With Halloween coming up lots of us are in the “spooky” movie mood. There are several very good family-friendly “spooky” movies for those young and old who don’t really like things that are spooky or scary. A personal favorite of mine that fits this description is “The Ghost and Mr. Chricken” starring the comedic legend Don Knotts. I grew up in a home where “The Ghost and Mr. Chicken” was a cherished family favorite. It was not until I was in college that I came to realize that there were actually quite a few fans out there. Little wonder. It is a definite comedy classic.
To be honest, I am not overly fond of the look and feel of most late 60s comedy movies, but this one quite pronounces itself with great writing and outstanding casting. Let me emphasize that second point starting with Don Knotts absolutely perfect as the very nervous but very likable main protagonist Luther Heggs.
Knotts is not the only Andy Griffith alumni featured in this movie. There are six here who played prominent roles in at least one episode of the show. And there are a number of others who had only bit acting parts. In addition, both the GaMC movie and AG show shared some important crew members. I have even heard that Andy Griffith assisted with the writing. (He isn’t listed in the credits so that is just hear-say as far am concerned.) None of this is a surprise since the movie itself is veritably oozing with Andy Griffith-like charm.
Here’s the low down for those who have never seen this classic: In summary, “The Ghost and Mr. Chicken” is about an aspiring newspaper journalist who becomes a big name in his hometown of Rachel, Kansas after spending the night in a local haunted house. Don’t like scary movies? Don’t want to expose your young ones to nightmare fodder? Have no fear. Let me put it this way, you know that Andy Griffith Show episode where Andy, Barney, and Goober go into a purported haunted house? Its that level of scary, which is really not scary at all. The movie is at least a thousand times more family-friendly and friendly than scary.
I could go on and on about the memorable comedy in this movie, mostly by way of Don Knotts. The Ghost has one of my favorite comedy scenes of all time which sees the victorious yet extremely nervous Luther give a speech before the entire adoring town of Rachel.
In conclusion, “Let me clarify this….thank you for having me.” (That line will make sense after the movie.”