Monday, November 13, 2006

The Ghost and Mr. Chicken

Saturday night, my wife and some friend of ours decided on a whim to pull out of our VHS library the 1966 classic film, The Ghost and Mr. Chicken. This movie starring Don Knotts came out shortly after Knotts left the Andy Griffith show.

A couple things stood out as I watched this movie again:
1) Don Knotts is brilliant. He is an incredible actor. I can't imagine any actor having more control of his body and being able to use it to hash out an engaging character portrayal. He blows Jim Carrey out of the water as far as the physical component of acting.
2) This movie shows the way that fascination of the occult has become common place. I know this is a comedy, but I think it is also a commentary on the way that the average American has no qualm seeking out psychic phenomena and other biblically forbidden curiosities.

Although I never would have thought twice about the innocence this classic Don Knotts film, I will probably not allow my children to view this movie.


Anonymous said...


There are hardly any family films anymore. Most studios shun a 'G' rating. You and I should know the movie is as good as the merchandising behind it. Lunch boxes... did I say that -- who takes a lunch box to school when they need a backpack for there books?

If there are Happy Meal toys for the movie, it is probably well marketed. Will it have any socially redeeming qualities? Who knows?

Somehow Don Knotts seems so good natured and wholesome compared to Jim Carey, Robin Williams, etc.

Somehow I knew that the ghosts that plaqued Don Knotts were of Hollywood origin and he would defeated them inspite of his goofinees.

But one can get a unhealthy view of the occult real fast watching
Dracula, the Wolfman, reading "Son of Satan", "Hellboy" comics.

I did see the movie "Hellboy", I took it as a farce and really am not a big fan.

I was a fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics before they were cleaned up for mainstream America. It was similar to the Batman comics of the 40's. The bad guys did not just get defeated, they died horribly. In time, I grew out of such things.

I did see movies like "Rosemary's Baby" and "The Omen" series. Again, this was a unhealthy view of the occult. I stopped watching these types of movies.

I don't have a clear answer on the "Harry Potter" series. What was your take? The world is pretty divided on this.

Some feel that rock music is more harm that comic books and movies.

Parents have the right to discern what is right for their children. I believe that and will defend this position. Again, there are some parents that might need a preacher to help them with their discernment.

John Flores
Frisco, Texas

Carol Herdien said...

I have watched "The Ghost and Mr. Chicken" many, many times over the years and I love it. The music and the characters are great and not a dirty word spoken. However, it is a bit intense for little kids. Wait a few years and they will love it!

Don Knotts was one of my favorites and how I wept when he died. Never saw him in person, but watch him every afternoon on Channel 42 at 4:30 and every evening on the same channel at 8 p.m. When he left the Andy Griffith series, it was never quite the same, although he did have a guest appearance five times. I taped his entire memorial marathon shown after his death.

Carol Herdien

Jason Woolever said...

When did he die?

I think Harry Potter appears innocent to the uncritical eye, and it also makes witchcraft appear innocent. I would tread carefully around it. Maybe watch it with your kids and then talk about how there are real witches and how they are fueled by the powers and legions of Satan. I don't know how I'll handle it with my kids yet. They're still a little small.

Carol Herdien said...

Don Knotts died on February 24, 2006. He was 82. I watched him this afternoon on Andy Griffith at 4:30 on Channel 42. It will be repeated tonight at 8 p.m. It was one of his guest appearances after he had left the show. It is a great one if you have a chance to see it.


di dooley said...


this is one of my favorite all time movies...i had it and have misplaced it and really missed watching it this year at halloween. as far as the women of the "occult" i just always found them a little goofy. i think it is important to stress to our children what is make beleive and what isn't. don knott's "ghosts" were very comical and fun.

thanks for the memories

Jason Woolever said...

hey di, it is definitely a classic. you're welcome to borrow our copy whenever you get a hankerin' to see it again!

Mark Winter said...

I love Don Knotts. As you've pointed out, Jason, he is an incredible physical actor who can make nervousness or false bravado look second nature. A few years back, I learned that Mr. Knotts was actually quite a ladies' man who could dance very well.

Andy Griffith is one of my favorite throwback shows. It's nostaglia, comedy and good clean entertainment all rolled into one.

Anonymous said...

Coming to DVD and Blu-ray 2011!