Saturday, August 22, 2009

Page to Film :: The Canterville Ghost

Basic Plot Summery: An American family, the Otises, move to the English countryside and purchase the rumored haunted Canterville Chase. Ignoring the warnings from the previous owner and the neighbors alike, they move in and set about cleaning the place up, including the centuries old blood stain that adorns the sitting room. After learning who made the stain and of whoms blood was involved, the family is soon visited and terrorized by the Canterville Ghost himself, once Sir Simon Canterville and eternal owner of the mansion.
But try as he might the American (and Americanized) family simply won't be scared away, and only the 15 year old daughter Virgina takes any pity on him, and ultimately saves him from his eternal damnation.

List of Characters:


Lord Canterville: Previous owner of the mansion, and supposed relation to the Ghost, he sold the house to Mr. Horace B. Otis readily but didn't shy from the details when telling Mr. Otis what he was getting himself and his family into.

My Cast Choice: Christopher Plummer


Mr. Horace B. Otis: The boisterous head of the Otis family, Mr. Otis first dismisses tales of a ghost in his newly purchased English house, arguing that the modern country of America has already bought up anything of value from the Old World. A calm man, he scolds the twin Otis boys for throwing pillows at the ghost, then reasons that if the ghost will not use the lubricator, the family will take away his chains. Silly, Stubborn, American.

My Cast Choice: Kevin Spacey


Mrs. Lucretia Tappan Otis: The spirited matriarch of the Otis clan, Mrs. Lucretia Tappan Otis, a former New York beauty, is renowned for her “superb profile.” Sir Simon views her as a gross materialist because she offers him Dr. Dobell’s tincture for indigestion after having misunderstood his ghostly laugh as a sign of a medical disorder. Generally undisturbed by the Ghost’s performances, Mrs. Otis possesses a “really wonderful amount of animal spirits.”

My Cast Choice: Kyra Sedgwick


Virginia Otis: The somewhat puritanical, beautiful fifteen-year old daughter of the American Minister, inspires the love of the young Duke of Cheshire as the story begins. And unlike the rest of her family who try and "cure" the ghost, when Virginia encounters Sir Simon, she pities him and tries to help the weary spirit.

My Cast Choice: Emma Watson


Duke of Cheshire (Cecil): Desperately in love with the fifteen-year old Virginia Otis, the boyish Duke of Cheshire proposes after watching her win a pony race. However, his guardians pack him off to Eton, and he must wait to marry. But his impetuousness cannot be quelled.

My Cast Choice: Michael Angarano


The Twins (Stars & Stripes): The youngest children of the Otis family, the twins are wild hooligans. They throw pillows at the ghostly Sir Simon’s head, hit him with their peashooters, and throw nuts along the corridor in an effort to trip the Ghost. Irrepressible, the twins achieve their greatest triumph when they create their own ghost from a hollowed-out turnip, a bed curtain, and a kitchen cleaver. Their constant pranks leave Sir Simon shaken, as his every plan for revenge is thwarted by the twins’s efforts.

My Cast Choice: Brent and Shane Kinsman


Sir Simon Canterville (Ghost): Haunting Canterville Chase since he was starved to death in 1584 by his dead wife’s brothers, they murdered him because he had murdered his wife for the trivial reasons that she was plain and a bad housekeeper. For three hundred years since, Sir Simon has frightened the inhabitants of Canterville Chase and has relished his role as resident ghost.
However, when the rational American Otises arrive, the Ghost realizes that his audience does not appreciate his performance. No matter what he tries, he cannot frighten the Otis family. Initially the butt of the twins’s pranks and an annoyance to the practical Otises, the Ghost becomes an object of sympathy. Weary and despairing, Sir Simon begs Virginia Otis to pray for him so that he can finally achieve eternal rest.

My Cast Choice: Jason Isaacs


Have you read the book? Agree with my casting choices? Are totally in love with Mr. Plummer like myself?!
Then please comment, and share your thoughts.

Up next: "The Westing Game". ^-^

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