The Ghost Goes West

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The Ghost Goes West
The Ghost Goes West FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed by René Clair
Produced by Alexander Korda
Written by Story: Eric Keown
Screenplay: René Clair
Geoffrey Kerr
Robert E. Sherwood
Lajos Biro[1]
Starring Robert Donat
Jean Parker
Eugene Pallette
Music by Mischa Spoliansky
Cinematography Harold Rosson
Edited by Henry Cornelius
Harold Earle-Fishbacher
Distributed by United Artists
Release date
17 December 1935 (UK)
Running time
95 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

The Ghost Goes West (1935) is a British romantic comedy/fantasy film starring Robert Donat, Jean Parker, and Eugene Pallette, and directed by René Clair, his first English-language film. The film contrasts an Old World ghost dealing with American vulgarity.

This rather cosmopolitan production combines an Hungarian-born British producer, a French director, and an American writer in a British film. This movie was the biggest grossing movie in 1936 in Great Britain.


Peggy Martin (Parker), the daughter of a rich American businessman (Eugene Pallette), persuades him to purchase a Scottish castle from Donald Glourie (Robert Donat), dismantle it and move it to Florida. Along with the castle goes its ghost.

Murdoch Glourie (also played by Donat) haunts the castle after dying a coward’s death in the 18th century. To find rest, he must get a descendant of the enemy Clan MacClaggan to admit that one Glourie is worth fifty MacClaggans.

Main cast[edit]



  • Both the original treatment and the final cutting continuity were published in Successful Film Writing as Illustrated by 'the Ghost Goes West' by Seton Margrave. London: Methuen & Co. Ltd., 1936.

Critical response[edit]

Writing for The Spectator in 1935, Graham Greene praised the film, noting in particular how the "camera sense" of René Clair (whose prior films were primarily satiric in nature) manifested itself in the film's "feeling of mobility, of visual freedom" and highlighted Clair's directorial genius. Greene also praised the acting of Pallette and Donat, describing Pallette's portrayal of an American millionaire as the finest performance of his career, and Donat's acting style as imbued with "invincible naturalness".[2]

The film was voted the best British movie of 1936.[3]

It was the 13th most popular movie at the British box office in 1935-36.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Ghost Goes West at Turner Classic Movies
  2. ^ Greene, Graham (27 December 1935). "The Ghost Goes West". The Spectator.  (reprinted in: John Russel, Taylor, ed. (1980). The Pleasure Dome. pp. 40–41. ISBN 0192812866. )
  3. ^ "BEST FILM PERFORMANCE LAST YEAR.". Examiner (Launceston, Tas. : 1900 - 1954). Launceston, Tas.: National Library of Australia. 9 July 1937. p. 8 Edition: LATE NEWS EDITION and DAILY. Retrieved 4 March 2013. 

External links[edit]