In honor of (almost) Halloween, today's record is the (sort of) Halloween-related album -- The Story of Blackbeard's Ghost, featuring Peter Ustinov. HEY! There's a ghost! Ghost = Halloween. Deal with it, you batty beatniks!
The film, Blackbeard's Ghost is probably my favorite Disney movie. It's just another movie that I absolutely love, but can't explain exactly why. It's definitely got something to do with the oddness of Peter Ustinov though...
Blackbeard's Ghost is the story of Steve, played by Dean Jones, who moves to the small town of Godolphin to become the new track coach at the college. When he arrives, he stumbles upon a charity auction to save Blackbeard's Inn (where he is staying) from an evil casino owner (are all casino owners evil, or is that just in the movies?). He ends up winning an antique bed warmer in the auction, but when he gets up to his room, he accidentally sits on it, breaking it in half. Inside, he finds an old book of magic spells that used to belong to Blackbeard's wife. He reads one of the spells, unknowingly conjuring up Blackbeard himself, played perfectly by Peter Ustinov. Because of the spell, Steve and Blackbeard are now bonded by magic, and Blackbeard will remain in limbo (and with Steve) until he completes one good deed. All the while, Steve tries to bring his losing track team to the top, and win over a psychology professor played by Suzanne Pleshette. Hilarity ensues. No, really. It does! I'm really not kidding this time! I swear! WHY WON'T YOU BELIEVE ME?!?
This movie is just crazy fun. Blackbeard is basically one very big, drunk kid who has fun using his invisibility just to screw around with people and make Dean Jones go insane.
As with most older Disney movies, this one has a story album. Since they obviously didn't have the option of releasing a VHS tape or a DVD of their movies for home, they would release these story albums, usually with an accompanying book, to keep the films in the kids' heads until they were re-released in theaters after a few years.
The Story of Blackbeard's Ghost is different from all the rest, as this one is not just narrated by some nameless, faceless, freaky, generic-y voice-over guy -- this is narrated by Peter Ustinov in character as Blackbeard! It is a little odd to listen to at times, especially when they use sound clips from the actual movie, but hearing Peter Ustinov narrate in character as our drunken friend Blackbeard is surely entertaining enough to keep your interest through the whole story!
Now, this film is available on DVD, but I warn you, the transfer is the most horrifyingly hideous DVD transfer I have ever seen. It really looks like they transfered a copy of the film that someone had forgotten under their couch for 40 years. To top it all off, it's not even framed right, and there is even a part where a talking character's face is only half visible on the screen! Stupid crappiness of the DVDness.
Blackbeard always smiles
before he kills someone for releasing
a bad DVD of a great movie.
Hopefully, the atrociousness of the DVD won't keep you from enjoying this record of The Story of Blackbeard's Ghost! Have fun, and... Arrrr! (That's Piratespeak for "Enjoy!")
Download the record HERE.