The Ghost Breakers (1940)

35mm film, black and white, 1.37:1
mono, English

An American comedy horror film directed by George Marshall. The same story was restaged for radio, again starring Bob Hope, as part of the Screen Directors Playhouse series on 14 June 1951.

Plot Summary

Mary Carter has inherited a supposedly haunted old house on an island off Cuba. She moves in accompanied by radio broadcaster Larry Lawrence who has fled New York with his butler Alex in the mistaken belief that he's killed a mobster. They're soon being visited by the ghost of one of
Mary's ancestors and battling a zombie.


* = uncredited

Directed by: George Marshall
Copyright MCMXL [1940] by Paramount Pictures Inc.
A Paramount picture
Executive Producer: William LeBaron *
Produced by: Arthur Hornblow Jr
Screen Play by: Walter DeLeon
Based on a Play by: Paul Dickey and Charles W. Goddard
Assistant Director: Mel Epstein *
Director of Photography: Charles Lang
Assistant Camera: Bill Heckler *, Andrew J. Durkus *
Edited by: Ellsworth Hoagland
Music Score by: Ernst Toch
Music Adviser: Andrea Setaro
Sound Recording by: Harold Lewis, Richard Olson
Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording
Costumes: Edith Head
Process Photography by: Farciot Edouart
Art Direction: Hans Dreier, Robert Usher
Interior Decorations: A.E. Freudeman

Bob Hope (Larry Lawrence)
Paulette Goddard (Mary Carter)
Richard Carlson (Geoff Montgomery)
Paul Lukas (Parada)
Anthony Quinn (Ramon Mederes/Francisco Mederes)
Willie Best (Alex)
Pedro De Cordoba (Havez)
Virginia Brissac (mother zombie)
Noble Johnson (the zombie)
Tom Dugan (Raspy Kelly)
Paul Fix (Frenchy Duval)
Lloyd Corrigan (Martin)
Jack Norton [drunk] *
Emmett Vogan [announcer] *
Grace Hayle [screaming woman] *
Robert Elliott [Lieutenant Murray] *
James Blaine [police sergeant] *
Jack Hatfield [elevator boy] *
David Durand [bellhop] *
James Flavin [hotel porter] *
Leonard Sues [newsboy] *
Jack Edwards [ship bellboy] *
Max Wagner [ship porter] *
Paul Newlan [baggage man] *
Francisco Maran [headwaiter] *
Blanca Vischer [Dolores, Cuban girl] *
Douglas Kennedy *, Robert Ryan [interns] *
Kay Stewart [telephone girl] *

Alternative Titles

El castillo maldito – Spain
La donna e lo spettro – Italy
Dus med spøgelserne – Denmark
Ingen rädder för spöken – Sweden
Kynigos fantasmaton – Greece
Mustan saaren kummitus – Finland
Le mystère du château maudit – France

See also
The Ghost Breaker (1914)
The Ghost Breaker (1922)
Scared Stiff (1953)

Extracts included in
Svengoolie: The Ghost Breakers (1999)
Terror in the Aisles (1984)



  • Castle of Frankenstein no.10 p.36
  • Kine Weekly no.1737 (August 1940) – review
  • Monthly Film Bulletin vol.7 no.80 (August 1940) p.128 – credits, review
  • Motion Picture Herald vol139 no.11 (15 June 1940) – review
  • The Picturegoer vol.9 no.489 (5 October 1940) p.35 – synopsis
  • Sight & Sound Supplement no.14 March 1948 p.12 – credits, article
  • Today's Cinema vol.55 no.4451 (7 August 1940) – review


  • The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror by Phil Hardy (ed.) p.75
  • Comedy-Horror Films: A Chronological History, 1914-2008 by Bruce G. Hallenbeck pp.28-30; 211 – review; credits
  • A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series by Ken Hanke pp.116-118; 118
  • Feature Films, 1940-1949: A United States Filmography by Alan G. Fetrow p.172
  • and Angels in Hollywood Films by James Robert Parish pp.114-117 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films IV by Donald C. Willis p.195
  • Horrorshows: The A-Z of Horror in Film, TV, Radio and Theatre by Gene Wright p.230 – credits, review
  • Recovering 1940s Horror Cinema: Traces of a Lost Decade by Mario DeGiglio-Bellemare, Charlie Ellbé and Kristopher Woofter (eds.) pp.148, 230
  • by Walt Lee p.160 – credits
  • Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Film Sequels, Series, and Remakes by Kim R. Holston and Tom Winchester p.231-232
  • The Zombie Movie Encyclopedia by Peter Dendle p.73-74