EARTHBOUND. 20th Century Fox, 1940. Warner Baxter, Andrea Leeds, Lynn Bari, Charley Grapewin, Henry Wilcoxon, Elizabeth Patterson. Director: Irving Pichel.

   This is one of those films in which after a person’s death, his ghost is forced to remain on earth until he somehow rights the wrongs committed by his murderer. The ghost this time around is that of Nick Desborough, Warner Baxter’s character, whose one offense he’s done on the earth is to have ab affair with Lynn Bari’s character while married to Adrea Leeds, who plays his wife.

   And he’s broken off the affair. Lynn Bari doesn’t take this lightly and pulls a gun on him. In the ensuing struggle, the gun goes off, and Baxter is dead. Bari’s husband (and Baxter’s business partner, played by Henry Wilcoxon) takes the blame, and according the one of the rules that ghosts have to play by, it is up to Baxter to exonerate him, even as the case goes to court.

   Charley Grapewin plays Baxter’s elderly and somewhat whimsical Bible-wielding mentor in this land of limbo he is in, but no matter much running around and talking to people that Baxter does, no one can hear him. One should think he would figure this out long before he does, but he perseveres, the real killer is determined, and eventually all is right in the world and beyond.

   I don’t know what you might think, but none of this made a lot of sense to me. The special effects are more than OK, however, making Warner Baxter quite transparent after his character dies and he must carry on in his new ghostly realm.