Blackbeard's Ghost [1968]

Genre: Comedy, Family, Fantasy
In the moody prologue, amid a raging storm that evokes Hollywood golden-age high-seas swashbucklers, a foreboding scroll recounts the legend of one of the bloodiest pirates in the history of the Caribbean. Leave it to Disney to turn him into a fun-loving old prankster with a whimsical side. Peter Ustinov mugs shamelessly as the bombastic but harmless apparition who renounces his wicked ways to become the mischievous school spirit of the local college, much to the annoyance of straight-arrow track coach Dean Jones. Made in the heyday of Disney's live-action family comedies, Blackbeard's Ghost is all haphazard but high-energy slapstick and squeaky-clean romance (courtesy of contemporary schoolmarm Suzanne Pleshette) performed with more gumption than grace, but there's a nostalgic innocence to the whole overplayed affair. --Sean Axmaker

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