The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966)


Don Knotts stars in this allegedly spooky family comedy about a newspaper typesetter who spends a night in a haunted mansion and lives to report the tale. But when no one believes him and he’s taken to court, the judge orders Knotts to take him and the jury to the scene of the supernatural occurrences on a hunt for verifiable truth.

The Ghost and Mr. Chicken is a G-rated family movie made in a time before such films made a concerted effort to connect with adults as much as they did with children. I found the movie tediously un-funny and dull. I wish there were more good-hearted fun inside the mansion, but those scenes are few and far between. Instead, we spend a lot of time in a the newspaper building and a courtroom, with Knotts conceding a great deal of screen time to an enormous roster of supporting characters.

The film may still have an appeal for very young children, but if you’re a grown-up, give up the hope for any double-entendres or jokes that fly over the heads of wee ones. Vic Mizzy’s groovy 60s scoring was the only thing I found enjoyable.

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