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Ghosts on the Loose

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ghosts on the Loose
Theatrical release poster
Directed byWilliam Beaudine
Written byKenneth Higgins (original screenplay)
Produced byJack Dietz (producer)
Sam Katzman (producer)
Barney A. Sarecky (associate producer)
StarringLeo Gorcey
Huntz Hall
Bela Lugosi
Ava Gardner
CinematographyMack Stengler
Edited byCarl Pierson
Music byEdward J. Kay
Release date
  • July 30, 1943 (1943-07-30)
Running time
67 minutes (DVD)
65 minutes (copyright length)
CountryUnited States

Ghosts on the Loose is a 1943 American comedy horror film and the fourteenth film in the East Side Kids series, directed by William Beaudine. The picture co-stars horror film icon Bela Lugosi as well as Ava Gardner in one of her earliest roles.

The film was released in the United Kingdom as Ghosts in the Night.[1]

In the film, a newly married man has puchased the house next door to an alleged haunted house. The haunted house is actually used by a German spy ring, and the spies have access to the next door property through secret tunnels. The spy ring tries to acquire the property.

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When Glimpy's sister, Betty, marries Jack, Muggs singlehandedly organizes the wedding. The gang provide a choral version of "Drink to Me Only with Thine Eyes" as well as organ music. Scruno, Stash, and Benny provide a floral centerpiece by "borrowing" a funeral wreath meant for a murdered gangster's funeral on the morrow. Danny and Rocky also borrow the deceased gangster's tuxedo prior to his funeral for Glimpy who is the best man. Scruno's mother provides rice to throw that she has cooked to make extra soft. Muggs also organizes a police escort by telling the police that gangsters will try to break up the wedding. Glimpy states that they are the notorious Katzman Gang, (the producer of the film series).

On this happy day only one thing is slightly bothering Jack: the house he has purchased is well below the market value due to rumors that the house next door is a haunted house. The house next door is actually used by a Nazi German spy ring, led by Emil. Emil is furious that his minion has sold the neighboring house to Jack, as it will be needed for future activities as both houses are connected by secret tunnels. Emil orders his minion, Tony, to buy it back from Jack.

Jack is mystified by the reasons for the house being wanted by another party. Jack does accept the money for the sale where the minion gives him a note with the address of the neighboring "haunted" house where he can be reached.

On his way to their honeymoon, Jack drops the note with the address of the neighboring house. Muggs picks up the address thinking it is the house that Jack and Betty are moving into and decides to surprise the couple by having the gang clean and tidy the house before the couple arrive.

At the Honeymoon Hotel Jack is given an urgent message to contact the party who originally sold him the house. The wife is worried about the strange activities in the house next door to the house Jack bought leading to the haunted rumors. She wishes to warn Jack and she also telephones the police to investigate. Jack and Betty drive to their house to get to the bottom of the rumors.

When the gang goes to the wrong house that is occupied by the Nazi spies, Emil and his gang pull out all stops to scare the boys into believing the house is haunted. The scheme backfires when the boys hide in the cellar where they discover a printing press with leaflets from the New Order entitled "How to destroy the Allies". As Jack and Betty and the police arrive the gang takes on Emil and his spy ring and wins.

In the end, Betty, Jack, and the East Side Kids are all forced to spend the newlyweds' honeymoon stuck in their new home, under quarantine, when Glimpy comes down with German measles (his face is decorated with swastikas).


The East Side Kids

Additional cast


The film was originally called Ghosts in the Night, which had also been the working title for Spooks Run Wild, the first time Lugosi worked with the East Side Kids. The film was a "special" from Monogram. They borrowed Ava Gardner from MGM (then best known as having been married to Mickey Rooney) to play the female lead.[2]

Filming began February 8, 1943. Exactly ten days earlier, producer Jack Dietz was sentenced to seven months in jail for tax evasion.[3] The title was changed to Ghosts on the Loose in April 1943.[4]


The Los Angeles Times called the film "a feeble and cheaply produced bit of unenticing nothingness."[5]



  1. ^ Hayes, David and Brent Walker (1984). The Films of The Bowery Boys. Secaucus, New Jersey: Citadel Press.
  2. ^ Schallert, Edwin (Feb 9, 1943). "DRAMA: Ava Gardner Awarded Lead in Film Thriller MacMurray in Musical Johnson to Go Romantic Wartime Novelty Slated Lavery Signs at R.K.O. College Talent Sought". Los Angeles Times. p. 9.
  3. ^ "Tom Weaver, Poverty Row Horrors, McFarland p 120".
  4. ^ "Of Local Origin". New York Times. Apr 10, 1943. p. 12.
  5. ^ Smith, Cecil. (July 15, 1943). "Here Is a Film Which Left Our Reviewer Cold". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. 17.

External links

This page was last edited on 9 April 2024, at 04:11
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