For this month’s final review for Genre Grandeur – 60’s Comedies. here’s a review of The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966) by Michaela of Love Letters to Hollywood.
In case you missed any of the reviews, here’s a recap:
- The Apartment (1960) – David
- Father Goose (1964) – J-Dub
- Sunday in New York (1963) – Emily
- The Producers (1968) – David
- Yours, Mine and Ours (1968) – Rob
- Funny Girl (1968) – Darren
- A Blonde in Love (1965) – Paul
- Cul de Sac (1966) – David
- The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966) – Michaela
In addition, I watched 4 movies in my companion series Genre Guesstimation. Unfortunately, None of those films will now be considered among my favorites in the genre.
- Boeing, Boeing (1965)
- Bye, Bye Braverman (1968)
- Paint Your Wagon (1969)
- Sunday in New York (1963)
Thanks again to Michaela of Love Letters to Hollywood for choosing this month’s genre.
Next month’s genre has been chosen by Me. Since the new James Bond film – No Time to Die (2021) is finally being released I have chosen that we will be reviewing our favorite Spy/Espionage Movies.
Please get me your submissions by the 25th of Oct by sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Try to think out of the box!
Let’s see what Michaela thought of this movie:
The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966)
Michaela, Love Letters to Old Hollywood
During the colossally awful year that was 2020, I tried to soothe myself by decorating early for Halloween and getting a head start on my spooky movie watchlist. Every year I try to add a few new favorites to my line-up and I was delighted to make The Ghost and Mr. Chicken, a fabulous comedy starring Don Knotts, one of those additions last September.
As soon as the film opened with that classic ‘60s Universal logo and I heard the beginnings of Vic Mizzy’s catchy score, I fell in love with The Ghost and Mr. Chicken. For a week after that first viewing, I couldn’t stop thinking about it and how good it made me feel. It seems strange to say that considering the plot involves a bloodcurdling murder-suicide and a cobweb-infested haunted house, but there is a sweetness to the film that I can’t get enough of thanks to the small-town setting, underdog story, cozy aesthetics (well, cozy to me, anyway), and the wannabe reporter at the center of it all, Knotts’s Luther Heggs.
For a film I had never seen before, I felt an instant nostalgia for The Ghost and Mr. Chicken, as if I had grown up with it instead of discovered it in my 20s. A year later, I’m still not sure why this feeling washes over me every time I put it on, but I have a suspicion it might be because of the cast. I grew up watching Don Knotts on late-night reruns of Three’s Company, Charles Lane and Philip Ober on I Love Lucy, Dick Sargent on Bewitched, and Reta Shaw in Mary Poppins. Once I became obsessed with classic Hollywood, I became more familiar with them and their other castmates, like Ellen Corby and George Chandler. Seeing all of these character actors in The Ghost and Mr. Chicken is like seeing a bunch of old friends, and I appreciate how the film lets them all shine. Every single character has a quirk or persona — or voice! So many great voices! — that individualizes them so beautifully that by the end of the film, you remember exactly who every character was.
And then there is Vic Mizzy’s score. As someone who has adored The Addams Family for most of her life, hearing that same composer’s music in a similar setting as that creepy, kooky, altogether ooky TV show likely hit my brain’s nostalgia button. I absolutely love Mizzy and his music for The Ghost and Mr. Chicken is just the perfect mix of scary, silly, and cool ‘60s vibes.
Although the story is a little predictable and Luther’s lovely romantic interest, Alma (Joan Staley), doesn’t have much to do, The Ghost and Mr. Chicken has become one of my go-to comfort films. Just thinking about it elicits this warm, secure feeling, like a big cable-knit sweater on a crisp autumn day. To quote the film: Attaboy, Luther!