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Ghost and Mr Chicken (1966)
Topic Started: Mar 2 2017, 07:20 AM (236 Views)
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Movie Watcha Foist Class
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Barney Pfiffe has taken a job at a small Kansas newspaper and hopes someday to be a reporter. Rather than go to journalism school like all them fancy reporters at CNN who learn how to tell a story the way they are told to slant it-- he does it the old fashioned way working in the typesetting department and waiting for his big break.

Well, said break arrives when the paper's custodian convinces him to run a filler article on the old Simmons House which was the scene of a ghastly murder some years before, and the filler ignites such interest from the townspeople that they decide to do a full series of feature articles on it and Barney ends up getting the gig.

Luther camps out on the anniversary of the murder night inside the Simmons House and as expected terror ensues and Luther does his best to report it bringing forth the local supernatural fan club who make him the town hero.

Meanwhile the owner of said House-- which just happens to be 1313 Mockingbird Lane for anyone who cares to notice, will have none of it and insists he will go ahead with his plans to tear the place down much to the objection of the townspeople who think it's a historical landmark. The only way he can succeed in his efforts is to discredit Heggs as the excitable lunatic he actually is and thus begins a courtroom drama on the same epic scale of the Stooges DISORDER IN THE COURT.

Okay to be fair he's not Barney Pfiffe he's Luther Heggs but they're both played by Don Knotts who you either find delightfully funny or annoying-- he was not known for his range. The movie is also peppered with many of Mayberry's supporting cast and was even Ghost-Written by Andy Griffith.

I fall into the former group, having always thought Barney was the best part of the ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW so I'm a fan of this one.

It also ignited a national catch phrase as a member of the crowd at all events keeps yelling out "ATTABOY Luther!" which in turn led to the Summer of ATTABOY which plagued the nation while they were waiting in line to see the big screen version of the Adam West Batman show in theaters.

It's a fun little movie with a lot of great character actors.

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Stony Brooke da Mesquiteer
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Sapient Balconeer
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I saw this at the theater when I was 8 or 9 and it was pretty frightening to me, especially the scene with the blood coming out of the portrait. I saw this again about 10 years ago and even before that 2nd viewing I always remembered the line other than "Atta boy Luther" that's prevalent in the film: "They even used Bon Ami."

I enjoy this film as well.
It's like Rodney King used to say, "Can't we all get a bong."
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Balcony Gang, Foist Class
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Don Knotts was a comic actor, not a comedian. His gift was doing whatever the TV-grade script said and making it play funnier, even for grownups.

"Shakiest Gun in the West" is not as good as "Paleface", but you can argue Knotts is better casting that Bob Hope. He's right as the cowardly dentist fooled into thinking he's a crack shot, and he gets his laughs without a stream of wisecracks to the audience. At one point he dresses up as an Indian squaw and actually makes it funny.

"The Love God?" is maddening because the idea of Don Knotts as Hugh Hefner is brilliant, and the film starts out by ingeniously making it plausible. But it reverts to toothless Universal sitcom comedy, and any spoofing of Playboy -- aside from the magazine's pretentions -- is weak and off-target (Hefner as a lust object for little old ladies?). I wish they could have done a remake a few decades later, when Hefner was beginning to become Don Knotts.
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