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The Stone Tape [DVD] [1972]

Michael Bryant|Jane Asher|Iain Cuthbertson , Peter Sasdy    Parental Guidance   DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: Michael Bryant|Jane Asher|Iain Cuthbertson
  • Directors: Peter Sasdy
  • Format: PAL, Colour
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Bfi
  • DVD Release Date: 20 Aug 2001
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005N9FJ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 94,430 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Atmospheric seventies ghost story from the BBC. When scientists working for Ryan Electrics move into their new headquarters, a gothic mansion, they find one room unfinished. Strange noises are heard, and the builders are too frightened to complete their work. When the other scientists dismiss such fears as irrational whimsy, only psychically-minded Jill (Jane Asher) senses the dark secret that lurks beneath the building.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
54 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic Television Ghost Story 11 Dec 2001
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
I remember when this was first broadcast in 1972.
At the age of 14 this classic ghost story had just the right mix of the supernatural and science fiction to make a lasting impression. The horror does not come in the form of blood and gore but from the basic plot element which identifies that the stone of a building records events when they occur under the correct set of emotinal circumstances, which to me seemed to offer a perfect solution to the question 'are there such things as ghosts ?'
The intensity of the plot has lost nothing in 30 years and although a little dated in some areas such as it's lack of exterior scenes, this seems to add to it's status as a classic, in the same way as Quatermass.
I watched it recently with my 68 year old father and my 13 year old nephew in the knowledge that they would both enjoy and suffer only a limited number of sleepless nights !!
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57 of 60 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars From Tape to DVD 7 Oct 2002
If this is representative of what the BFI can dust off and put out on DVD, let's hope they carry on raiding the archive. Billed as the BBC' s Christmas ghost story in 1972, it's an admittedly dated but brilliantly suspenseful thriller from the pen of Nigel "Quatermass" Kneale that works because of what it implies as much as what it actually shows. The story concerns a team of scientists, led by Michael Bryant, who relocate to a spacious Gothic mansion to research a breakthrough recording medium. The team's only woman, played by Jane Asher, triggers an apparition in the only room that has not been renovated, and the remainder of the thriller is occupied with their frenzied attempts to monitor and explain the phenomenon.
Full of enthusiastic acting that derives from the school of "Shout, shout and shout again" (stage star Bryant, great though he is, is perhaps most guilty of projecting to the gods), The Stone Tape has lost none of its power to chill, 30 years on.
Kneale expertly feeds the imagination, lights the blue touch-paper and retires. There's no wrap-up resolution and the grand climax (this was the era of Jon Pertwee's Doctor Who, remember) boasts a succession of effects that don't come with "special" on the box. But the atmosphere is the thing. The extremely noisy sound track, aided by some creepy radiophonic murmurings, makes you so hypersensitive that you'll have to keep fiddling with the volume.
Kneale's intriguing reminiscences on the commentary - he doesn't believe in the supernatural, you know - and a printable script complete a great package.
But just bear in mind - it'll stay with you.
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Once seen, never forgotten 14 Dec 2004
Why "Once seen, never forgotten"? Because that's the effect this superb BBC film had on me. Even today, I still remember seeing it in '72 on TV. It has stuck with me ever since and has even influenced my own writing for children. I agree 100% with other reviewers who lament the passing of the BBC's ability and willingness to mark each new year with a superbly produced story of ghosts or the supernatural - and in 'The Stone Tape' you get both, plus a hefty dose of sci-fi. The fact that the production is now dated, somehow adds to its atmosphere, so pray that no double-barrelled geek with 23 degrees in media studies thinks "Ah - just imagine what we could do today with digital effects. Let's re-make it." Who needs it when you've already got a Grade One story; a Grade One script; Grade One direction and acting; and a storyline that never lets you see old houses in the same way ever again. So - if you want a truly classic tale to unsettle you on a dark winter's evening as the winds swirl and the doors creak - then this is it. Five stars seems mean.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
So, I may not have even been born when the show aired, and only knew about it for the past six months or so, making me a bit behind many of the afficianados, but there is one thing I can say after seeing it for the first time. It lives up to its reputation.
The main reason to state this is who wrote it (Nigel Kneale), who knows how to write a TV play that grabs and shakes you - 1984 and the Quatermass series show his pedigree. The way it unfolds shows this, playing more like an actual book in how it unfolds before reaching the dark core of what is happening, which is something you don't see too often. This also drags you in, wanting to see how it unfolds. Rather than regular shock tactics, the atmosphere of dread increases slowly, before unleashing at key moments as the ghost appears. In many ways, it is on the same level as the original version of The Haunting, which is a compliment if ever there was one.
The other aspect that works in The Stone Tape's favour is the acting, which is a cut above what you would expect, and also helps distract you from what you DO expect from an early 70's BBC show (plastic sets and the occasional ropey SFX). Jane Asher has to do a lot of acting for her character to work, and carries it off superbly. Michael Bryant and Ian Cuthbertson also carry themselves with aplomb, and even thge lesser characters are given a degree of gravitas with the performances (the late Michael Bates as Eddie the most notable).
Yet the reason The Stone Tape has remained in the consciousness of those who have seen it is the climax, which still packs a punch 30+ years after the show was broadcast. I'm not in the mood for spoilers, but suffice to say you'll remember it long after as well.
However, there is a shame after watching this.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Shouty Arm waving Hysterical actors.
I'm afraid this hit the bin after three quarters way through. Look saying acting is of it's time is incorrect as a justification for this. Read more
Published 29 days ago by hugh
5.0 out of 5 stars Asher
Chilling ghost story
Published 1 month ago by phil6079
1.0 out of 5 stars A big let down
A massive disappointment. Between the muddled script and the constant shouting of Michael Bryant, there wasn't much left to enjoy in this hopelessly dated and heavily pretentious... Read more
Published 3 months ago by R. Kenchington
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing!
The story was as I remembered it, but judged by modern standards the acting was appalling and the continuity dreadful!
Published 5 months ago by S. C. Gilbert
4.0 out of 5 stars Great mind bending drama, shame about the quality
As a standalone piece of science fiction/supernatural drama, The Stone Tape is outstanding. Nigel Kneale had an ability to produce highly innovative, chilling, story and character... Read more
Published 7 months ago by MikeyJ
4.0 out of 5 stars the stone tape.
a very good story just as i remembered it but sadly dated now, it is surely crying out for a updated remake as all the ghost stories that are on television tend to be period ones.
Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars Not Quatermass!
Overrated. I could forgive a lot in terms of production value and acting if the story was good. Unfortuntely it is bland, boring and left me with a "so what" feeling at the end. Read more
Published 9 months ago by mike
4.0 out of 5 stars not fantastic
okay for its time but not a classic like the m.r. james ghost stories its still got a place in my collection though well over priced they should not be anymore than five pounds at... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Thomas
4.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT GHOST GTORY
Not reliant on special effects, this film dates back to the early 1970's. It has a good script and is well acted. I would higly recommend it for all those who like gothic horror.
Published 12 months ago by Mr. V. A. Griffin
4.0 out of 5 stars Not quite as scary as I remember
The last time this was shown on TV, I had to turn the light on before I went upstairs to bed. Not quite as frightening as I remembered, but still well worth a watch. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Andrew Thomas
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