I'll admit, I never would have expected to review a non Scooby-Doo movie on this blog. I was inspired to watch a Don Knotts movie to review on here from a comment on here by Lance Rutt, although he suggested How to Frame a Figg which I unfortunately couldn't find anywhere. I've had a bunch of people recommend The Ghost and Mr. Chicken to me over the years, saying that it was exactly like Scooby. After watching it, this film totally had the same vibe as a Scooby-Doo episode. Given the Scooby undertones present throughout the film, and the fact that this is Knott an Ordinary Week on ScoobySnax.com, I wanted to write an article reviewing this film. I would highly recommend to any Scooby fan, because between the mystery aspect and the film being a bit comedic, this came pretty close to feeling like it could have been a Scooby episode! Besides, how can you go wrong with Don Knotts haha?
I'll begin with an explanation of the film for those not familiar with it. The film begins with a man who is so out of it that he's saying random nonsense. When the man falls to the ground near a haunted house, the town's local reporter Luther Heggs (played by Don Knotts) believes this man has been murdered. After Luther reports the murder to the police, he is ridiculed when it's discovered the "murder" was simply the town drunk who was knocked unconscious. Word soon spreads of Luther's foolish mistake, and he is ridiculed and mocked by the townspeople.
To show people that he isn't just a laughing stock, Luther attempts to write an ambitious article about the same house where Luther believed he witnessed the so-called "murder", which is rumored to be haunted by the ghost of Mr. Simmons who murdered his wife, right before he himself died too. a. According to legend, the ghost of Mr. Simmons plays a creepy old organ in the house every single night. On the 20th anniversary of the house's owner dying, Luther vows to stay one night in the house to prove he's not a chicken. While Don Knotts plays quite a comedic character, who's constantly getting scared about everything (including bumping into a tree, a record player, and even a cat), the film did a really good job incorporating this comedy with some suspense surrounding the mystery of the house, just like Scooby-Doo often does. Don's exaggerated facial expressions were also quite amusing lol.
When Luther goes in the house, he is quickly frightened away by the organ playing by itself, and when he finds pruning shears stabbed into a painting of Mrs. Simmons hanging on the wall. Luther tells everyone the story, and word eventually gets back to Nicholas Simmons - the nephew of the house's owners - who wants to tear the mansion down. Unexpectedly, Nicholas sues Luther for holding up the estate's arrangements, claiming he was making libelous statements in the article he wrote about his relatives' home. Luther is taken to court, where his grade school teacher Miss Tremaine is used as a witness, and reveals that Luther was a troublemaker when he was younger. This causes Luther's credibility to be questioned by the court, and he is accused of making up the whole story of the house being haunted so he would make himself look good as a reporter.
I won't go any more into the story as not to ruin the ending for those who want to watch it. The film did a really good job with making us feel for Luther. Though he is a goofball who does a lot of silly and foolish things, one part in particular really made me feel for him as a character - when he asks a woman he has a crush on "Do you think I'm crazy?". I never thought I'd feel a little sad from watching a Don Knotts movie, but that scene really hit me because it was so pitiful! While the viewer gets to enjoy Luther's comedic moments throughout the film, you also begin to feel for him as the film goes on, because he's constantly put in situations where his peers ridicule him despite it not really being his fault.
All the acting was on-point. Nothing felt stilted or out of place at all, it was a really genuine, funny, feel-good story. Given I was a fan of the show Bewitched when I was younger, I was super excited there was a mini Bewitched reunion in this film, with Dick Sargent and Sandra Gould both having roles in this. While I wasn't as big of a fan of The Waltons, it was fun to see Ellen Corby in a different role as Luther's teacher!
Don Knotts was truly the star of this film though. His goofy acting, his wacky karate moves (which were absolutely hilarious), and his overexaggerated reactions and facial expressions to things, were so much fun to see and I found myself laughing throughout the film. It's all very ridiculous, quirky humor that's super entertaining. I will admit, even though my political leanings aren't necessarily in line with this joke, hearing Don Knotts say "Who paid for this, a Democrat?" was really savage for the 60s lol (even if he was saying it just to get people to like him). And I pretty much never use slang except satirically, but Don Knotts is special enough to get the rare honor of me using slang to refer to his jokes haha. Wait, the youth of today still say "savage," right? There was that one Megan Thee Stallion song last year titled that, so I think I'm safe lol. Also, I should probably specify that I'm still young enough that I could probably be considered "the youth of today," given I don't want people to assume I'm super old given I just was talking about liking a 60s sitcom a paragraph above. It's a joke, y'all haha.
Overall, I would absolutely give this movie 5 stars. It's a movie you can Knott miss haha. The haunted house and the mystery aspect of this film were top-notch (or rather top-Knottch? haha), and the comedy mixed in make this film so much like a Scooby episode, and it's one I would recommend to all Scooby fans, regardless how into Scooby you are. Besides, again, it's Don freaking Knotts, how can you not like that? haha
To conclude, I just want to say thank you so, so much everyone for making our little Don Knotts Week so much fun. It's been so much fun doing a week centered around the one and only Don Knotts, and it's awesome to see people getting into it so much all the comments, and most people switching their names to Don Knotts puns in the comment section haha.
That's it for Knott an Ordinary Week, folks, and hopefully I made this a week that you all will Knott forget haha.
~ WildwindVampire ~