I have such great memories of seeing Disney's BLACKBEARD'S GHOST as a little kid in 1968 at the Chris-Town theatres in Phoenix, that its fun to be able to enjoy it again and share it with my grandson in the years ahead.
Disney made a staple of live action comedies in the sixties and early seventies and this enjoyable family comedy is one of the best.
Dean Jones (was there a better known lead actor in Disney films in that era than Mr. Jones?) stars as a new track & field coach at Godolphin High School.
He soon discovers that the team is the joke of the school, while the football team demands all the attention.
Steve (Jones) also captures the attention of beautiful teacher Jo Anne Baker, played by the gorgeous and funny Suzanne Pleshette in her pre-Newhart days.
Baker has her hands full trying to save a local Inn run by the Daughters of the Buccaneers, who claim to be descendant from Blackbeard.
When Steve buys an old relic at an auction to help them raise money to save the inn from the hands of some local mobsters, he unintentionally conjures up the ghost of Blackbeard himself, played with great wit and physical comedy by legendary actor Peter Ustinov.
Ustinov delivers in every way as the title pirate, who has a great time getting involved in every way he can in Steve's life. The only problem is, ONLY Steve can see him.
Proof that family comedies dont need to be stupid or pander to low intelligence, this Disney classic provides plenty of fun for all ages and a TON of great slapstick that young and old can enjoy together.
Like "The Absent Minded Professor" and "The Shaggy Dog" of the same era, BLACKBEARD'S GHOST is classic, clean family fun from a much more innocent time.
Director Robert Stevenson (Mary Poppins, The Love Bug) keeps things moving so the young ones dont get bored and gives Ustinov free rein to throw in dialogue aimed at parents too.
Throwback Disney fun and a nice mix of nostalgia and laughs in just the right spirit, this ghost gets a B.