me, too, and I lot of people aren’t that familiar with his work today. He only made about 20 films because of his severe asthmatic condition. I think if his health had allowed it he’d have done a lot more work and been much better known here. He was lovely as Mr. Chips. It’s been ages since I have seen the film but going back and looking up information made me want to see it again, so I ordered it through Amazon. 😀 Should be here next week.

  1. So it seems to me that this is another film that I shoud watch:)BTW..hilarious pictures ,Angie…..as to the last one question……”Speedos”? (:]

  2. Well, I’m not aware of Robert Donat’s career, but I love old movies so I’ll try to get some of his movies to watch.

    And yes, seeing RA in a lighter movie (with challenge, as you wrote, Angie!) would be nice! If he wears kilts on it, even better! 😉

    • It’s a shame he isn’t better known. His health issues really did truncate his career. I recommend this film and also The Thirty-Nine Steps and Goodbye, Mr. Chips in particular. This film offers a nice mix of comedy and drama and ROMANCE *squee* And you’d see him in tweeds AND in kilts. 😉

        • I think the good actors of the past should not be forgotten. Sadly, some of the early talkies and many of the old silent films were destroyed through accident, neglect and so forth so there is little left of some actors’ performances. Thank goodness there are film preservationists at work to save some of these films. Have to give kudos to Ted Turner and Turner Classic Movies for sharing so many wonderful old films and taking part in these preservation projects.

        • Should also give a shout-out to all the directors, cinematographers, set designers, costume designers, and so forth for all their work on those films. There are wonderful gems so many have not yet discovered.

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