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Classics and discoveries from around the world, thematically programmed with special features, on a streaming service brought to you by the Criterion Collection.
The Canterville Ghost
Directed by Jules Dassin and Norman Z. McLeod • 1944 • United States
Starring Charles Laughton, Robert Young, Margaret O'Brien
Director Jules Dassin scares up plenty of mirth in this wittily imaginative fantasy comedy based on a short story by Oscar Wilde. Three hundred years ago, an act of cowardice by Sir Simon (Charles Laughton) brought shame to the Canterville name and doomed his ghost to haunt the family castle. The only thing that will free his spirit: a daring deed by a descendant. When World War II GI and Canterville kinsman Cuffy Williams (Robert Young) is billeted at the castle, now owned by six-year-old Lady Jessica (Margaret O’Brien), it seems that Sir Simon’s chance to break the spell has finally come—or will Cuffy prove as lily-livered as his ancestors? Vintage special effects and fanciful costumes and sets make this supernatural charmer an evergreen family favorite.