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Ghost Story [DVD] [1974]

Penelope Keith , Marianne Faithfull , Stephen Weeks    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
Price: £17.50 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Ghost Story [DVD] [1974] + Crooked House [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Penelope Keith, Marianne Faithfull, Barbara Shelley, Sally Grace, Murray Melvin
  • Directors: Stephen Weeks
  • Format: Anamorphic, Dolby, PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Nucleus Films
  • DVD Release Date: 18 Nov 2009
  • Run Time: 83 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002OM63MG
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 12,931 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Revered, misunderstood and oft-discussed, Stephen Weeks' rarely seen 1974 dreamlike chiller is the absolute definition of a cult British Horror film. Set in 1920 s England it tells of three former public schoolmates, Larry Dann (The Bill), Murray Melvin (The Devils) and the enigmatic Vivian Mackerell (the inspiration for Bruce Robinson' s creation 'Withnail', seen here in his only major screen role), who reunite in a country mansion haunted by the spirit of insane former resident Marianne Faithfull (Girl On A Motorcycle). The haunting transports them to a surreal world of demonic dolls, sadistic doctors, incest and murder. Hammer fans will see Barbara Shelley (Dracula Prince Of Darkness) and Leigh Lawson (Hammer House Of Horror), among the cast, 'cult TV' enthusiasts will recognise Anthony Bate (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Beasts), and sitcom lovers will enjoy a cameo from Penelope Keith (The Good Life,To The Manor Born). This combination of 1970 s Britsploitation and 1920 s quaintness, realised perfectly by Weeks and soundtracked by Pink Floyd collaborator Ron Geesin, have made Ghost Story legendary. Now, for the first time on DVD Nucleus Films proudly presents this pristine 2-disc collectors edition including Ghost Stories , an in depth featurette about the curious tale about the making of the film, an audio commentary, a trailer and a selection of Weeks' fascinating early shorts and commercials. 2 DISC COLLECTOR S EDITION - with booklet DVD Extras include: Ghost Stories an all-new 60 minute featurette including interviews with Director/Producer Stephen Weeks, Actors Larry Dann and Murray Melvin and British Horror Icon Barbara Shelley, plus composer Ron Geesin who worked with Pink Floyd, plus UK critic Kim Newman. 7 previously unseen early short films! 1960s The Chelsea Cobbler commercial! Audio Commentary and Theatrical Trailer

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
42 of 46 people found the following review helpful
Quite why it's taken so long for this vastly superior ghost movie to get it's well-deserved DVD release is unfathomable to me, but hey, it's here at last, and well worth the wait.
The extras alone are more than worth the purchase price of this double disc set. but it's the movie itself that is the gold in this release. Atmospheric, creepy, full of character, (and characters! Murray Melvin's character alone is pure gold!) and a wonderful setting, redolent of better times from England's past. (Though the movie itself was filmed in India, but you get my drift).
Not to be confused with the American made movie of the same name featuring Fred Astaire, (that one was mediocre) this is a story, featuring the olde worlde charm of days gone by, I should imagine set in the 1920s or early 1930s judging by the fashions, car, and gramophone featured. - Witness the scene with Murray Melvin dancing alone to the gramophone! Great. The synopsis of this movie is roughly as follows:

Three well-bred guys spend a vacation in a lovely old house, courtesy of Murray Melvin's character's family maybe leaving him a legacy to it, I can't recall the exact reason. One of the guys soon becomes obsessed with a creepy doll, and thenceforth begins reliving the past experiences of former resident, (played by Marianne Faithful) whose incestuous brother had her committed to a lunatic asylum to asuage his guilty feelings. This story is told in flashback sequences, witnessed by the poor chap who becomes completely unhinged by it all, as you could well imagine! Penelope Keith is in there somewhere, in the sub-plot story concerning Marianne Faithful's character, but it is the sequences concerning the three friends themselves that make the movie for me.
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38 of 43 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good value obscure film 26 Nov 2009
By The Soft Machine Operator TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This was director Stephen Week's final movie, and was completely self financed, with a colonial pile India assuming the role of the English countryside presumably to cut costs. This strange location only helps with the odd atmosphere in this gothic tale of madness. What appear to be three university chums get together at Murray Melvin's haunted pile for what appears to be a hunting trip. It soon becomes clear that the three aren't chums - Larry Dann's sensitive, naive character is cleary at odds with the other two upper class twits, so it's no surprise he's the only one who sees the ghost, which manifests itself as a series of visions of the house's past and events at a nearby lunatic asylum. These ghostly visions are neat trick to tell us what happened in the house and in the nearby lunatic asylum...

This movie is often criticised for being dull, but that's unfair. It's talky, yes, but there's plenty going on and a lot of threads that are left unexplained - such as Duller's experiments with the occult and an implication that he's there to conduct experiments and not just hunt for birds... In fact, you're never quite certain just what is going on, which makes it all the more interesting.

The film looks good on this print - colourful and crisp, with the Indian location providing an eerie, "other world" feeling. The location fits the flashbacks, and Week's use of zooms and close ups sometimes makes it feel more like a movie from Mainland Europe than the UK.

The DVD comes with an extra disc crammed full of stuff, including an excellent "making of" documentary.

This is thoroughly recommended - maybe it's time for a re-appraisal of Ghost Story.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars AN OBSCURE GEM- NOT TO BE MISSED 26 Dec 2010
i saw this film as a 12 year old when it was on tv in the 70's and never forgot it. i couldn't even remember the title until a couple of years ago, i managed to track down a copy of it on vhs under the alternative title "madhouse mansion". i understand that the other film of the same title, starring alice krige and douglas fairbanks meant that this film changed it's title from the original "ghost story". this film is a one off, distinctly british i think, despite the foreign location. it has quite a forboding atmosphere, and some really creepy touches (the china doll and the knocking pipe sounds for example). the cast are excellent too. i won't give too much away, as it will spoil your viewing pleasure. anyone who appreciates classic british horror will love this. highly recommended.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgic 31 Mar 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Dodgy acting, writing and directing, but there's is actually some creepy moments in this (I hesitate to say) lost gem. But lets face it we're only interested because we remember it on TV in the 80s. It's probably just like you remember it, but a bit more lame. But still nice to see it again, and it does capture a peculiar atmosphere that doesn't happen in movies today. A fond 4 stars.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone should watch this! 31 Aug 2010
By -Ins-
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I saw this film when I was a teenager and have spent many years unsuccessfully trying to find it again, making me think (spookily), I may have imagined the whole thing! - Until now! Back in print, and not a moment too soon, it is exactly as eerie, enchanting, haunting, different, weird and wonderful as I remember it!! The Extras on this version are superb, not only do we get treated to a bunch of short stories, but also a seriously engrossing documentary about the making of this gem!! Well worth the money!!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Lost Film
Loved this movie. Actors are first class: Vivian MacKerrell, Larry Dann and Murray Melvin all superb (to say nothing of Marianne Faithful, Anthony Bate and Penelope Keith). Read more
Published 4 months ago by M. N. Dixon
1.0 out of 5 stars To the Manor Bored!
Pretty awful British mystery disguised as a horror film, Ghost Story pitches some poncey people into an old country house retreat and one of them starts to see spectral images that... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Spike Owen
5.0 out of 5 stars the best of the best.
ive always been a fan of Melvin murray after seeing him in a taste of honey,what a treat it was to be able to see him again in what is primary a tour de force of acting writing and... Read more
Published 13 months ago by amanda smith
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting production
This film production is a master work despite (or because) a limited budget. So if for whatever reason one should expect to see a horror film full of special effects this is... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Lenin
4.0 out of 5 stars An odd one
This is a rather odd film, with some rather baffling and long-winded scenes. Ultimately though it's a satisfying piece of cinema, and an eerie ghost story. Read more
Published on 15 April 2012 by downkiddie
5.0 out of 5 stars Creepy, bit like Childs Play or Chuckie
I always thought that Child's play or Chuckie the movie should have been British (would have been more scarier) anyway this film is set in the twenties about a girl sent to the... Read more
Published on 30 Nov 2010 by L. Topp
1.0 out of 5 stars Best kept in the vaults....
I had high hopes for this film, but I regret to say that it really let me down.

For a start (and I can be scared easily by supernatural films), it just isn't frightening... Read more
Published on 9 Nov 2010 by Mr. S. Barlow
2.0 out of 5 stars Not good
I'd heard a lot about this movie from the mildly eerie to the utterly terrifying! Well I must have watched the wrong movie its neither. Read more
Published on 24 May 2010 by D. Laidlaw
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