Paramount followed up its successful Bob Hope/Paulette Goddard co-starrer The Cat and the Canary (1939) by warming up another venerable "old dark house" stage play, Paul Dickey and Charles Goddard's The Ghost Breaker, pluralizing the title to accommodate both stars. This time Hope plays radio personality Lawrence L. Lawrence (the middle initial stands for Lawrence: "My folks had no imagination") who has to flee New York to avoid being mistakenly arrested for murder. He and his manservant Alex (Willie Best) book passage on a Cuba-bound liner, where they meet lovely heiress Mary Carter (Paulette Goddard). She is heading to Cuba to take charge of her ancestral mansion, despite warnings from several sinister characters that to enter this "haunted" house will mean certain death. Appointing himself Mary's protector, Lawrence investigates the mansion on his own, thereby crossing the path of a zombie (Noble Johnson) and an apparently genuine ghost. He also meets the twin brother of the man he's accused of killing (Anthony Quinn), who seems the most likely suspect when Mary nearly comes to harm. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Bob Hope and Willie Best are a comedic team to be reckoned with. Their timing is perfect, the story line moves along...pretty girl, guy (Lawrence Lawrence Lawrence played by Bob Hope) who needs her help to escape from the Mob. Long story short they all end up in Cuba at an Island off of Cuba that holds the haunted mansion that heiress Mary Carter inherits but not without it's spooky ghosts and a riddle to be solved. Saw this years ago and it was great to see it again. Remember, times have changed and the stereotypes abound. Also, on a sad note, Willie Best's career was ruined after this. Well worth the rental.