The Ghost and Mr. Chicken

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Set in Rachel Kansas, The Ghost and Mr. Chicken is the first of Don Knotts movies after leaving The Andy Griffith Show. Many actors from Mayberry showed up Rachel.

The first is, of course, Don Knotts as Luther Heggs but we should start of with behinds the scenes folks.

The Ghost and Mr. Chicken was written by Jim Fritzell and Everett Greenbaum. Andy Griffith also helped re-write the script but is uncredited for his efforts.

Those are only the beginning of the connections and fun trivia relating Mayberry and Don Knotts' first movie. Turns out there was so much that this will be the first of two episodes of Two Chairs No Waiting that we'll do on The Ghost and Mr. Chicken.

Episodes of the Two Chairs No Waiting Andy Griffith Show Fan Podcast have focused on this wonderful movie.

Two Chairs No Waiting 159: The Ghost and Mr. Chicken - (audio) (YouTube-video)
Two Chairs No Waiting 160: The Ghost and Mr. Chicken Part 2 - (audio) (YouTube-video)


Background

The Ghost and Mr. Chicken was written by Jim Fritzell and Everett Greenbaum. Andy Griffith also helped re-write the script but is uncredited for his efforts.

The Simmons House

http://www.thestudiotour.com/ush/backlot/street_colonial_2.html

Originally built for the 1946 movie "So Goes My Love". The MR. CHICKEN house (known as the Allison house) was built in the '40s for the film SO GOES MY LOVE with Don Ameche (as was the Munsters' house). The Allison House has similar characteristics to the PSYCHO house, but it is a different house altogether. Both the Allison house and the Munster house can be seen on the DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES TV show.

Featured in "Harvey" with James Stewart (1950) as no.348, the Dowd house

The house also featured in the short-lived Animal House spin-off Delta House.

You may notice that the house has many elements in common with the "Psycho" house (shown at right) , as they were both built from the same "stock" units.

The house on The Ghost and Mr. Chicken has been used as Gabrielle's house in "Desperate Housewives" but has a slightly amended roof, possibly to avoid comparisons with the Psycho house.

Great information on The Ghost and Mr. Chicken house can be found http://www.universalmonsterarmy.com/forum/index.php?topic=10179.0

Mayberry Connections

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0059221/movieconnections

Besides Don Knotts, there are a number of actors from the Andy Griffith Show in this movie, some playing characters very similar to the characters they did in the Andy Griffith Show. For example, Hal Smith plays the town drunk in both productions. This was Knott's first film after leaving the Andy Griffith Show.

I'm going to try and put them in the order of appearance:

	Hal Smith	... 	Calver Weems (uncredited)	Otis Campbell
	Hope Summers	... 	Susanna Blush (uncredited)	Clara Edwards
	Don Knotts	... 	Luther Heggs			Barney Fife
	Burt Mustin	... 	Mr. Deligondo (uncredited)	Jud Fletcher / Jud / Judd 
	Jesslyn Fax	... 	Mrs. Hutchinson			Mrs. Le Grande  Andy's Investment (1967)
	Lurene Tuttle	... 	Mrs. Natalie Miller		Annabelle Silby
	James Millhollin	... 	Mr. Milo Maxwell	Arnold Finch Aunt Bee Takes a Job (1965)
	Herbie Faye	... 	Man in Diner (uncredited)	Eddie Blake / Manager / Mr. Clark 
									– The Tape Recorder (1967) … Eddie Blake
									– Aunt Bee Takes a Job (1965) … Mr. Clark
									– Banjo-Playing Deputy (1965) … Manager 
	Reta Shaw	... 	Mrs. Halcyon Maxwell		Big Maude Tyler, Eleanora Poultice
	Maxine Semon	... Occult Clubwoman (uncredited)	Tillie Kincaid 
									– Only a Rose (1966) … Tillie Kincaid
									– Politics Begin at Home (1966) … Tillie Kincaid 
	Ruth Thom	... 	Occult Clubwoman (uncredited)	Ella Carson / Ella /Maggie Peters
	Jim Begg	... 	Deputy Herkie (as James Begg)	Charles Keyes / Man / Young Man 
									– Opie's Drugstore Job (1968) … Man
									– Aunt Bee, the Juror (1967) … Charles Keyes
									– The County Clerk (1966) … Young Man
	J. Edward McKinley ... Mayor Carlyle Preston		Governor George C. Handley The Cannon (1965) 
	Lee Krieger	... Lester-Summons Server (uncredited)	Merle Dean / Mort - Bank Robber / Motorist from Oregon
									– Gomer the House Guest (1963) … Merle Dean
									– The Bank Job (1962) … Mort - Bank Robber
									– The Pickle Story (1961) … Motorist from Oregon 
	Eddie Quillan	... Elevator Operator (uncredited)	Bell Hop The Taylors in Hollywood (1965)
	Charles Lane	... 	Lawyer Whitlow			Mr. Frisby
	Robert Cornthwaite	... Luthers's Lawyer Springer	Mr. Somerset Dogs, Dogs, Dogs (1963)
	Cliff Norton	... 	Charlie, the Bailiff		Wally Goober's Replacement (1966)
	Ellen Corby	... 	Miss Neva Tremaine		Myrt 'Hubcaps' Lesh Barney's First Car (1963)
	Phil Arnold	... 	Jury Foreman (uncredited)	The Hotdog Vendor A Black Day for Mayberry (1963)
	Ceil Cabot	... 	Occult Clubwoman (uncredited)	Andy's Investment (1967) … Woman
	Al Checco	... 	Gaylord Patie (uncredited)	Hennessey / Howie - Bank Robber
									– If I Had a Quarter Million Dollars (1965) … Hennessey
									– The Bank Job (1962) … Howie - Bank Robber 

	Everett Greenbaum ...  'Attaboy Luther' (voice)		Writer of 29 episodes of TAGS
	


	

Not on TAGS but note worth

	Dick Wilson	... 	Bandmaster (uncredited)		For many years from the 1960s through the 70s, he played  
								Mr. Whipple,the grocery store owner who admonished  
								customers "Please don't squeeze the Charmin".

Interesting Information

At a boy, Luther

"Atta boy" voice was Everett Greenbaum, one of the writers.


Cast Member Information

Philip Ober who played Nicholas Simmons was born 23 March 1902 in Fort Payne, Alabama, USA. He was married to Vivian Vance from I Love Lucy (12 August 1941 - 24 April 1959) (divorced). His best remembered roles would probably be that of the murder victim who dies in Cary Grant's arms in North by Northwest (1959) and the bullying officer whose wife is having an affair with his subordinate, Burt Lancaster, in From Here to Eternity (1953). He retired from acting and went into the U.S. diplomatic service, and, while working at the U.S. consulate in Mexico City, died of a heart attack in 1982.

Links