Goddard plays Mary Carter, who inherits a haunted castle in Cuba. As Mary prepares to leave New York for Cuba one dark and stormy night, she meets radio broadcaster Larry Lawrence, who erroneously believes he's killed a mobster. Mary, Larry, and Larry's butler, Alex (Willie Best), sail for Cuba and the castle, where they must contend with ghosts, a zombie, and hidden treasure.
I really love Goddard, whose lively intelligence and game-for-anything personality both appear to good effect here. She's well teamed in her second film with Hope, who I find funnier when his comedy is toned down, as it is in the film; Hope plays a real character, rather than coming off as a comedian with an endless supply of one-liners.
They receive excellent support from Willie Best, who by rights should be billed third, rather than lower down in the cast. Best has great comic timing.
The supporting cast includes Richard Carlson, Paul Lukas, Anthony Quinn, and Tom Dugan.
THE GHOST BREAKERS runs a well-paced 85 minutes. The atmospheric black and white cinematography was by Charles Lane, and Goddard's fetching wardrobe was designed by the great Edith Head.
THE GHOST BREAKERS was directed by George Marshall, who made several other films with Paulette Goddard, including HAZARD (1948); he also worked on other films with Hope. Marshall specialized in comedies and Westerns. A few years later he made another spooky comedy, MURDER, HE SAYS (1945), starring Fred MacMurray.
THE GHOST BREAKERS has been released on VHS and has had multiple releases on DVD, including a 2003 release.
I watched a DVD which is part of last year's Bob Hope: Thanks for the Memories Collection. The print was somewhat soft but otherwise in good shape. The six-film DVD set includes the two other films Hope made with Goddard, THE CAT AND THE CANARY (1939) and NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH (1941).