Blu-Ray Review: The Cat And The Canary/The Ghost Breakers

If you’re from a certain generation, Bob Hope was arguably the most quintessential American comedian. He made over fifty films in a career which spanned a number of mediums. Probably best known for his collaboration with Bing Crosby in the ‘Road’ films, he was an ever present in the entertainment industry for decades. His major breakthrough was signing for Paramount at the end of the 1930s. He was paired up with Paulette Goddard for three films. Eureka bring two of them together in a new set.

The Cat and The Canary

A Millionaire’s eccentricity doesn’t necessarily die with him. Ten years after his death, his remaining relatives are summoned to his mansion in the Louisiana bayous. His niece (Goddard) is named sole heir. She must remain in the old house overnight, surrounded by jealous losers and a maid who dabbles in the supernatural. There’s also a homicidal maniac on the loose and she only has a timid Wally (Hope) to protect her. The chemistry between the leads is electric in Elliott Nugent’s horror comedy, but it’s Goddard who steals the show. Mixing in the elements of mystery with a spooky twist. It’s great fun and clever with it.

The Ghost Breakers

Larry Lawrence (Hope) is on the run from the New York police for a murder he didn’t commit. He stows away in a trunk, on to find himself on a boat bound for Cuba. The owner, Mary Carter (Goddard), is bemused by his appearance. She’s on her way to reclaim an inheritance. Fearing for her safety, they go ahead to fight the living and the dead. Hope is given much more licence and it feels like there’s a one-liner every other sentence in George Marshall’s almost screwball comedy. It’s a little too much, but there’s certainly no shortage of things going on to take your mind off of it.

Special features:

  • Limited Edition slipcase [2000 copies]
  • 1080p presentation of both films from scans of the original film elements supplied by Universal, with The Ghost Breakers presented from a new 2K master
  • Optional English SDH
  • Brand new audio commentary tracks on both films with Kevin Lyons and Jonathan Rigby
  • Kim Newman on “The Cat and the Canary” and “The Ghost Breakers”
  • “The Ghost Breakers” 1949 radio adaptation
  • Trailers
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original poster artwork
  • A limited edition collector’s booklet featuring new writing by Craig Ian Mann [2000 copies]

The Cat and the Canary/The Ghost Breakers is released on Blu-ray by Eureka Classics on 5 December.

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