The Earl of Locharne (David Tomlinson) lives in his ancestral home of Castle Locharne in Scotland. The penniless Earl has resorted to taking in lodgers to try to earn enough money to keep the castle going. The results aren’t going very smoothly. The staff is comprised of Menzies (Ewan Roberts), the butler, and Boss Trent (Helen Cherry), the estate manager. The Earl also conducts tours of the castle for the public. One of the main attractions of the castle is the resident ghost, Ermyntrude (Patricia Dainton).
The current residents of the castle are Miss Nicholson (Margaret Rutherford), who is doing the genealogy of the Earl. She firmly believes he is the rightful King of Scotland. Also at the castle are Blair (A.E. Matthews) and Miss Miller (Winifred Willard). The Earl has been corresponding with a woman named Mrs. Clodfelter Dunne (Barbara Kelly). The rich, divorced, Mrs. Dunne believes she is a distant relative of the Earl. As such she is interested in buying the castle. If the Earl can sell the castle, it would eliminate all his problems.
The Earl is visited by a man named Phillips (Brian Oulton). He is an Industrial Psychologist and a representative of the National Coal Board. He is concerned with the coalminers’ welfare. Blair is at the castle to discuss using it as a hostel for the coal workers, a sort of spa. The Earl misunderstands and assumes that the Coal Board wants to buy the estate. Instead, they want to confiscate it.
Into this problem comes Mrs. Dunne. She decided to come from America to actually see the castle. Now the Earl is busy with trying to convince Mr. Phillips that the castle is a wreck and not worthy of taking over while trying to convince Mrs. Dunne that the castle is in great shape and worth buying.
“Castle in the Air” was released in 1952 and was directed by Henry Cass. It is basically a British comedy. The fact that there is a ghost is, for the most part, immaterial. The ghost only shows up on cue and doesn’t do much of anything. She doesn’t even talk. It is actually a romantic comedy.
Despite the fact that it is not a horror movie or even a spooky movie, it is a fun movie. It’s not laugh out loud funny but charming and subdued. Margaret Rutherford is, as usual, delightful. She would go on to play Agatha Christie’s elderly sleuth, Miss Marple, in several movies. For a quota quickie it is good with some nice comedic timing and good acting.
The movie was based on the stage play “Castle in the Air” by Alan Melville.