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The Ghost Goes West

The Ghost Goes West(1936)

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The working title for this film was The Laying of the Glourie Ghost. This film was one of Motion Picture Almanac's "champion" films for the 1936-37 season. According to a November 26, 1934 news item in Hollywood Reporter, Charles Laughton was set to star in this film. In a August 24, 1935 Hollywood Reporter British production chart, Lajos Biro is credited with writing the screenplay with Robert Sherwood. The Hollywood Reporter review of the film credits Ren Clair with original story and lists Sherwood and Biro as co-screenwriters, although Biro receives no credit on the film and Clair is listed only as director. A modern source credits Sherwood, Kerr and Clair with the screenplay. A modern source includes the following information on Alexander Korda's writers, his working relationship with Ren Clair, and location shooting: In 1933, Korda hoped to make an "international" film about Scotland and wanted Clair to direct. Korda's writers then unsuccessfully attempted to adapt Eric Keown's Punch story "Sir Tristram Goes West" into a star vehicle for Laughton. In the fall of 1934, following the London premiere of Clair's satire on Fascism and dictators, Le dernier milliardaire, which had been rejected by French audiences, Korda offered Clair a three-film contract. In the spring of 1935, Clair and Robert Sherwood rewrote the script of Korda's Scottish comedy, which became The Ghost Goes West. Clair reportedly wanted Laurence Olivier to star in the film. In June 1935, the set for the Glourie Castle was built on property northwest of London, at the same time that Korda's Denham Studios were being built at a nearby 165-acre estate called The Fishery, north of Denham Village. After Korda returned to Hollywood in the fall of 1935 and took a look at Clair's rushes, he reshot the scenes in which the castle is transported from Scotland to New York, causing Clair to consider taking his name off the film.