The Live Ghost

The Live Ghost
Directed by Charles Rogers
Produced by Hal Roach
Starring Stan Laurel
Oliver Hardy
Walter Long
Arthur Housman
Mae Busch
Charlie Hall
Release dates
  • December 8, 1934 (1934-12-08)
Running time
20 50"
Country United States
Language English

The Live Ghost is a 1934 American short film starring Laurel and Hardy, directed by Charles Rogers and produced by Hal Roach.

A copy of this film is held by the Library of Congress.


A gruff sea captain (Walter Long) enlists fish-shop employees Laurel and Hardy to help in shanghaiing men to be a crew for his next voyage. They succeed in doing so by a stunt that gets each man chasing after them. But they accidentally clobber the captain as well, provoking him into shanghaiing them as well aboard what is rumored to be a "ghost ship" (which was why Captain Long was unable to get men to voluntarily enlist). He is so angry at this rumor that he makes a dire threat against the next man that tells him that he sails a "ghost ship".

When Captain Long gives his men shore leave, the boys opt to remain on board, fearing the men they shanghaied would seek revenge. Upon that, Captain Long asks them to keep an eye on a drunken shipmate (Arthur Housman) and make sure he stays aboard ship. But he sneaks off anyway, and while returning, falls into a tub of whitewash, then comes back onboard and crawls into his bunk to sleep it off. When the boys mistakenly believe they've shot him, they toss his sleeping body overboard, but he promptly wakes up and climbs back on board. When the duo next see him, they're convinced he's a ghost and run around the deck shrieking in terror.

Captain Long returns with a barfly (Mae Busch) whom he has talked into joining him, only for her to recognize the whitewashed sailor as the husband who deserted her years ago. She chases the drunken man. Irate at this turn of events, Captain Long is further angered by Laurel & Hardy both telling him that they saw a ghost. He thereupon carries out his threat: he twists their heads around so they will be facing backwards. Hardy wearily utters his "Another nice mess..." catchphrase. Stan whimpers afterward.



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