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Francis in the Haunted House (1956)

Approved | | Comedy, Fantasy, Horror | 9 July 1956 (USA)
Francis the Talking Mule witnesses a murder. He takes a bumbling reporter named David Prescott under his wing and the two of them set out to solve the crime.

Director:

Charles Lamont

Writers:

Herb Margolis (as Herbert Margolis), William Raynor | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mickey Rooney ... David Prescott
Virginia Welles ... Lorna MacLeod
James Flavin ... Police Chief Martin
Paul Cavanagh ... Neil Frazer
Mary Ellen Kay ... Lorna Ann
David Janssen ... Police Lieutenant Hopkins
Ralph Dumke Ralph Dumke ... Mayor Hargrove
Richard Gaines ... D.A. Reynolds
Richard Deacon ... Jason
Dick Winslow ... Sergeant Arnold
Charles Horvath ... Malcolm
Timothy Carey ... Hugo
Helen Wallace ... Mrs. MacPherson
Edward Earle ... Howard Grisby
John Maxwell ... Edward Ryan
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Storyline

Francis the Talking Mule witnesses a murder. He takes a bumbling reporter named David Prescott under his wing and the two of them set out to solve the crime.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THE LAFFS ARE SIMPLY KILLING! (original print ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Fantasy | Horror

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 July 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Francis Entre Fantasmas See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This last film in the popular "Francis" series marked two major changes: Mickey Rooney replaced Donald O'Connor and Paul Frees replaced Chill Wills as the voice of Francis. See more »

Connections

Follows Francis Joins the WACS (1954) See more »

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User Reviews

Francis without Chills, in two ways
28 November 2006 | by vandino1See all my reviews

This is the last of the seven Talking Mule pictures in the series put out by Universal during the fifties. This one is the wild card, seeing as it not only does without Donald O'Connor, but also Chill Wills' voicing of Francis. This time we've got Mickey Rooney in the lead and Paul Frees as the voice of Francis. I have lots of admiration for Rooney who can be dynamite when properly directed, but here he is directed by notable hack Charles Lamont and is allowed to sputter away cartoonishly throughout. And Rooney, only in his mid-thirties, looks quite aged, far removed from the youthful looks of his heyday only a decade previous to this. Then there is the heroic attempt by Paul Frees to imitate Chill Wills, which is impossible because Frees' voice is almost as well known and distinctive.

The film itself is one of those estate inheritance murder mysteries with Francis saving the day by alternately helping Rooney solve the case and rescuing him from being killed during the investigation. David Janssen has a small part as a cop, and Timothy Carey plays a hulking worker at the estate (without getting one line of dialogue). The film's title and advertising campaign tries to make you think this is a spooky story, but there's nothing supernatural about it and the scenes at the estate aren't played for chills. Sadly, there aren't any laughs either, unless you find mirth in the umpteenth time Francis reveals his talking ability to some hapless bug-eyed character.


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