Ghost (1990) - full transcript

Sam Wheat is a banker, Molly Jensen is an artist, and the two are madly in love. However, when Sam is murdered by friend and corrupt business partner Carl Bruner over a shady business deal, he is left to roam the earth as a powerless spirit. When he learns of Carl's betrayal, Sam must seek the help of psychic Oda Mae Brown to set things right and protect Molly from Carl and his goons.

{ Thunder Crashing]

(music)(music) [Singing Drunkenly]


[Woman Screams]

Oh, murder.!
Oh, murder.!

Murder! Help!
A man's gettin' murdered!

Murder.! Help.! [Screams] Help.!


[Screaming Continues]


It's Calver Weems!
He's dead!

He's been murdered!
Oh, don't panic!
Don't panic!

Oh, Luther, Luther,
it was terrible!

He was walking along
the street, when bang!

Right on the head.
With that.

Did you see
who did it?

It was just bang!
Right on the head!
With that!

I'll get a picture
of it. Let's see.

F-32. And it's dark.
It's been raining.

And... Oh, for heaven sakes,
stand back, Susanna!
Stand back! Get out of the way!

And for heaven sakes,
don't touch anything.
This is all evidence.

He was just walking
down the street,
when bang!

Right on the head!
All right. I'll get
a picture of the murder weapon.

Right on the head!

I was just getting ready
to brush my teeth
and watch Lawrence Welk,

when I looked out
the window and bang!

For heaven sakes, Susanna!
Pull yourself together!

I'm going to the police station.
You get on the phone
and call my editor.

George Beckett!

Tell him to get down
to the police station
as soon as possible.

And for heaven sakes,
whatever you do,
keep your head!

I don't want to
stay here by myself!

Well, I told you
to get on the phone
and call my editor!

Now, go on!


Hey, Heggs.
Wait a minute.

Ollie, what are you doin' here?
The price tag on your
suit's hangin' out.

That's my press card,
and you know it.
Beckett called. What's up?

I got a story!
That's what's up!

You just sit tight.
If there's a story,
I'll handle it.

Chief! You'd better get somebody
out to the old Simmons mansion
right away!

A terrible thing happened!
I got the pictures
and everything!

I was coming down the street...
Now, wait a minute, Luther.
Just calm down.

Give it to me nice and slow.
I was comin' down the street...

Too fast.
Yeah, cool it, sport.

What happened, Luther?
Well, I was comin'
down the street...

What's up?
Oh, Mr. Beckett,
I'm glad...

I got this call from
Susanna Blush: Two-by-fours,
Calver Weems, Lawrence Welk...

I'm glad you're here.
I got a real scoop...
pictures and everything.

I've been trying to get the
story from Walter Cronkite here,
but he just won't give.

- What's this all about?
- I don't know.
He's so keyed up.

- Will somebody listen to me?
- All right, Luther.
Just calm down.

Calm? Calm?

Do "murder" and "calm"
go together?

"Calm" and "murder"?


Well, all right, Luther.
Let's hear it.

All right! Well, I was out
on Warren Harding Road...

and I passed the Simmons
mansion when all of a sudden
I heard this scream...

"Help! Help! Murder!"

Yeah, murder.
Quick as a flash,
I whipped my Edsel around,

I sped back
to the scene of the crime,
got out of the car...

and there it was.

Do I have to tell you
how I felt when I saw
it laying there?

Saw what?
The dead body
of Calver Weems.

He'd been bludgeoned
to death by a board.

I'd better get
somebody out there
right away.

Did you see that happen?
No, Susanna Blush saw it.
She's an eyewitness.

- Susanna Blush.
- Yeah. Lives across the street.
An eyewitness.

Was she on the street?
No, she saw it from an upstairs
window. Eyewitness, though.

You said that, sonny.
Did you get pictures
of the body?

Left, right,
profile, head-on.
Fine, fine.

You actually saw
the murder weapon, Luther?

Yeah, a two-by-four.
I got a picture of it.

What's up?

Don't bother us now, Calver.
We got a murder
on our ha...


Calver, what are you
doing here? You're dead!

I knew it. I knew it.
I'm sorry, Chief.

But... I saw you
layin' there...

I want this drunk
thrown in the tank.

Throw me in the tank?
She's the one that hit me!
With a board that thick!

What are you tryin' to do?
Make a fool out of me?

You don't need
much help, scoop.
Put him in number three.

But you're dead!
I am not.

I saw ya!
I did too!
You did not!

You didn't.
Did! Did!

Didn't! Didn't! Didn't!
Did! Did! Did!

All right, you two.
That's enough.

Come on, loved one.

But I got the pictures
and everything.

Luther, from now on,

let Ollie and me
run the paper
and write the stories.

You just keep
setting the type. Hmm?

But I was sure...
Good night, Luther.

Nice work... scoop.

[Men Chuckling]



Calver looked so natural!
I got to get a new suit
for the funeral.

Wonder who done him in?
I can't wait to read the
morning paper and find out.

All right, you two guys.
You just better watch it.

You see these two hands?
They're just as hard
as steel.

Hey, look at him, Billy Ray.
He's a karate champion.
We better watch ourselves.

Go ahead, Luth.
Yeah, do something.

Why don't you run up
an alley and holler "fish"?

Wait. Then,
all of a sudden,
in walks Calver Weems.

And Luther says to him,
"Cal, what are you
doing here?

You're dead.! '"
[All Laughing]

We shouldn't laugh.
We really shouldn't.

[Ollie] You know, he took
a close-up of a two-by-four.
Can you imagine that?

Morning, everybody.
Good morning, Luther.

Morning, scoop.

A person is never dead
until their pulse
is stopped, Luther.

Mr. Ace Reporter,
would you pass
the marmalade, please?

Lay off,
will ya, Ollie?

Oh, now, Ollie,
enough is enough.

I don't blame Luther
one iota.

If I'd seen someone laying
in front of that spooky place,
I'd think he was dead too.

It's a murder house.
I wouldn't go near there
for $100.

I wouldn't go
near there for 200.

Three hundred.


Girls, girls, please.
Anyway, it's a murder house.

Murder and suicide.
Murder and suicide.

Well, thank the good Lord
they're finally tearing
that place down.

Tearing it down?

Ephraigm Simmons's nephew
came to town two days ago.


Anyway, he's finally getting
the will probated.

I hear he's gonna
bulldoze it to the ground.

Didn't they question him
about that murder
at the time?

He was cleared.

I never liked his eyes.
So dark.

His eyes were blue.
Dark eyes.

Girls, really.

All the Simmonses
had the Simmons eyes.

[Car Horn Honking]

Oh. It's Alma, Ollie.

Tell her I'll be
right out.

- Good morning, Alma.
- Oh, good morning,
Mrs. Miller!

He's still eating, Alma.
Why don't you come in
for some coffee?

Oh, no, thank you.
I'll just stay out here
and get some sun.

Oh. As you wish, dear.

Ooh! Love that print!

Thank you.
I got it at Belson's.

Three ninety-five.

She's an awful sweet girl.
Yeah, she's a good kid.

My niece Malva bought
a print at Belson's.

It was red, and had
yellow flowers...

across the...
the bosoms.

Uh... [Clears Throat]
Would you excuse me
for just a minute?

You know,
I'll never understand...

why old Mr. Simmons
murdered his wife.

Everyone knows
Ephraigm was crazy.

They all had cold eyes
with thin lids.

[Door Shuts]
Toast, please, Ollie.

Mmm, sure.

Hi, Luther!
Oh! Hi, Alma.

I didn't hear you
come up.

Oh, well, I was just, uh...
[Clears Throat]

Uh... How you doin'?

Fine. I just love
the sun, don't you?

Oh, yeah. Yeah, l...

I've always
liked the sun.


- Love your print.
- Oh, thank you.

Mrs. Cobb's niece Malva
bought a print
down at Belson's.

It's red with yellow flowers
across the...

Ooh! Boy, that sun really
beats down on a...

Hi, Ollie!
Metal car.

Good morning, Sugar.
Boy, you look like
a million bucks.

Thank you!
[Engine Starts]

Oh, Luther. Calver Weems
said not to tell
anybody he's dead...

until he says so.

Oh, good morning, Bill.
Good morning.

Oh, good morning,

My, oh, my,
what a lovely sweater.

You know,
of all your sweaters,
I love this one the most.

Mr. Simmons is waiting,
Mr. Maxwell.

Oh, oh, yes.

Good morning, Nicholas.
Oh, I'm so sorry
that I'm late.

But we had a seance
at the house last night,

and it ran on
until all hours.

It was a surprise
seance for Mrs. Maxwell.
Her birthday, you know.

Don't tell me
you believe in that
sort of thing, Milo.

Well, it means the world
and all to Mrs. Maxwell.

Did you sign the papers?
Is the title clear?

The title?
Uh, the papers?

Oh. Oh, oh, oh, the house.
Yes, the house.

Well, uh, no, no.
As a matter of fact, no.

But, uh, Delroy Flemming
promises to sign
the quick deed today.

- That'll be it, then?
- Well, I sign after,

then that should
finalize it.

I can get my bulldozers
in on Monday, then.

Well, now, I don't
understand that, Nicholas.
Why bulldoze it down?

If you took it down piece
by piece, you could sell
some of that beautiful woodwork.

Your uncle imported
all that hand-carved work.
That must be worth a fortune.

I haven't the time.
I've got to get back
to Chicago.

Now, you're sure
that I can start
on Monday, then?

Well, l... I foresee
no problems, Nicholas.

I don't know. You try
and you try and you try,
and what do you get?

Now wait a minute,

You didn't do so bad.
Your pictures
turned out nice.

You had a good murder story
going there.

Only trouble was,
nobody got killed.

Oh, Mr. Boob.
That's me.


You know why you thought
you saw a murder
out there, Luther?

'Cause that's a murder house.

Oh, they can't tear it down
too soon for me,
I'll tell you that.

- Tear it down?
Who's tearing it down?
- Nick Simmons.

But he can't do that
without the bank
okaying it.

He doesn't have clear
title to that property.
The bank's got a lien on it.

Well, I guess
he's getting all that
cleared up.

Oh. So he's back in town,
is he?

That's what they say.

Oh, Mr. News.
I need a three-inch
item for a filler.

"Mr. News."

I'll fill him someday.

So little Nick is finally
getting his way, eh?

What did you say,
Mr. Kelsey?

You know, Luther,

I was working out there
at the time of the murder.

Oh, really?

I was the gardener.
Is that right?

Young Mrs. Simmons
was a beautiful,
beautiful woman.

Sparkling black eyes
and skin like alabaster.

The old man was crazy jealous.

You know, Luther,

it was just 20 years ago
this week...

they were both
found dead.

This week?
They say what
happened was this.

The two of them was in
the master bedroom arguin'.

He was in a jealous rage.
Suddenly he became violent.

Stabbed her right in
the throat. They never
did find out what with.

Then he went
completely loco.

He ran up into
the tower, blood dripping
from his hands,

and played that
pipe organ of his.

It was midnight, Luther,
and he sat there...

playin' and laughin'
and screamin'
to beat the band.

When the music
reached its peak,

he suddenly jumped up
and threw himself
out the window.

They say the ghost
of old man Simmons...

still climbs the tower...

and plays the organ...
at midnight.


Let's have
that filler.!
[Door Shuts]

Well, me, I just don't happen
to believe in ghosts...


You know, Luther,
I got an idea...

how you could write
a story for the paper.

That filler.

I think folks'd be interested
in reading about
the Simmons case again.

It bein' the 20th
anniversary and all.

You mean, write
my own story instead of
using a standard filler?


Do you think
I dare do that?

'Course you do.

You know why?

'Cause you got spunk.

You... You know,
I guess I got that
from my mother.

She had
plenty of spunk.

All right.

Let's see.

It was just, uh,
20 years ago...

come this Tuesday...

that the bodies
of Mr. And Mrs. Simmons
were found.

Mr. Beckett.! Mr. Beckett.

Oh, hello,
Mrs. Maxwell.
Oh, it's wonderful.

The whole town's
talking about it.

I mean, the article
on the Simmons mansion.

Absolutely delicious.

Well, thank you.
I've had a lot of nice
comment about that.

You know,
my group and I
have always felt...

there's a very active
spirit life in that
old house.

You mean, spooks?

We prefer "manifestations."

Well, keep up the good work.
I must run.

Say, Ollie. Good reaction
on that story on the Simmons
place. Do more on it.

Do more? I haven't done
anything on it yet.
Nick Simmons won't even see me.

You mean,
you didn't write this?

No, this isn't mine.

My idea was the passing
of a landmark.

Well, if you didn't
write it, and I
didn't write it,

who did?
[Loud Coughing]

Um, do you know something
about this, Mr. Kelsey?

Oh, what was that?
I'm afraid I wasn't
following the conversation.

Oh. This.

Oh, the Luther Heggs story.


I should have known
this was Luther's work.

Here, get this.

"The horribleness and the
awfulness of it will never
actually be forgotten"?

You know, tomorrow night
is the 20th anniversary...

of the murder
and suicide.

We ought to capitalize
on it. Do it with
a fresh approach.

I think somebody ought to
spend the anniversary night
in the house.

I've got an idea. I think
somebody ought to spend the
anniversary night in the house.

Hey, great!
Leave it to me. I'll get in
a little before midnight...

No, no.
Not you, Ollie.

What we need is somebody
with a-a wild imagination.

Someone who's a bit
of a coward.

Someone who's
a-a little superstitious.

Luther, you all right?
I'm fine.

Luther! Of course!
But he can't write!

You'll help him.

Uh, Luther?
Oh, yes, sir?

on that filler.
It was a great story.

Oh! Well, thank you.
L-I was hoping
you wouldn't mind.

We're gonna do
a, uh, follow-up.

Front-page lead,
and you're going
to write it.

A... A byline for me?
Oh, for gosh sakes!

- Do you believe in ghosts?
- Oh, you ought to know better
than to ask that, Chief.

The supernatural
doesn't bother you?
Not a speck.

Uh, do haunted houses
scare you?

They're mortar,
stone and wood.

Well, good, because you're
gonna spend the murder
night in the Simmons house.


Oh, well, now...
[Clears Throat]
Just a second.

Uh... Uh...
What's the matter, Ace?
You scared?

Oh, well, heck, no.

You kiddin'?
It's just that I, uh,

got to check
my bowling schedule
and everything.

Oh, well,

you think it over, Luther,
and let us know tomorrow.

[Door Shuts]

This is a great chance
for you, Luther.

Oh, yeah.

Why don't you go
out there tonight
and just look it over?

Yeah. Maybe
I'll do that.

I mean, after all,
it's only mortar...



And wood.

And wood.

- [Yowls]
- [Gasps]

[Footsteps Approaching]

[Footsteps Stop]

[Footsteps Resume]


Luther Heggs.
Nicholas Simmons.

What are you
doing in front of my house?

What are you asking for it?
It's not for sale.
I'm tearing it down.

Oh, well, I guess
I'll just have to...

Luther! Hi.

Oh, hi, Alma.

Oh, you, you going
to lunch?

No, just on my way in
to have lunch.

Going to have lunch, huh?

Yeah, well...
What time is it?

Hmm? Oh, uh, 12:00.

Yeah, well, that's
lunchtime, all right.
Yes, it is.

Why don't we have
lunch together?
Oh, yeah!

Oh, first...

I have to mail this
for Mr. Beckett right away.

I'll get us a booth
and order for you.
What would you like?

Chicken noodle soup.

Okay, fine.
See you in a minute.

I'm having
chicken noodle soup
with Alma!

Oh, well, this was
the only table left,

but this gentleman
is just about finished.

I'm almost up
to my Jell-O.

Oh. Oh, well...

[Clears Throat]

Did you happen to see
yesterday's paper?

What did you
think of it?

What do you mean?
The story on
the Simmons place.

Oh, yes,
I did see that.
That was mine.


Gee, I didn't know you were
a reporter. I thought you were
just a typesetter.

Oh, well, no.
I am now,

yeah, but, I mean,
that's just background.

I'm working
my way up.
Oh, I see.

I have a certificate
from the Kansas City
Correspondence College...

in journalism,
you know.

Rafe Henderson came
out of there, you know.

Who's Rafe Henderson?
He's the one that covered
that famous dead whale story.

You know, where that whale
washed up on the beach
in San Francisco?

Laid there
for three weeks.

Oh, I'm sorry.


Thank you.
Uh, who gets the soup?

Yours truly.

Just put it
right there.

Uh... can you manage?

Oh, sure.

Do you have any more

Well, as
a matter of fact,

it's just possible
that something very big
is about to break.

[Clears Throat]

Don't mention this
to anybody.

I may do a follow-up
on the Simmons story.

They want me to spend
tonight in the Simmons house.

It's the 20th anniversary
of their murder/suicide,
you know.

I know. Gee, that's
an exciting idea.

You know, even though
most people say they don't
believe in ghosts,

it takes an awful lot of nerve
to spend the night in that
spooky old place.

Mmm. Spunk.

Are you gonna do it?


Uh, aren't you through
with your Jell-O?

Hi, baby. Sorry
I couldn't have lunch
with you.

Ollie, that's Luther's chair.
Oh, what's the word,

You gonna spend
the night in the house
or aren't you?

Well, l...
I'm giving two to one
all over town...

that you're not gonna do it,
and I'm not getting
too many takers either.

Well, I'll tell you something,
Ollie. I'm afraid you're gonna
lose a lot of money!

Because come 11:30 tonight,
I'll be there!

Good-bye, Alma.
Put that on my tab.

You haven't got
a tab.


Mr. Deligondo is
getting you his flashlight.

He'll, uh... He'll be here
in just a minute.

I was only two blocks away
that awful night...

at my sister Clara's.

We were sort of listening
to the organ, you know.

The midnight bells
were ringing.

I turned to Clara
and I said,


the organ music sounds
strange tonight."

Well, what did
Clara say?

She said,

"Yes, it does."

You know Clara.


they say there are still
bloodstains on the organ keys.

That's right.

They've never been able
to get them off.
And they used Bon Ami.

[Mrs. Miller]
Everybody says
he still comes there...

and plays at midnight.

Doesn't play as well
as he used to.

You mean, you've
heard him play?

[Clock Chiming]

It's time
to go, Luther.

Uh, yeah.
[Clears Throat]

Yeah, well, I'm gonna...
g-go over there now.

Well, uh,

I, uh, I guess
this is it.

I'll s...

Good-bye, Luther!

Uh, well, I'll see you
in the morning.

God willing.

[Thunder Crashing]


I'm just putting your
adrenaline in shape, kid.

Well, my adrenaline is
just fine, thank you.

You're really going
in there, huh?
Of course I'm going in there!

What do you think I came
out here for? Not to
go in there?

Well, don't get
so excited, fella.

Well, you know why
I'm excited? I'll tell you
why I'm excited.

Because of you!
That's why I'm excited.
Oh, come on, Luther.

You're scared and
you know it. You want me
to go in there with you?

No, I don't want you
to go in there with me.

Oh, you'd love that,
wouldn't you?
Sharing all the glory.

Well, for your information,
fella, I work single-o.

Just me, myself and I.

Okay, Ace.
She's all yours.
See you around.

[Creaking, Thumping]




[Owl Hooting]


[Wind Howling]

[Cat Yowling]


Rachel Courier Express.!

My flashlight.

[Faint Chittering]

(music)(music) [Jazz: Very High Speed]

(music)(music) [Stops]

[Chittering Resumes]

(music)(music) [Humming]

[Gasping, Screaming]

[Thunder Crashing]

Big ghost.


Mrs. Simmons.

[Thunder Crashing]


[Cat Yowling]

[Thunder Crashing]


[Chains Rattling]

[Chains Rattling]


[Chains Rattling]

[Chains Rattling]

[Rattling, Thumping]

- [Zipper Zips]
- [Teeth Chattering]


Who's there?
[Ethereal Laughing]

Is that you, Ollie?

Ollie, you...

You trying to
scare me, Ollie?

[Ethereal Laughing]

You in that other room there?

You tryin' to scare me?

Darn you guys!
I'll show you!

Holy Toledo.

[Thunder Crashing]


[Clock Chiming]

(music)(music) [Minor Key]

It was terrible!
It was just terrible!

Okay, now, Luther.
Tell us what happened.

It was terrible!
It was just terrible!
Oh, no! He's gonna cry!

Now, steady, now, Luther.
Tell us about it.

It was terrible!
It was just terrible!

I'll never get over it
as long as I live!

Hey, great
opening line. Uh,

"I'll never get over it
as long as I live."

Okay, Luther.
Go on.

I got to house...
lightning, thunder...

Swoosh, zoom!
Down coal chute!

"I arrived
at the house.

"Giving careful consideration
to the most advantageous
means of entry,

I selected
the coal chute. '"

"Once inside,
I had a look around,

"then made myself comfortable
for the night.

"Suddenly there was
a strange knocking
on the wall.

I remained cool."
I'll bet.

"Moving swiftly, I found myself
in the organ loft.

"There it was,
the massive organ...

"shrouded in cobwebs,
its once-beautiful
ivory keys...

still covered with the stains
of young Mrs. Simmons's blood."

And they used Bon Ami.

"Later, I descended
to the first floor.

"There, I was to see
the most horrifying
display of all...

"in this bloody
parade of terror.

"The portrait of young
Mrs. Simmons had been
stabbed in the throat...

"with what appeared to be
a pair of gardeners'
pruning shears."

You've never seen
anything like it!

I'll talk
to you later.
Hey, Al!

Run off another 500.
They're selling like hotcakes.

We've made some sort of hero
out of Luther, and that Simmons
place is the talk of the town.

Come on.

[Door Shuts]

I'm sorry, Mrs. Maxwell.
Nicholas Simmons
gave me strict orders.

No one's allowed
on this property.

Mr. Fuller, you don't
seem to understand.
We are followers.

We're on the path
of the occult.

I'm afraid you won't find
anything like that
around here.

Well, it's obvious
you don't understand.

Our society
is dedicated...

to contacting
the other world.

The Communists?
The spiritual world.

Mrs. Maxwell!
Mrs. Maxwell!

The cosmic

Coming, coming.

[Crowd Murmuring]

Oh, the divine
emanations from it.

Hail, cosmic chief.

Taro.! Caro.!

All right, ladies.
Break it up.

That's it for today.
No demonstrating
without a permit.

You have no right
to bar us from this house.

I've got my orders.
Then I'll have
those orders changed.

Well, you'd better do it soon.
They're gonna
tear it down Monday.

[All Gasping]
Tear it down?

By whose orders?
Nicholas Simmons,
the owner.

Are you sure?

This citadel of the divine,

[All Clamoring]

Milo, look at me
when I talk to you.

Halcyon, I promised
Nicholas Simmons...

that I would clear the title
by the first of the week.

Then you haven't signed
the final papers yet?

Well, no.
No, I haven't.

do you realize how long
it's been since we've had
a local manifestation?

We always have to go
out of town, as far away
as Wooster, Ohio.

Oh, Halcyon...
Now, don't
"Oh, Halcyon" me, Milo.

You don't seem to realize
the cosmic importance of this.

Why, this is bigger
than the whispering steeple
in Kansas City.

It's bigger than
the headless ballet dancer
in Dublin, Ireland.

And it's even bigger
than the day
our dear Theresa...

received that personal message
from Rudolph Valentino
in Toledo.

Milo, you will not
sign those papers.

Oh, but dear...
You won't.

But dear...
You won't.

I own 51%
of the bank stock.

I won't.

Milo, you didn't eat
your tapioca.

No wonder you have
a nervous stomach.

What kind of a man
runs his bank on
the whims of his wife?

Well, you just don't know
Mrs. Maxwell.

In the name of heaven, man,
I've waited 20 years
for this!

Well, she owns 51%
of the bank's stock,
for pete's sake.

Don't tell me your wife
believes all that
Luther Heggs hogwash!

With all her heart.
She came home last night
and vibrated for an hour.

Let me get this straight.

You mean, you're not
gonna sign the papers?

Well, l... l...
I just can't, Nick.

All right.
What are you going to do?

When I get through
with Luther Heggs,

nobody will believe him
when he says "Good morning."


Where on earth
is Luther?

He'll be late
for his own speech.

Celebrities are
never on time.
There's Alma. Hi, Alma!

Hi, ladies.
Have you seen Ollie?

I heard him say
he wasn't coming.

I believe his nose
is out of joint
on account of Luther.

Oh! Here comes Luther!

[Crowd Cheering]

(music)["For He's
A Jolly Good Fellow'"]

Hi, hi, hi.

Hello. Hi. How are you?

Hello. Hello.
Good to see you.

Uh, hi!

- Over here, Luther!
- Oh! Hi!

How are ya?
How are ya?

Mr. Mayor.

All you people who aren't
Chamber of Commerce,
clear the table area.

[People Complaining]
Only C of C people here.
Come on. Clear the area.

Clear the area.
Oh, no. Not you, Mr. Heggs.
You stay right where you are.

You too, miss.

That's Alma Parker.

I guess, um, being
with you makes me
some sort of celebrity.


How are ya?
Are you alone?
Mmm-hmm. Mmm-hmm.

Oh. Well...

Can I have
your autograph,
Mr. Heggs?

It's not for me.
It's for my father.


There you go.
He's cute.


I get to feed
the speaker!

That's Loretta Pine.
I know.

I just love good food.
So do I.

Do you?

You know, you and I
are a lot alike.

My mother liked
good food.

She always used to say,

"I'd rather eat good food
than bad food any old
day of the week."

I guess we're having
lunch together again.

Yes, we are.

Would you like to have
lunch some evening?

Oh, uh, that is
to say, of course,
uh, that would be dinner.

Well, l...
l-I understand.

I understand.
You and Ollie
and everything.

Not necessarily.

Y-You mean,
you and Ollie aren't, uh...

Not as much
as people think.


Would you like to have
dinner Sunday night?

[Deputy] You're okay.
You're C of C. You're okay.

You're C of C.
You're okay.

You're not C of C,
but you're okay.

You're C of C,
and you're okay.

You're C of C,
and you're okay.


You're not C of C.

I'm Rotary.
Get out of here!

Who are you
shovin' around, huh?

Thank you, Billy
and Norma Jean Wexler.

And that concludes
the musical portion
of our program.

And now,
ladies and gentlemen,

it is a great honor
and a privilege to present...

the head of our
Chamber of Commerce
and the mayor of our town,

Carlyle Preston.


Atta boy, Carl!

[People Laughing]

My fellow citizens of Rachel.
[Microphone Feeds Back]

Well, the electrician
must be a Democrat.

Atta boy, Carl.

[People Laughing]
Rachel has been humming
for the past few days,

and I really don't have to
tell you why.

There's been an old house
in this town for years...

that, if the truth
be known,

folks have been afraid
to go near.

I know I have.

But one of our very own
had the pluck to go in.

And that name has been
on every tongue.

And the name of that person
who's been on every tongue...

is none other than...
and I really don't
have to say it...

Luther Heggs!

[All Cheering]

[Clears Throat]
Thank you, Mayor,
and fellow Rachelanians.

[Microphone Feeding Back]

[Feedback Stops]

That electrician
must be a Democrat.

[Clears Throat]

Thank you, M-Mayor,
and fellow Rachelanians.

[Clears Throat]
I am proud
to be here today.

Atta boy, Luther.

Uh, when I was
asked to be...

guest speaker
at this luncheon,

I asked myself this:

"Who are you,
Luther Heggs,

to be a guest speaker
at this luncheon?"

I thought about
my answer about being
a guest speaker...

for a long time.

Wh-What is
a guest speaker?

Let me clarify this.

I have been called brave.

What is brave?

Let me clarify this.

Of course, we all know
that it is short...

for bravery.

That goes without
even being said.

But it is
also a symbol...

of another thing.

It is a symbol...

of doing one's duty...

no matter what is
scaring him... personally.

Atta boy, Luther.


Take your World War II.

There were many heroes
in World War II.

What were your heroes?
Who were your heroes?

Let me clarify this.

Thank you for having me.


(music)(music) ["For He's
A Jolly Good Fellow"]

Taro, caro,

Thank you.

Are you Luther Heggs,
1347 Lucerne Road?

You know me,

Loved your speech, Luther.
Thank you. What do you
want me to write on this?

You don't write
on a summons.

He got a summons.

He got a summons!
[Crowd Murmuring]

Well, exactly what is libel,
Mr. Beckett?

It's when you print
an untruth about someone
that damages them, Luther.

Well, who did I damage?

The Simmons' family name.

Mr. Simmons.
Room 51.

Step down.
Mr. Heggs,

can I have
your autograph?

He wants my autograph.

Just draw a little
ghost under it there.


Thank you.


My attorney,
Mr. Whitlow.

Mr. Whitlow.
Mr. Whitlow.

Well, let's get
right down to business.

Heggs, as you know,
I'm suing you personally,

and Beckett, I'm suing
the Rachel Courier Express,

of which you are
editor and owner.

Now, if I win this suit,
and I will,

I'm going to
take the paper.

And if I take Beckett's paper,
where are you going to work,
Mr. Heggs?

I don't know. Chicago Trib,
Pittsburgh Press maybe.

Now, I don't wanna sue and waste
all that time in court,

so I have an
alternative to offer.

Simply publish the fact
that this story is...

a figment of Heggs' imagination
and I'll call off the suit.

What do you say?
In other words, you want
a retraction. Is that it?


Luther, tell me once more
that what you said happened
really happened.

It happened.
The wall did open?

Whoosh, right open.
And the organ?

Played and played
and played.

Nobody at it?
Not a soul,
just cobwebs.

And the shears
in the throat?
Shears in the throat!

No retraction.

All right,
we'll see you in court.

Heggs, when I get you
on the stand, I'm gonna
tear you to shreds.

Just who do you
think you are?

A little pip-squeak like you
fighting us in court?

Just who do you
think you are?

Drop dead!
That's who!

Right, Mr. Beckett?
Mr. Beck... Mr. Beck...
Mr. Beckett? Mr. Beckett?

Boy, you should've heard me
telling them off back there.

Well, you better save your
breath for the courtroom.
You're gonna need it.

Step up, please.

I'm sorry, Mr. Heggs.

Boy, that was just about
the best pounded steak
I ever ate.

I'm glad you enjoyed it.
Mother really is
a wonderful cook.

Oh, yes, she is.
Boy, a guy could get fat.

What was that you just did?
Oh, that was just...
That's karate.

I didn't know
you knew karate.
Oh, yeah.

I've been studying it
by mail for years.

My whole body's a weapon.

that's worthwhile.

Would you like
to sit down?
Oh, sure. Mm-hmm.


It's nice out.

I guess you think
I'm worried about
this trial business tomorrow.

Oh, well...
Well, it's all
part of the game.

A newspaper man has to
do whatever comes along.

Everything will be
all right. You'll see.

I've never been on one
of those stands before.

You'll do just fine.

Alma, do you think
I'm crazy?

Luther, what
a silly question.

Well, some people
seem to think so.

You know very well the
whole town is behind you.

Billy Ray Fox
and guys like that ain't.

Well, Billy Ray Fox's opinion
isn't worth a hill of beans.

Hill of beans.

You know something,

[Clears Throat]


W-Well, the-the thing
is this, Alma.

I mean, well,
you're a darn attractive girl.

- Thank you.
- Yeah, well, that's okay.

Me, I'm a... I'm a...
I'm a guy...

and, well, I mean...
what I mean to say is...

you-you take your average guy
and your above-average girl.

And, well,
the point is...

that people, well...

What I'm trying
to say is...

that average, average is just...
just is darn lucky...

to be sittin' on the same porch
with above-average.

And what I mean
by that is...

Are you trying to say
that you like me?


I like you too,

[Yelling, Shouting]

I'm sorry, folks, I'm sorry,
but the courtroom is all filled.

Now let's get this door
cleared, please. Please!
[Crowd Groaning]

Look, here comes Luther!

Go get 'em, Luther.!
Go get 'em.!

Good luck, Luther.

Thank you.

What was that all about?

That cute little nip
on the cheek.
What's going on?

You don't own me, Ollie.
You never did.


Well, excuse me.

Taro, caro, salamond.

Yeah, that's right.

Atta boy, Luther.!

Hi, Mr. Springer.

How are you feelin',
Oh, 3-0.

Boy, this place
is really buzzin'.

[Women Hissing]

Hi, ladies.

Have you got
a clean hankie?


This may cost me my job,
but I hope they fry you.

What'd he say?

Uh, nothing.

All rise.

Oyez, oyez, oyez.
District court of Rachel County
is now in session.

Judge Harley Nash presid...
It's all right,
Charley, I'm here.

All right, you folks,
let's have a little quiet here.
[Man] Atta boy, George.!

Now, uh, this is
a case of libel.

Nicholas Simmons versus
Luther Heggs, Miles Beckett
and the Rachel Courier Express.

Where's my water, Charley?
Okay, Mr. Whitlow,

you can start it up.
Thank you, Your Honor.

Ladies and gentlemen
of the jury,
I intend to prove...

Here's your water, Judge.

Thank you, Charley.
Where's the Bible?
I haven't got it.

Haven't you got it?
No, I haven't got it.
I left it right here.

Can't run a court
without a Bible.
Arnold, you got the Bible?

Oh, thanks, Arnold.
Here it is, Judge.
Arnold had it.

Atta boy, Arnold.!

Thank you, Tom.
All right, Mr. Whitlow,
you can start her up again.

Thank you, Your Honor.

Ladies and gentlemen
of the jury,

it is my intent to prove that
Luther Heggs did willfully
and with full intent...

concoct and publish
a fabrication injurious...

to the family name of
my client, Nicholas Simmons.

I will prove, in fact,
that this fabrication...

is the product of
the imagination of a man...

whose dreams and ramblings
are a danger to this community.

He's trying to say I'm crazy.
With your permission,
Your Honor,

I should like to call
my first witness,
Miss Neva Tremaine.

Miss Neva Tremaine.

Who is she?
She's my old
grade school teacher.

Ma'am, just right
up to the stand.

You wanna put your left hand
on the Bible and raise
your right hand, please.

You solemnly swear to tell
the truth, the whole truth,
and nothing but the truth,

so help you God?
Mm-hmm. I do.

Charley, your fingernails.
I had a flat
on the way to work.

Be seated, please.

Would you state your name
and address, please?

Neva Tremaine,
312 "E" Street,
Rachel, Kansas.

- And your occupation, please.
- Schoolteacher.

Willow Road Elementary School,
third grade, retired.

Was there one Luther Heggs
a student of yours?

Mm-hmm, he was.
Hi, Luther.

How would you describe
Mr. Heggs as a boy?

Oh, Luther was
a very good boy.

He got three blue stars
in deportment...

and three gold stars
in penmanship.

How else would
you describe him?

He was painfully thin
and very keyed up.

Would you elaborate on that
phrase, "keyed up"?

Well, let's see.

Well, for one thing,
he never ate the crusts
on his sandwiches at lunch.

I object.
I move that that statement
be stricken from the record.

A lot of people trim
the crust on their bread.

Young man,
he didn't trim them.

He ate the inside out
and left the crust.


And more specifically,
Miss Tremaine,

how else did he behave,
being keyed up, I mean?

His shoes
fell off a lot.

But I suppose that
could be because he was
so thin and ran so much.

- Was he a talkative boy?
- Well, when he had
a good story to tell.

And Luther made up
some beauties.

What kind of stories,
Miss Tremaine?
Oh, wild things.

Can you recall any
of them specifically?

Well, I remember
he told all the boys...

that he found a real skeleton
in MacQueen's barn.

Of a squirrel! A squirrel!
I never said a person skeleton!
[Gavel Bangs]

Now you just quiet down,
Luther, or I'm gonna
have to cite you for contempt.

They were my brother's shoes.
That's why they fell off.
Atta boy, Luther.!


Quiet down now, folks.

Do you recall any other of
Mr. Heggs' imaginative
ramblings, Miss Tremaine?

Oh, lots of things.
He told MaryJane Panucci...

that the filling
in his eyetooth...

was a shortwave radio...

and he used to get messages
from Admiral Byrd.

I only wanted her to like me.
Go on, Miss Tremaine.

I remember...

I once asked my students
to write a theme called,
"My father."

And Luther wrote that his father
was really the Prince of Wales,

but that there was
a mix-up at the hospital.

[Gavel Banging]

Your witness.

No questions.

You can step down now, Neva.
Thank you, Harley.

I hope I helped you,

Don't you worry
about a thing, Luther.

I've got a surprise
witness coming in.

Thank you, Your Honor.
I'll proceed.

- Your full name, sir.
- Gaylord Patie.

And what is your occupation?
I'm a certified public
accountant for the state.

Now, then, I understand
that you, Mr. Patie,

have heard the organ playing
in the Simmons mansion.

Am I correct, sir?
You are.

I have heard organ music
coming from the tower
of the Simmons mansion...

on three
separate occasions.

[Crowd Gasping]

That's why I came
to you, Mr. Springer.

And at what time
did you hear this music?

At the stroke
of midnight.

And what else have you heard
coming from the
Simmons mansion, Mr. Patie?

On the first occasion,
a woman's scream.

And on the second
and third occasions,
a man's scream.

What kind of screams
were they, Mr. Patie?

Wild, maniacal screams.

[Crowd Gasping]

Thank you.
Your witness.

Mr. Patie, I understand that
you're president of the
International Conclave...

For Unidentified
Flying Objects.
That is correct, sir.

- Where was your last meeting?
- On Mars.

[Gavel Banging]

You may step down.

Wait till I get
Heggs on the stand.

Luther Heggs
to the stand, please.

Luther Heggs.

Taro, caro, salamond.

Luther, what is
that all about?

Uh, taro, caro,

Oh. Well, you lodge women,
you just sit down
and keep seated.

All right, Charley,
swear in the witness.

Put your left hand
on the Bible and raise
your right hand, please.

You swear to tell the truth,
the whole truth,
and nothing but the truth,

so help you God?
I do.

Be seated.
All right, Mr. Whitlow.

Your, uh...

Your full name is Luther Heggs,
is that correct?
Yes, sir.

Do you mind if
I call you Luther?

Relax, son.
Oh, I am.

I'll try not to keep you
on the stand any longer
than necessary, Luther.

Oh, I don't mind.
It's all part of the game.

What game is that?
The newspaper game.

Oh, I see. You really
love the newspaper game,
don't you, Luther?

Yeah, I sure do.
I guess if you cut me,
I'd bleed ink.

That's very funny.
Thank you.

You certainly have
a flair for turning
a colorful phrase, Luther.

Well... Well,
when you work with words,

words are your work.
Mmm, bravo.

Yes, I expect you learn
a good deal about words down
there in that typesetting room.

Oh, I'm just filling in time
in the typesetting room.

Oh, I see. You'd do anything
to become a full-time
reporter, is that correct?

Well, sure. Who wouldn't?
After all, a chance...

Including exaggerating
and fabricating, eh?
Gotta be a fool to... What?

I'm asking you a question!
Can't you curb your
imagination for one minute?

Can't you curb your
tongue for a minute?
Atta boy, Luther.!

[Gavel Banging]

Quiet down.

Isn't it true, Heggs,
that you were offered
a full-time job as a reporter...

if you brought back
a sensational story
from that house?

A story which, in truth,
you made up
out of your own head.

No, that's not true.
I saw those things.

- Yes, yes.
- I heard those things!

He heard those things.
[Gavel Banging]

Those church bells rang!
Yes, yes!

The organ played!
Oh, yes, it played.

I saw the bloodstains
on the keys,
and they're still there!

And they used Bon Ami!

- Tell it, Luther! Tell it!
- And when I ran downstairs,

I came face to face with
a painting of Mrs. Simmons.

There was a pair of garden
shears stuck in her throat,
blood gushing from the wound!

[Gasping, Screaming]

Mrs. Maxwell fainted,

Some of you huskies
back there pick her up...

and get her out under
a tree or something.

Keep her head up!
Keep her feet up!

No, keep her head
higher than her feet!

Quiet down!

Quiet down.!

Quiet down here now.!

You listen to me,
'cause I'm gonna
tell you something right now.!

I don't know whether
I believe in ghosts or not.

Many the night I've talked
about this with my missus.

But I do know,
there's only one way
of finding out...

if there's something going
on in that Simmons place.

This court hereby orders
the jury
and interested parties...

to meet here
in front of this courthouse
at 11:30 tonight.

And we're going down
to the Simmons house
and see for ourselves.

- Court's adjourned.
- [Cheering]

All right, ladies,
back up now.

Back up, ladies.
Back. Back up.
Back up.

Okay, Chief, looks like
we're all ready.

Open her up.
All right, Judge.

Judge, you're all right.
You're all right.

Good luck, Luther.

I believe in you, Luther.
I believe in what
you stand for.

And my group is
sharing this with you.

And that's
akin to love.

Well, taro, caro...

You're coming in with me,
aren't you?
I don't think they'll let me.

Come on.
You're with me.

She's with me!
Luther, Alma, Kelsey...

Where do you think
you're going?

Who do you think
you're kidding?
Out! Out! Out!


Uh, I better
go in first.

All right, everybody,
this way.

Now let me have your attention
for just one minute.

Now I'm gonna take you
on a tour duplicating
my movements of that night.

Now you're apt to see some
pretty frightening things,

but don't panic,
you're in no real
personal danger.

Now you ladies of the jury,
stay close together.

Hold hands
if you wish.

First, I'm gonna take you
into the den and then
up to the organ loft...

Say, isn't that the picture
of Mrs. Simmons
you were talking about?

Yeah, well, first I wanna
take them into the den.
Well, it is, isn't it?

Where's the garden shears?
Where's the blood?

It seems to me
there should be
a hole in it somewhere.

Well, I'm sure
there is.

Let me...
I'll just show you...
Well, I mean...

Well, that's funny.

Maybe that's not
the same picture.


I don't think
that's the same picture.
That's okay, Luther.

If you've seen one picture of
a woman with shears stuck in
her throat, you've seen 'em all.

Luther, why don't you start the
tour with the wall that opens.
Yeah, yeah.

All right, everybody, I'm gonna
show you the wall that opens.
The opening wall!

Right this way.

I know what
our trouble was back there.

That happened after
the midnight bells.
My mind's wide open.

All right, people, in here.
Right in here.

Okay, here it is.
The panel that opens.

Right here it is.!

You're gonna see
the opening panel.!

Now, I was standing
about right here.

I picked up a book...

and I threw it
at the bookcase...

and whoosh, she opened.

L-l-I picked up a book...

and I threw it,
and whoosh!


Well, I picked...
picked up a book and l...

l-I can't understand it.
It... It opens up!

There's-There's a staircase
in there and everything.

He's a real loser.

it's almost midnight.

Maybe we better be getting
along to the organ part of it.

But I can't understand it.
It opened right up!

That's right.

Well... All right, all right,
up to the organ loft!

Come on, folks.
Up to the organ loft.

Follow me to the organ loft.
The organ loft is next.

Now, folks,
it's almost midnight,

and the ghost of Mr. Simmons
will be up in the organ loft
in just a matter of minutes.

All right.
Folks, Priscilla here
doesn't want to go up.

Any of you other ladies
feel the same way?

The men feel
the same way too, Judge.

Very well.
Jury is excused from
going up in the organ loft.

You can wait down here
for us in the entry hall.

Look, the bloodstains.
That's right.
I told you.

What time you got,

It's, uh, just
ten seconds to midnight.

Good. All right,
steady does it.

[Clock Chiming]


Here we go.
This is ridiculous.

Come on now.

Come on.
Come on, baby.

Come on.!

One and a two and...

(music)(music) [Imitating Organ]

Luther, I think
that's about it.

But... But...

it played!

I'm tellin' you,
it played!

You saw the bloodstains
on the keys!

It played.

It played.


Oh, here they come!
Here they come!

Make room!
Make room!

Make room.
Clear a path here.
Clear a path.

Might as well tell these people
to go home, Chief.
There's nothing in there.

Just an old
empty house.
Just imagination.

All right, folks, break it up.
It's all over.

Judge says there's
nothing in there.

Run along home.

Well, we're finished,

You better find yourself
another job.

I'm sorry, Mr. Beckett.
Couldn't we just...

Please, just leave
me alone, Luther!

Just leave me alone,




(music)(music) [Continues]

Mr. Kelsey!


I thought this would get
you back in here, Luther.

Where are the others?
They all left.
You mean, you?

It was me playin'
the organ the night
you were here.

I stabbed the painting,

But when the organ was playing,
there was nobody at it.

There's a tuning keyboard
under the pipes.

where were you tonight?

That dumb Herkie
wouldn't let me in.

What's this all about?
I don't understand.

[Alma Screams]

That sounds like Alma.

Come on.
[Alma Screaming]
No, no.!

One step closer
and I'll kill her.!

Know what these are,
Mr. Simmons?

That's right.

They're my shears!
The ones you used
to kill your aunt.

And you left them there
to pin it on me!

I'll kill her, Kelsey!
Now let me out of here.

Won't do you a bit
of good, Nicky.

Now everybody's gonna
know about this staircase.
Your big alibi, Nicky.

It won't help to bulldoze
the house down now!
That's far enough!

You go downstairs
and come up behind him.

Push the andiron. It opens
the panel in the study.


You killed them both,
didn't you?

Killed them both for the money
and then tried to pin it on me!

I'll kill her, Kelsey.!


Stay out of this, Heggs!

Don't give up now,
Luther. Get him!

Stay back, Heggs!
Stay back, stay back!

Get him, Luther.!

Get him.!
Don't let him get away.!

I'll kill her,


call the police.

Well, the bigger they are,
the harder they fall.

He's right.
I pushed the andiron,
and the wall opened up.

Well, you just better learn
to take the word
of the press, Chief.

All right, now let me get
this whole thing straight.

You see, the secret staircase
was Simmons' big alibi.

That's right.
The big "alibi-rooney"!

That night the old man
was up in the organ loft
playing the organ.

I heard a scuffle coming
from madam's bedroom.

I saw Nick Simmons
run out of the room...

and head for
the organ loft.

He didn't see me.
He didn't see him.

I went into the room,
and there lay Mrs. Simmons...

with my garden shears
stuck in her throat.

Here they are!
Here's your murder weapon!

I submit these as exhibit "A."
Watch the prints on those.

I grabbed those
and put them under my coat.

When the servants
came up the stairs,

we heard a scream
from the organ loft...

and the thud of a body
falling into the bushes.

We rushed over, and there
on the ground below...

lay the body
of old man Simmons.

Dead as a doornail!

We turned, started
down the stairs...

and met Nick Simmons coming up,
like he just come home.

Of course,
he'd slipped downstairs
by way of the secret staircase.

How come you took so long
to bring this out in the open,
Mr. Kelsey?

I was scared. After all,
that was my shears.

But this was
my last chance.

Well, that wraps it up.
Take him away, Chief.

You knocked
Simmons out, Luther?

That's right, karate.
Made my whole body a weapon.
Good boy!

Do you, Alma,
take this man to be
your lawful wedded husband?

I do.
Do you, Luther,

take this woman to be
your lawful wedded wife?

I do.

By virtue of
the authority vested in me,

I now pronounce you
man and wife.

Luther, you can
kiss her now.

Atta boy, Luther.!


(music)[Wedding March]

(music)[Spooky Organ Music]