The Ghosts of Berkeley Square (1947)

  |  Comedy, Fantasy


The Ghosts of Berkeley Square (1947) Poster

Ghosts are condemned to haunt a house until it is visited by a reigning monarch,


5.9/10
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14 November 2009 | hitchcockthelegend
7
| Invite the Queen to tea, invite the Queen to tea.
Pathe Pictures presents a British National Films LTD production {filmed at Elstree} of The Ghosts of Berkeley Square. Directed by Vernon Sewell, adapted from the novel "No Nightingales" co-written by Caryl Brahms and S.J. Simons and starring Robert Morley & Felix Aylmer as the erstwhile ghosts.

We start in the afterlife during what appears to be a council held by the upper-crust spooks. Here we meet Col. Kelsoe and Gen. Burlap {Morley & Aylmer} who begin to tell us the strange tale of how they came to be condemned for eternity to haunt a mansion in the Mayfair district of London. During the reign of Queen Ann they had planned to capture a war commander in their home in an effort to avert a crisis; but in the process of testing their own cunning contraption they killed themselves! So the sentence is given for them to stay in ghostly purgatory until a reigning monarch visits the house; thus only then will the sentence be deemed to have been served.

The story then sees the decades roll by as the ghosts "live" in hope of the monarchy actually turning up. Not going to be easy because the house falls to a number of quirky inhabitants and is used for a number of interesting things. Be it a place for French dandies to drink and gamble, a Harem, or the Tex Barnum Theatre-with each new occasion causing incredulity to them and fun for us as the ghosts set about either haunting or joining in with the current owners. Morley & Aylmer are a great double act, at times grumpy with each other {they don't speak to each other for 60 odd years!}, at others cunningly effective as they embrace the almost hopeless situation they find themselves in. A number of fine British character actors pop in and out to spice up the story {Thesiger, Hyde-White et al}, and the production is a very good one {note the costumes as each different time period fills out the story}. Full of delightful whimsy from start to finish, this is highly recommended viewing for fans of British comedy. Hey,! when you got a cuckoo clock that tells the year instead of the time......well you know you are on to a winner. 7/10

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