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BBC Ghost Stories: The Stalls of Barchester + A Warning to the Curious
Two films by Lawrence Gordon Clark
As a Christmas treat in the late 1960s and 70s, the BBC produced adaptations of ghost stories based on the works of M R James, the Cambridge academic and author of some of the most spine-tingling tales in the English language, which were broadcast to terrified viewers in the dead of winter. This was a tradition that was briefly revived by the BBC between 2007 and 2010.
These adaptations, which have a subtlety and style all of their own, have been a major influence on many contemporary British horror filmmakers and have come to be some of the most sought after British TV titles by their legions of eager fans.
The Stalls of Barchester (1971)
While cataloguing the collection of Barchester Cathedral library, Dr Black stumbles across an intriguing box of papers belonging to former Archdeacon Haynes. In it, he discovers a hidden history of blood guilt and macabre supernatural revenge.
With its superb cast and beautiful choral accompaniment by Norwich Cathedral choir, Lawrence Gordon Clark s (Harry s Game) evocative adaptation of James short story inspired the BBC's popular 1970s series A Ghost Story for Christmas
A Warning to the Curious (1972)
The second of Clark's M R James adaptations for the BBC features Peter Vaughan (Straw Dogs, Our Friends in the North) as a doomed amateur archaeologist who pays a terrible price for his curiosity about an ancient Saxon legend.
UK | 1971 + 1972 | colour | English language | 45 minutes + 50 minutes | DVD9 | Original aspect ratio 1.33:1 | Dolby Digital mono audio (320kbps) | Region 2 DVD