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I Wanted a Ghost

I DVR’d The Ghost Ship (1943) on the vague hope that it had something to do with a movie that I THINK was called Ghost Ship starring Julianna Margulies that Steven and I saw some years ago. Or vice versa, I guess. I seem to remember not being too nuts about the latter movie, especially the meant-to-be-shocking ending, that I believe did NOT take Steven or me by surprise. Oh dear, I haven’t put in the spoiler alert yet (I know I could always fix these things when I edit, but it’s more fun this way).

Here it is: Spoiler Alert! Although I may have already spoiled the Julianna Margulies movie for you. Maybe I ought to seek that movie out again, watch it again and write about it. But I am unlikely to do that before hitting publish on this.

Where was I?

I thought by the title “Ghost Ship” that the movie would have at least one actual ghost. Turns out not so much. I might have suspected such a thing from the description on digital cable, which said nobody will believe the third mate when he tries to tell them the captain is a sadistic psychopath. Still, I thought a sadistic psychopath might be worth a watch.

When we started to watch the movie, I saw that it starred Richard Dix. I said, “All right!” He was in those Whistler movies I enjoyed so much. I like that Richard Dix.

Naturally he is the sadistic psychopath captain. It’s actually good casting, because with his lovely deep voice, matinee idol good looks and kindly manner, it is easy to see how he fools everybody. The audience is privy to everything the third mate sees, so there is no “is he or isn’t he?” mystery, which may have been fun.

I would like to explain why it is a ghost ship, but I did not properly understand it myself. Something psychological, explained by the good woman whose love could perhaps have saved psycho captain. There’s still hope for the third mate, if only he can survive the voyage. If that sounds a little vague, sorry. I’m not up to giving a full plot summary.

It’s actually a pretty good movie. It gets suspenseful and exciting, and if a few of my favorite characters get killed off, well, you’ll have that. Still, I would have liked a ghost.

Incidentally, the plot of Ghost Ship, (2002, no “the”) (I looked it up), has nothing whatsoever in common with The Ghost Ship. If I were a real movie writer, I would edit this whole thing and delete any reference to it. And here we come to the ugly truth about me.

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