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Movies at Main: The Ghost and Mr. Chicken

Believe It or Knotts

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Here we salute the comic genius of Don Knotts—and you only think we’re kidding. This amiable and very funny 1966 haunted-house spoof, a kind of live-action Scooby Doo episode, essentially transposes the Mayberry universe to Rachel, Kansas (“Home Plate for Wheat and Democracy”), where Knotts’ knock-kneed typesetter agrees to spend a night in the haunted Simmons place to impress a girl. Ace Andy Griffith Show scribes James Fritzell and Everett Greenbaum wrote the script, which goes to the trouble of surrounding Knotts with a gallery of goofy small-town types. But the star gives a virtuoso demonstration of rattled nerves, whether he’s stammering through a public address without his notes or reacting to a bloody pipe organ’s unseen player. None other than Nashville horror host Dr. Gangrene hosts the free screening, projected from DVD.
Sat., Oct. 24, 2 p.m., 2009

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