Movie Review: Hold That Ghost (1941)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the Abbott and Costello film that also stars Joan Davis and Eveyln Ankers.

Synopsis: A pair of gas station attendants get caught up in a high speed chase with a gangster. The gangster is shot by police and, because his will leaves his possessions to whoever was near him when he died, the friends inherit the gangster's remote cabin. However, when they travel to visit their inheritance, they and others in the bus they were traveling in are left stranded at the rundown building and, before too long, one of their group is murdered.

Who's In It?


Even though I had, personally, saw an Abbott and Costello film earlier this week, it had been a while since I watched one with my oldest daughter (also a big fan). So, since this was our movie night, I decided to give this film a try.

Even though I had seen this movie before, it had been a while since I had watched it and I didn't remember too much about it as a result. As it turns out, this movie proved to be one of the funniest I've seen.

I think the thing that really helps this film is the talented supporting cast. Abbott and Costello are the obvious stars. But, their co-stars also do an excellent job. This is especially true of Davis, who had an opportunity to show off her comedy skills and, at times, was as funny as the starring comedy duo. In fact, one of the most memorable scenes in this movie, in my opinion at least, had to be that dance scene involving her and Costello. My daughter was laughing so hard, she had tears in her eyes.

I was a little worried the movie would spend a great deal of time falling back on the same Abbott and Costello routines that seem to appear in many of their movies. However, while there were some familiar jokes (mostly relating to Costello's character seeing something that would conveniently disappear before Abbott came into the room), there was quite a bit of fresh material too. This, again, was helped by the fact the talented supporting cast was there to break things up a bit.

My only real complaint about this movie is I wish it would have had more of a mystery about who was pretending to be a ghost and why. This part of the movie was actually pretty predictable and not overly difficult to figure out as a result. While it didn't really detract from the movie, I think it would have still been better had there been more of an effort made.

Hold That Ghost [VHS]

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Final Opinion

As I said, this movie, while a little predictable, did prove to be a very funny film we all enjoyed. I'm glad we took the time to watch it and I would recommend seeing it if you have a chance to.

My Grade: A

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Updated: 10/02/2015, StevenHelmer
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DerdriuMarriner on 03/26/2022

StevenHelmer, Thank you for product lines, pretty pictures and practical information.
The library system has a complete collection of Abbott and Costello films, but that collection has no Hold That Ghost. So l'll not be seeing it in the immediate present.

Would it be possible that it's a legacy and a side-effect of live-tour performances that winning routines would be incorporated over and over in films, tantamount to their being showcased in town after town albeit to different audiences?

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