Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

OVERLOOKED FILM: LUCKY GHOST (1942)

Back in the day, Black films (also known as "race" films) -- featuring all Black actors and produced for Black audiences who were not allowed into white theaters -- were the province of Black production companies that ranked several notches below Hollywood's Poverty Row; one such company was Dixie National Pictures, Inc., which came up with this gem in 1942.

Mantan Moreland, the under-rated (and sometimes mocked) comic actor, and F. E. Miller, a Tony-nominated "seminal" figure in the development of African-American musical theater, play Washington and Jefferson, two hobos down on their luck.  Then, Washington (Moreland) has some luck with dice, winning cash, a car, and a chauffeur (!).  This is parlayed into a old sanitarium fronting for a gambling den -- but with the sanitarium comes the restless ghosts of its past residents.

Lucky Ghost has also appeared under the title Lady Luck and has been reviewed as (unfortunately) Mantan Sees a Ghost.  Despite some approbation from today's politically correct viewers, Lucky Ghost remains both charming and funny, and displays some great talent in its "ALL STAR COLORED CAST."

Lucky Ghost was directed by "William X. Crowley" -- one of the many names used by the prolific William Beaudine, who directed between 300 and 500 films, as well as hundreds of television shows, in a career that lasted over 60 years.  Lex Neal (who died at age 46 two years before the film was released) and Vernon Smith (who has 67 writing credits from 1924 to 1942 on IMDb) are credited with the story -- Lucky Ghost was the last full film for both writers.

Enjoy this "Thriller-Diller Laff Sensation Feature!"


https://archive.org/details/LuckyGhost

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