The Living Ghost (1942 Horror, Mystery, Thriller

Directed by William Beaudine and produced by Monogram Pictures. Starring James Dunn and Joan Woodbury, the film incorporates elements of the horror genre as it follows an ex-private detective who is called in to investigate why a banker has turned into a zombie. As the detective shares wisecracks with the banker’s cheeky secretary, the two fall in love. The film was distributed in the United Kingdom under the title Lend Me Your Ear, and later released on home video as A Walking Nightmare. Plot Banker Walter Craig (Gus Glassmire) has disappeared and his best friend, Ed Moline (Paul McVey) hires Nick Trayne (James Dunn), a retired private detective who now earns a living as a quasi-psychic and “listening ear”, to take the case. Everyone who lives on the estate is under suspicion—including Craig’s second wife Helen (Edna Johnson), his daughter Tina (Jan Wiley) and her fiance Arthur Wallace (Howard Banks), Craig’s eccentric sister Delia Phillips (Minerva Urecal) and her husband George (J. Arthur Young), Craig’s friend and former partner Tony Weldon (George Eldredge), Craig’s cheeky secretary Billie Hilton (Joan Woodbury), and Cedric the butler (Norman Willis). Nick quickly rules out Billie as a suspect and takes her on as his assistant. Late that night, Delia screams in the parlor when she finds Craig sitting in a chair, though he appears more like a zombie. Nick consults with neurologist Dr. Bruhling (Lawrence Grant), who believes Craig is suffering from a paralyzed cerebral cortex. This state could only have been induced by someone else; Craig could not have brought it on himself. However, Craig’s behavior is unpredictable and could be dangerous, so he must be monitored. When Nick goes out to question George in the garden that evening, he finds George has been stabbed to death and Craig is standing by the body. More false clues point to Wallace as the killer. Later, as Nick is talking with Billie in the parlor, Craig wanders in with a knife and tries to stab Nick but fails. Cast James Dunn as Nick Trayne Joan Woodbury as Billie Hilton Paul McVey as Ed Moline Vera Gordon as Sister Lapidus Norman Willis as Cedric J. Farrell MacDonald as Police Lt. “Pete” Peterson Minerva Urecal as Delia Phillips George Eldredge as Tony Weldon Jan Wiley as Tina Craig Edna Johnson as Helen Craig Danny Beck as doubletalker Gus Glassmire as Walter Craig Lawrence Grant as Dr. Bruhling Howard Banks as Arthur Wallace J. Arthur Young as George Phillips Frances Richards as Dr. Bruhling’s nurse

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