From the Walt Disney Motion Picture Soundtrack.
Narrated by Peter Ustinov.
With Dean Jones and Suzanne Pleshette.
Co-starring Elsa Lanchester, Joby Baker and Elliott Reid.
Blackbeard’s Ghost is a 1968 live-action fantasy comedy Disney film starring Peter Ustinov, Dean Jones, and Suzanne Pleshette, directed by Robert Stevenson. It is based upon the novel of the same name by Ben Stahl and was shot in Walt Disney Studios. The Disney Channel aired this film until the late 1990s. This film is remade in India as Chamatkar starring Shahrukh Khan and Urmila Matondkar.
Steve Walker (Dean Jones) arrives in the seacoast town of Godolphin, North Carolina, to take the position of track coach at the local college. The night of his arrival coincides with a charity bazaar at Blackbeard’s Inn, a hotel run by the elderly descendants of the pirate’s crew, where Steve will be boarding. The owners are attempting to pay off their mortgage in order to keep the inn from being bought by the local crime boss, Silky Seymour (Joby Baker), who wants to build a casino on the land. In quick succession, Steve discovers his track team’s shortcomings and runs afoul of the dean of Godolphin College, its football coach, and Seymour; but he also makes the acquaintance of an attractive Godolphin professor, Jo Anne Baker (Suzanne Pleshette), who is anxious to help the elderly ladies save the Inn. A bidding war with the football coach at the charity auction nets Steve an antique bed warmer, once owned by the wife of Captain Blackbeard, named Aldetha Teach, (who is the spitting image of Jo Anne, and was a witch). Inside this bed warmer is hidden a book of magic spells, that had once been the property of Blackbeard’s wife. Steve recites one as a lark, unintentionally conjuring up the ghost of Blackbeard (Peter Ustinov), who appears as a socially-inappropriate drunkard whose wife cursed him to an existence in limbo unless he can perform a good deed.
The two are bound to one another by the power of the spell and only the very reluctant Steve can see or hear the ghost. As a result, Steve must deal with the antics of the wayward pirate while attempting to revive Godolphin’s track team and form a relationship with Jo Anne. Things get more complicated when the pirate steals one of the Inn’s mortgage payments and bets it on Steve’s track team. Blackbeard’s intention is to use his ghostly powers to help Godolphin win the Broxton Relay track meet, and thereby pay the mortgage in full. Though Steve (who is an overly scrupulous man) is at first outraged over the pirate’s interference during the meet, he eventually decides the greater good is to win the money for the sake of the Inn, and help the old ladies whom he also has grown fond of. He also accepts the pirate’s help in shaking down Silky Seymour and his thugs after Seymour refuses to pay out the winnings from the bet.
Finally, with the mortgage paid, Blackbeard has performed his good deed and is released from the curse. After Steve has revealed him to the ladies and Jo Anne, Blackbeard bids them all a cordial goodbye and departs to join his former crew, leaving Steve and Jo Anne to pursue their future happily together.