Synopsis: A typesetter gets his long-awaited opportunity to be a reporter when he’s asked to spend the night in a notorious mansion on the 20th anniversary of the murder/suicide that took place there. When he reports the house is haunted, he is sued for libel and must prove to the whole town he didn’t make the story up in order to save his already questionable reputation.
Movie Review: The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966)
A review of the 1966 movie starring Don Knotts and Dick Sargent.
A Good Comedy and Mystery
My oldest daughter is familiar with Don Knotts from watching reruns of “The Andy Griffith Show” with me and, as a result of that, I figured this would be a good movie for us to watch together. It turns out I was right.
I had seen this movie a while ago but couldn’t remember much about it when we started watching it. This proved to be a good thing because it made the story relatively fresh for me too and, because of that, I found it was much more entertaining than I remember it being.
Knotts, for his part, is fantastic as the reporter wannabe Luther Heggs. When we started watching this movie, I figured he would be playing a role very similar to his Barney Fife character from “The Andy Griffith Show.” However, while there were admittedly some similarities (especially with his insistence he was a karate expert), there were just enough differences to keep him unique while still being very funny when it came to some of the physical comedy.
Another thing I liked about this movie was the fact it had a good mystery. I was a little skeptical there was a real ghost in the house. However, if it was a hoax, I didn’t see anybody that had any real reason to pull it off, though there were some characters I suspected were up to something shady and quickly pointed them out to my daughter as people to keep a close eye on.
One thing my daughter enjoyed in particular was the number of familiar faces she recognized from watching other classic movies and TV shows with me. She didn’t know who Dick Sargent was. But, in addition to recognizing Knotts, she was able to point out some of the actors/actresses, including Hal Smith playing a role very similar to his Otis Campbell character on “The Andy Griffith Show.” This familiarity is something that always makes movies much more enjoyable for us.
This is a good classic mystery and comedy that we definitely enjoyed watching together. It’s a movie I would recommend taking the time to watch if you haven’t seen it before or if you haven’t seen it in a long while.
My Grade: B
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