Grab The Ghost  
 
Rolin series with Snub Pollard
Production No. H-32
30 May 1920
Rolin/Pathé Exchange
silent short
1-reel

 

Director: Alfred J. Goulding Cinematography: ?
Producer: Hal Roach Editor: ?
Titles/Dialogue: ? Sound recording: N/A

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As tens of guests pile out of a wedding ceremony a jilted and bitter rival (Eddie Boland) vows revenge on the new bride.  The wedding limo pulls off leaving the groom (Snub Pollard) behind, who then has to chase it down the street.  He catches it up but is made to sit on the back of the car "as ballast".  The car comes to a halt where the groom mistakes a policeman's gesturing of traffic as an offer of a handshake.
Finally, the groom arrives at his house where his servant greets him, but unbeknownst to him, the servant's child (Ernest Morrison) has set up a scare in the shape of an "angora" bird in a cage under the dinner table before they get there.  The rival and his father also arrive and take Snub to one side and prepare to put their revenge into affect.  The boy hands Snub a rabbit's foot for good luck, telling Snub he is going to need it.
The rival tells Snub that the house is haunted when from beneath the table the cries of "Help", "Murder" and "Police" are screeched out by the bird.  Two shadowy figures appear in the room and re-enact a murder scene as Snub's hat twirls uncontrollably upon his head.  The boy is so scared that he dives out of the window (though of course, he is in on the joke).
Snub is terrified, especially when he comes face to face with the bearded "murderer".  The butler also gets caught up in the fear and ends up running around the house scared.  The woman servant accidentally drops a white blanket from the top landing which falls down and conveniently covers a life sized statue downstairs, making it look like a ghost.  Snub flips out and tries to convince his wife (Marie Mosquini) that the house is being overrun with spooks.  She laughs at him and drags him downstairs to prove otherwise.
They sit at the dinner table together with her reassuring him that there are no ghosts - until one actually makes his presence known and she quickly leaves.  Snub isn't too far behind her when he too realises and runs upstairs and jumpos into a bed with his servant, who kicks him out again.  A dozen police officers rush into the house (how did they get in?) and chase Snub back up the stairs.  Then it's pandemonium as cops, servants and the newlyweds all run around the house chasing one another and/or avoiding the "ghosts".
Eventually the cops collar Snub and his wife just as the rival walks in to claim the girl, but he is quickly exposed as the culprit behind the scares.  The police take him away, leaving the newlyweds to have their wedding cake... though, they have to share it with a couple of univited guests!

Favourite bit
Right near the end, twelve police officers  storm the house and rush upstairs at lightning speed.  Shortly afterwards a fat policeman (Hughie Mack) stumbles in and plonks himself down on a chair feeling exhausted.

Facts
Production H-32 - Rolin series with Snub Pollard.
Copyrighted June 23, 1920.

Filming dates
April 5-10, 1920.

Trivia
In the opening scene on the street there is a sign on the back of the limo which says "Just Married", but if you look closer in the background you can see the Capitol building in Washington DC.  You have to look carefully though because the print is very grainy and barely visible.
The behaviour of the people in the middle of the street as Snub runs to catch up his limo is odd because a) why were they walking down the middle of the road in the first place and b) it's strange that they only changed the direction of their travel after they are knocked over.
Why does the limo suddenly stop at the intersection, and why was the policeman not paying attention to his surroundings when he waved the cross traffic through, despite the fact there was a car parked right under his nose in the road?
A caption reads that the groom had bought a house which would take until 1958 for him to pay it off. In real life Snub Pollard lived until 1962.
Watch closely when Snub is told about the house being haunted. It appears that his top hat moves by itsself, but you can see a string attached to it, pulling it away from his head.
At around 4:45 into the film, Snub Pollard does the famous "Stan Laurel ear wiggle" - long before Laurel did it himself on film.
Surprisingly, Marie Mosquini doesn't appear until the second half of the film, after 5½ minutes.
When Marie Mosquini comes down the stairs, does she stop and clutch her breast? She also mentions that nobody has seen a ghost since prohibition.  Prohibition came into effect in January 1920, which was three months before this film was shot.
As the ghost sits next to Snub at the table, Snub seems to eat his food very quickly.  Surely there is no way he could eat and swallow so quickly like that between picking up food with the fork?
When Snub realises he is sitting next to the ghost at the table he jumps onto the table and does a forward flip onto the floor.  There doesn't appear to be any edit or cut in the film, so you have to assume that he performed the stunt.  Bravo!
When Snub runs upstairs and gets into the bed, the position of the bed seems weirdly positioned so that it is not against either wall, but rather, jutting out at an odd angle.
Why was the female servant in bed when Snub ran upstairs?  Shouldn't she have been working?
A total of thirteen police officers storm the house at the end.  Well, twelve storm in and one walks in!
Whoah, there is one dodgy scene at the end when, in an effort to escape the "ghost", the boy (Ernest Morrison) attempts to climb into an oven.

Snub Pollard
Groom
Marie Mosquini
Wife
Ernest Morrison
Servant's child
Eddie Boland
Jilted rival
Hughie Mack
Fat policeman
   
? UNIDENTIFIED CAST ?

CREDITS POSTERS & LOBBY CARDS
(None) (None)

SHOT ON THE LOT
The following scenes were filmed on the Hal Roach Back Lot and are included in the TOUR
(None)

DVD COMPARISONS
(None)

Internet pages, acknowledgements and credits:
http://www.oldies.com/product-view/6411D.html (Alpha Home Entertainment)
http://scaredsillybypaulcastiglia.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/grab-ghost-1920.html (Paul Castiglia)

Books and publications: Robert Demoss, Rob Stone, Richard Lewis Ward
Research: None
Thanks to: David Glass

This page was last updated on: 13 September 2015