20 February 2006 | aimless-46
This Should Be Released on DVD
Early talking picture featuring one of Beryl Mercer's more fun roles. She plays Mrs. Gubbins, a greedy Cockney woman whose soldier stepson Jimmy (played by Charles McNaughton) is off at the front. When he is reported as killed in action she shows little remorse and gets right to work spending his insurance money. Unfortunately for Mrs. Gubbins, Jimmie was captured rather than killed and returns home with two other soldiers to find mum Gubbins enjoying the insurance proceeds. Mercer has a lot of fun with this role and demonstrates a side to her performance talents not seen in more familiar later work where she typically played sweet old ladies.
Complicating the situation are the police who are after the other two soldiers; Spoofy, a shell-shocked klepto who has lost his memory, and William who joined the British Army to avoid jail in America.
This was the first credited part for Robert Mongomery who would go on to do "Here Comes Mr. Jordan" with Claude Raines. The cast also includes Joan Bennett, only 19 at the time of "Three Live Ghosts" Bennett had a lot of mileage on her already. Although coming from an acting family she had turned her back on the profession, married at age 16, had a baby, and divorced shortly after. Needing to support herself she returned to acting in 1928 and had a long and very successful career.