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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 8, No. 7. June 13, 1945

The Canterville Ghost — * * * * Comedy

The Canterville Ghost

* * * * Comedy.

The Canterville Ghost is quite delightful. You can tell every turn of the plot several minutes ahead, but it has been produced and acted in a very engaging manner. The pride and joy of the film and of my heart, Margaret O'Brien, is practically the only woman, and you don't miss the others. This little girl is the only screen infant most people can bear, and if Hollywood can keep its hands off her, and leave her direction to a sympathetic character with a sense of humour who won't let her get above herself, then she will go on stealing scenes and films from grown-up stars, and a good thing too, the way many of them are. It is very obvious that the people in her films are extremely fond of her. There is an air of intimacy and cosiness (and credibility, too) in The Canterville Ghost that is unexpected when the scary nature of the story is considered. Robert Young, who has that sense of humour required above, and Charles Laughton, a solid-looking ghost, back up Miss O'Brien, and have fun doing so.

The plot is Just one of those things, supposed to be by Oscar Wilde, with a Young Man being a bit of a Coward, but Regenerating himself at the End. All the bit players are good, though most are stock characters like the British Servant and the Dowager and the Brooklyn Jerk. I don't think Hollywood has really got beyond the Yank at Eton stage yet.

Best scenes: the entrance of the Lady de Canterville, and a very British tea-party given for American Commandos. Recommended highly, this show.