Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Ghost Train

(1941) *

A group of mostly irritating people are travelling by train across the English countryside. While on route we are introduced to several of the passengers including Tommy Gander, an annoying vaudeville comedian who pulls the emergency stop on the train in order to retrieve his stupid looking hat. This delay causes the 7 other characters that have been introduced to miss their connecting train. I hated Tommy Gander.

I'm annoying and I wear a stupid hat

Because of Tommy’s selfishness all 8 are forced to spend the night in an empty train station. Meanwhile a fierce storm whips up to add to the spooky ambience. Worse, the station-master refuses to stay with them because he fears the ‘Ghost Train’. Before getting the heck out of there he tells them a tale about a train that plunged into the river years earlier due to some unforeseen circumstances. Apparently anyone who sees the ghost train, which periodically shows up at exactly 11:00pm, will die of fright on the spot.

"Thanks a lot you selfish jerk. We are forming a 'We hate Tommy' fan club"

Once the station-master departs we are treated to a long, tedious sequence in which Tommy attempts to ‘entertain’ his fellow passengers with his quick witticisms, a song and dance number, and endless ‘jokes’. Did I mention that I hate him? Apparently the others did as well and they eventually tell him to shut up, one of them even throwing Tommy’s record player out the door into the storm. As the time gets closer to the 11:00pm hour and the storm increases in ferocity some begin to fear for their lives (of course all they have to do is not look at it). Is that a train whistle I hear?

Here's my terrible imitation of Napoleon

This is a stupid movie made worse by Tommy Gander. Tommy’s near non-stop toxic antics infuriated me. There’s nothing I hate more than someone who believes themselves to be ‘hilarious’ and has no idea how unfunny they really are (I’m reminded of ‘that’ scene in Annie Hall). Take an individual like this and combine it with vaudeville, the most unfunny humor ever created, and Tommy’s toxic acting out will fill you with murderous rage. The only thing that made me feel better is the knowledge that Tommy died in 1982. This brings up an interesting question; if we find him irritating and all the characters in the film find him irritating, why have him in the film at all?

I'm hilarious!

I beg you all to go to the 9:20 mark on this movie and watch for 30 seconds to share my pain.


Johnny Sweatpants said...

I'm also onboard the I hate Tommy Gander train. I can't watch the video now but the pictures alone tell me everything I need to know about him.

I have to ask - how did his hat fall off the train anyway? He was doing something stupid, wasn't he?

Some humor stands the test of time and others become more horribly dated with each passing year. Was there anything from 1941 that could be considered "funny" by today's standards?

AC said...


Johnny Sweatpants said...

I just followed your instructions and watched the scene. The guy's disgusted increasingly disgusted reactions to Tommy were pure gold. At first he hopes that he'll get the hint and go away if he ignores him but that's not in the cards. The best part is how he just haaad to lift up the curtains one last time to confirm.

Octopunk said...

Bleah. After watching that I would've gladly thrown him off the train after his hat.

JSP, you just reminded me of this time a substitute teacher I had went on and on about how funny The Honeymooners was; she ended by recounting a particular joke that left the room in awkward silence.

DCD said...

I find that scene hilarious for none of the reasons they wanted it to be hilarious!

Catfreeek said...

After watching that video I think they should have thrown him off then tossed him in front of the next oncoming train. Way to take one for the team!