Ghost Story (May 10, 1941)
Released on May 10, 1941: Originally named 'Spellbound,' this tale of a man being inhabited by an evil spirit was re-issued as The Spell of Amy Nugent, Ghost Story and Passing Clouds.
Directed by John Harlow
Written by Robert Benson, Hugh Benson and Miles Malleson.
The Actors: Derek Farr (Laurie Baxter), Vera Lindsay (Diana Hilton), Hay Petrie (Mr. Cathcart), Felix Aylmer (Mr. Morton), Frederick Leister (Mr. Vincent), Marian Spencer (Mrs. Stapleton), Diana King (Amy Nugent), W.G. Fay (Johnnie), Winifred Davis (Mrs. Baxter), Enid Hewitt (Lady Laura Bethel), Gibb McLaughlin (Gibb), Joyce Redman (townswoman), Cameron Hall (Mr. Nugent), Irene Handl (Mrs. Nugent), Stafford Hilliard (townsman), Hannen Swaffer (Swaffer).
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My dad was a preacher, and he firmly believed that spirits from beyond the veil of death could communicate with us. If he had seen this movie, he would have certainly told me that I should not watch it, lest the evil spirits might overtake my soul. When I was a very young boy we lived in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. We had a big coal furnace in the basement, and before I was nine years old he taught me how to add a couple of shovels of coal to the fire to keep it going while they were away from home. I learned how to 'bank' the fire for the night, and how to shake the lever and clear out the ashes that fell to the area below the fire pit. I can still see that furnace in my mind's eye. One of the vivid memories of that furnace involved evil spirits. One day dad and a visitor were talking about evil spirits and ghosts, and the visitor told the story of a young couple that had recently been married. I don't recall the details of their ghostly experience, but I recall that the solution to their ghostly torment was to toss the feather pillows from their bed into their furnace. And when they did, the flames burned away the pillow covers and the pillows were full of strange instruments and evil items. I remember picturing burning pillows in our basement furnace, with strange and devilish items inside. Dad has been gone for many years, and I am no longer as easily impressionable as I was then, but I think that I still believe in forces beyond what we know in our normal world. Whether they are scientific forces that are neither good nor evil that we just don't understand yet, or genuine evil spirits from beyond the grave, I do not know. I don't know if agents of evil can control our physical world, but I do know that if I have not seen proof that these powers do not exist.
Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with warm melted butter, and turn the lights down, but not too low, because too much darkness might suck you into an unknown world . . . I implore you to not watch this motion picture when you are alone. Watch this ghost story with someone that you love and trust . . . and then decide for yourself how much of this story is fiction from the mind of an accomplished author and how much is truth . . . eerily relayed to us in a motion picture that will frighten and bewitch. You will notice that the volume changes and there is one moment of black screen early in the tale, and trust me, these movie anomalies only add to the fear of the evil spirit that is the nexus of this ghostly thriller.
|Cameron Hall and Irene Handl||Derek Farr and W.G. Fay|
|Derek Farr||Derek Farr and Felix Aylmer|
|Diana King||Diana King|
|Felix Aylmer and Hay Petrie||Frederick Leister|
|Felix Leister||Hay Petrie and Vera Lindsay|
|Marian Spencer||Vera Lindsay|
|Vera Lindsay||Marian Spencer and Enid Hewitt|
|Vera Lindsay and Hay Petrie||Vera Lindsay and Winifred Davis|
|W.G. Fay||Winifred Davis and Marian Spencer|