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The Canterville Ghost


List Price: $19.99
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The Canterville Ghost + The Ghost and Mrs. Muir + The Uninvited (Criterion Collection)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Charles Laughton, Robert Young, Margaret O'Brien, William Gargan, Reginald Owen
  • Directors: Jules Dassin
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Bros.
  • DVD Release Date: February 16, 2006
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003MJZ07E
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,495 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

One brave act and the spell is broken! The specter of Sir Simon de Canterville has haunted Canterville Castle for 300 years, ever since he was walled up alive for cowardice. A daring deed by a kinsman will free his spirit. Unfortunately, the Cantervilles are a timorous lot and Simon is out of luck. Then World War II GIs are billeted at the castle and among them is Canterville descendent Cuffy Williams. But could Cuffy be cursed with the family lily liver? Charles Laughton (as the ghost), Robert Young (as Cuffy) and Margaret O'Brien (as the castle's six-year-old current owner) conjure peals of merry laughter out of an exuberant, ingenious comedy based on an Oscar Wilde tale and cleverly directed by Jules Dassin (Rififi, Topkapi).

This product is manufactured on demand using DVD-R recordable media. Amazon.com's standard return policy will apply.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
72
4 star
22
3 star
2
2 star
0
1 star
6
See all 102 customer reviews
This is a very funny movie--great dance scene as well.
S. Frizzell
We watch it together and I enjoy seeing them laugh at a movie I remembered from my childhood.
Alljoyus1
I've always loved this movie, and it's great to finally have it in DVD format.
Lynette Stark

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

66 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Simon Davis on February 26, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
Based on a short story by non other than the legendary Oscar Wilde this version of the "The Canterville Ghost" makes really delightful viewing boasting top notch production values, a superb cast in fine form, and a terrific look that gives the film an appealing and enjoyable appearance.
Being in theory a ghost story the story is full of much well seasoned comedy and really is a film suitable for the whole family to enjoy. I tend to watch this film around Christmas each year and never fail to enjoy the high spirited carryings on of Charles Laughton in what I feel is one of his most appealing roles. "The Canterville Ghost", set in one of those far off misty castles that only MGM could cunger up, tells the story of how Sir. Simon de Canterville through an act of cowardice is walled up in a room of the castle and is doomed to walk the face of the earth for all eternity unless a relative can commit an act of bravery to lift the curse from him. The story jumps ahead a few centuries to the present (1944) where the castle is occupied by visiting soldiers involved in the war. Among them is Sir. Simon's distant relative Cuffy Williams (Robert Young at his most endearing) who is the one selected to perform the brave deed to free his ancestor from his ghostly imprisonment. The tale is an amusing one as Laughton's character first tries to scare and then win over his cynical relative to help him. Charles Laughton is wonderful as the cowardly ghost appearing out of nowhere, screaming, rattling chains and showing his own failings only too obviously. He is surrounded by a terrific supporting cast beginning with gifted child actress Margaret O'Brien as Lady Jessica de Canterville the present owner of the castle.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 22, 1999
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
By far the Best version of the many made of Canterville Ghost! Robert Young plays his part so well! And the little girl is an inspiration! Many laughs!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By David Bower TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 29, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Having read the reviews I'm reminded of my reaction when I first saw the movie "Dune" which was based on the book of the same name written by Frank Herbert; I felt any similarity between the book and the movie was strictly coincidental. I will now confess that I have never read the short story from which this version of "The Canterville Ghost" was taken so I cannot make that comparison.

I will add, however, that I made peace with the movie "Dune" as I came to realize that although it didn't measure up to my memory of the book, it was, on its own, an interesting and worthwhile creation. Having made my peace with the movie I have been able to enjoy it for many years.

I first saw this version of "The Canterville Ghost" many, many years ago; I would guess it was shortly after it was released in 1944 (I'm one of a diminishing number of Americans who can remember where they were, and what they were doing when the announcement came over the radio that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor). Patriotism was running high in the United States in those days and the people of this country were solidly behind the war effort.

A movie such as this, that featured our soldiers, had a built in advantage in the minds of Americans in those days; I doubt that influenced my decision to see the movie the first time, as I was always intrigued by ghost stories. The movie left an impression on me that did not go away for the following 66 years so when I decided recently to buy the DVD I was looking forward to seeing it all over again.

You can imagine my disappointment when large portions of the DVD wouldn't play even when tried on several DVD players. I was able to watch enough of it to rekindle my fires of enthusiasm for the movie.
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45 of 56 people found the following review helpful By A. Salgado on April 22, 2010
Format: DVD
Listen Warner Bros.If you are going to put out Classics please do it right.Do you know how long ive waited for this movie to be put on dvd.By my suprise its a dvd-r bootleg quality cheap packaging and a really expensive price for a bootleg quality dvd.These Archive collection is great and titles that are finally be put on dvd is amazing,but i will not buy for the fact they are dvd-r a non collectible format which i hear doesnt last forever.It just would not feel right in my collection knowing it bootleg quality.anyway the movie gets 5 stars,and hopefully a real pressed copy will be put on dvd someday,Listen to ur customers nobody wants dvd-r.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 7, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
This is a movie that could cure a rainy day. Great story, great cast, fun SFX (even by modern standings). I think this is the kind of movie they're trying to make again, with mixed success. Funny without being coarse, outrageously sentimental without being cloying, and, my goodness--the "chemistry"! Entertainment you don't have to feel guilty about enjoying.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By K. Chisholm on February 11, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
In my opinion,this was the best rendition of the story.Charles Laughton with Robert Young,Capt.Bligh with Dr.Marcus Welby! But most of all the theme of this movie rings true for every generation.This marks this rare film,finally onDVD,well worth the wait!"Try it ,you'll like it"(sorry,Mikey)
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Monty Moonlight VINE VOICE on September 8, 2007
Format: VHS Tape
When 17th Century blowhard Sir Simon de Canterville, born of a pompous but cowardly stock, finds himself in a duel he cannot win, he naturally chickens out. Challenged by the enemy to wall up a potential hiding place, Sir Simon's father unwittingly bricks him into his tomb. But, before the last brick is in place, Simon gives up and begs to be freed. His cruelly proud father refuses and sets a curse upon his doomed son to haunt the castle of the Cantervilles until a descendent baring the family birthmark wears Simon's ring while performing an act of courage. Only then will Sir Simon's ghost be allowed to rest.

Flash forward to WWII, when a group of U.S. soldiers are sent to Canterville Castle to be housed. Six-year-old Lady Jessica de Canterville is the present owner and is eager to greet the Americans she expects to be cowboys and Indians. Acting as a proper and charming host the soldiers are immediately endeared to, Lady Jessica soon finds herself telling the men of the castle's ghostly presence. One young soldier in particular, Cuffy Williams, is not so quick to believe the strange tale, but the soldiers soon see the specter for themselves and hi-jinks ensue. After Cuffy and Lady Jessica befriend the frazzled spirit of Sir Simon, he relays to them his plight, and upon discovering the birthmark on Cuffy's neck, the pair agree to help set the old ghost at rest. This proves more difficult than it sounds, for everyone wonders if his first encounter with the Nazis will cause Cuffy to turn coward in the finest Canterville family tradition!

1944's "The Canterville Ghost" puts a wartime spin on the Oscar Wild tale with very pleasant results. The movie is about as 1940's as it gets, with wonderfully clean humor and plenty of heart, a delightfully swingin' party scene, U.S. vs.
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