‘Their favorite haunt is a haunted castle!’
Francis in the Haunted House is a 1956 American comedy horror film from Universal-International, produced by Robert Arthur and directed by Charles Lamont (Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man; Abbott and Costello Meet Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy) from a screenplay by Herbert H. Margolis and William Raynor. This was the seventh and final film in Universal-International’s Francis the Talking Mule series.
The film stars Mickey Rooney (Silent Night, Deadly Night 5: The Toy Maker; Phantom of the Megaplex; The Thirsting; Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde), Paul Frees (as The Voice of Francis), Virginia Welles, Paul Cavanagh (The Four Skulls of Jonathan Drake; The Man Who Turned to Stone; House of Wax) and David Janssen (Cult of the Cobra; Moon of the Wolf).
Francis witnesses a murder and then befriends bumbling reporter David Prescott (Mickey Rooney), who may be next in line. With Francis’ help and guidance, Prescott uncovers a mystery involving murder, an inheritance, and a spooky old mansion on the edge of town…
Reviews [click links to read more]:
” …it smacks somewhat of desperation; the haunted house story is a common entry in many series comedies, and the decision to rely on it here feels like a desire to revert to formula, or, to put it another way, a different formula than this series had used so far […] There’s a ghost of a knight on the loose in this one, but it’s a Scooby-Doo plot; after all, how can you expect people who buy the premise of a talking mule to accept the premise of a real ghost?” Dave Sindelar, Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings
“When I met Mickey Rooney, even he said, “Terrible picture. Terrible picture.” I can appreciate that this was at a low point in his professional career and yet his performance is wonderful, the plot breezy and the sets and lighting are moodily gothic. Add Richard Deacon in the supporting cast and you have a Francis entry that rivals even Francis Joins the WACS“. Scott Vandenberg, Amazon.com
- Mickey Rooney as David Prescott
- Paul Frees as The Voice of Francis
- Virginia Welles as Lorna MacLeod
- James Flavin as Police Chief Martin
- Paul Cavanagh as Neil Frazer
- Mary Ellen Kay as Lorna Ann
- David Janssen as Police Lieutenant Hopkins
- Ralph Dumke as Mayor Hargrove
- Richard Gaines as D.A. Reynolds
- Richard Deacon as Jason
- Dick Winslow as Sergeant Arnold
- Timothy Carey as Hugo
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