The Ghost Train (1941)

April 22nd, 2024
Author: Meredith Taylor

Dir: Walter Forde | Writers: Arnold Ridley, J.O.C. Orton Val Guest | Cast: Arthur Askey, Richard Murdoch, Kathleen Harrison | UK Comedy

Gainsborough Studios long seemed to have held a predilection for trains since they were responsible for the original silent version of Arnold Ridley’s classic play, along with Oh! Mr Porter and The Lady Vanishes (which also featured Linden Travers); while director Walter Forde’s background in comic shorts and his classic 1932 drama Rome Express made him just the man to undertake this third version as a vehicle for the egregious Arthur Askey.

Oh! Mr Porter also concerned a local legend concerning a stretch of haunted rail line (and shares a baleful Herbert Lomas with ‘Ask a Policeman’), but the plot has been brought up to date by making the baddies Nazi fifth columnists rather than IRA gun runners, with such topical references as jokes about food coupons and ration books and when Askey challenges a parrot to say ‘Heil Hitler!’ @RichardChatten


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