|Genre: Fantasy, Comedy, Ghosts, World War II, Supernatural, Gore, Military, Fantasy, Haunted House|
Plot: In Jule Dassin's adaptation of Oscar Wild's THE CANTERVILLE GHOST, a group of American soldiers waiting to fight in World War II are billeted in Canterville Castle. They are amused when Lady de Canterville, their hostess, instead of being the expected dowager, turns out to be seven-year-old Jessica (Margaret O'Brien). They are also amused to discover that the house is haunted. When Jessica's ancestor, Simon de Canterville (Charles Laughton), ran away from a duel, he was walled up in an alcove, his ghost doomed to roam the corridors of the ancestral home. The soldiers refuse to be intimidated by the ghost. Then, one of them, Cuffy Williams (Robert Young), discovers that he too is a de Canterville, and Jessica thinks he might be able to save the family honor.
In 1887, Oscar Wilde wrote his story about the Canterville ghost, telling of an American family who annoy the ghost by refusing to believe in him. In updating the setting of the tale to wartime Britain, screenwriter Edwin Harvey Blum and director Jules Dassin radically rework Wilde's story. The result is an amusing tale, with Margaret O'Brien as the grave young heroine, Young as the charming American struggling with the Canterville curse, and Laughton having a great time as the weary ghost.
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