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The Signalman [1976] [DVD]

Denholm Elliott , Bernard Lloyd , Lawrence Gordon Clark    Parental Guidance   DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
Price: £29.97
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Frequently Bought Together

The Signalman [1976] [DVD] + Ghost Stories from the BBC: Whistle and I'll Come to You (1968 + 2010) [DVD]
Price For Both: £41.04

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Product details

  • Actors: Denholm Elliott, Bernard Lloyd, Reginald Jessup, Carina Wyeth
  • Directors: Lawrence Gordon Clark
  • Writers: Andrew Davies, Charles Dickens
  • Producers: Rosemary Hill
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Bfi
  • DVD Release Date: 25 Nov 2002
  • Run Time: 39 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00007IG4Y
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 37,798 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


The sixth offering in the BBC's 'A Ghost Story for Christmas' series. Denholm Elliott stars as the troubled railway signalman who has witnessed some strange and unsettling sights and sounds along his stretch of track. Bernard Lloyd co-stars as the curious traveller who tries to make sense of the signalman's story.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
I have been a big fan of Charles Dickens for quite number of years now, and i have read most of his novels. Therefore i was very happy to discover that one of his best mystery/thriller stories, 'The Signalman' was availble on DVD.
This chilling tale is about a signalman (of course) who lives all by himself in a remote and very isolated signal box. There he begins to see a spectre, which seems to be telling something, warning him of a terrible accident. I won't say much more because i don't want to spoil this wonderful, bone-chilling film for you.
Although there are really only two roles in this film, that of the signalman, and that of the man who comes to see him (the narrator in the book), it doesn't seem to matter and they both bring the roles to life brilliantly.
One of the great things about the book is the way that tension is built up at just the right time, and then somthing scary happens such as the spectre appearing, and this is conveyed brilliantly in this film adaptation
Overall, a supurb re-telling of the classic Charles Dickens novel, which will give you cold shivers run up your spine. If you have read then book then watch this film, if you have seen this film then read the book.
Highly recommended.
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47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true spinechiller 1 Jan 2003
The release of this 1976 ghost story by Charles Dickens is a welcome treat for anyone who loves to be chilled to the bone. It stars Denholm Elliot who gives a remarkable and truly haunted performance as the signalman of the title. The story centres around the appearance of a spectre which appears to be a harbinger of doom. I will not reveal too much of the story as that would spoil the mood of increasing dread that pervades this gem of a film. It is coupled with an M. R. James ghost story called A Warning To The Curious(1972). Whilst it is not quite of the same standard it is also a very satisfying ghost story with few flaws. It is just not quite as scary on repeated viewing. For fans of the sadly lost art of Christmas ghost stories this is an absolute must. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great piece of drama 5 Jun 2004
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This is a very fine piece of television which faithfully reproduces the extraordinary tension and feeling of forboding of the short story. It is hard to imagine a better portrayal from the two lead actors. As ever when there is a powerful story the special effects are secondary, but the use of the bell in the signalman's box is incredibly effective. A wonderful drama and strongly recommended.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
The Signalman by Charles Dickens is about a powerless man who is visited by a traveller (the narrator of The Signalman). The story is based on a railway accident that Dickens was involved in, where the train was derailed and ten people were killed. The whole story revolves around just two characters, the narrator and the signalman. The powerless man works as a signalman for the passing trains and lives near by the train track. The railways were only recently invented; so it was cutting edge technology. But, when the signalman sees the traveller for the first time he becomes afraid by the three words that the traveller utters 'Halloa! Below there!' As the two men talked, the signalman tells the traveller the sinister reason to why he was so scared by the traveller's greeting. This is typical of Dickens later work as he then used darker tones and more disciplined literature that had a greater sense of unity. So by the end of the visit the two men had gradually formed a firm friendship. The further meetings became more intense and there was an increased air of mystery around what the signalman was saying.

I did this for my english project and i tell you that the book and the film are exact. The characters are amazingly similar to the ones in the story. It really does give you goosebumps. I recomend this to absolutely everyone.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two for the price of one 25 May 2005
A kind hearted and friendly man, out for a country walk, spots the signalman standing by the railway line, in a deep cutting at the mouth of a dark railway tunnel. He hails him and waves, wanting only to be sociable and hoping the signalman will be glad of his company, working as he does in such a dismal and isolated location. The signalman doesn't at first seem to welcome the stranger but gives every indication of unease and suspicion at the sudden greeting. The pleasant manner of the man puts the signalman at ease however, so that he invites him into his signal box for a chat and a cup of tea by the fire. It soon becomes apparent that the signalman is a poor haunted soul, living in a state of dread. He finds himself trusting the stranger and before long is pleased to accept the opportunity to unburden himself of the fear and anxiety that have been troubling him. His tale is disturbing and unbelievable. It will chill you to the marrow.
The story is all you would expect from an author like Charles Dickens. The acting is all you would expect from actors like Denholm Elliott and Bernard Lloyd. The film sets are simple and uncluttered by any special effects. You provide the imagination. It's near perfect.
And as if the drama wasn't enough, there's also a reading of the story by John Nettleton on this BFI DVD. I love listening to good stories that are well read. This is an excellent story that's very well read.
Highly recommended.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Brilliant horror film, Siouxsie could've done a song about this
Published 3 days ago by Big John
3.0 out of 5 stars im chilled to the bone without see,ing it just on price. and 39mins...
ive read reviews on it and people wrote on internet. then 2 wks later it came out. wow how much. gosh. sshhhhhh.
Published 22 months ago by tango
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent viewing
In my opinion, stands the test of time. Really well adapted and written and excellently performed. Well worth the money.
Published 23 months ago by Wumpty
5.0 out of 5 stars please show again
This is up there with some the real great hidden gems of british 1970s tv ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
its just so scarey
Published on 23 Oct 2012 by Mrs Orvitz
5.0 out of 5 stars The Signalman
Brilliant movie! I first watched this in 1982 and have tried to obtain it ever since.

A most compelling and evocative film from the pen of Charles Dickens about a... Read more
Published on 5 Oct 2012 by Mike
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful ghost story for Christmas.
I saw this originally on the BBC - I think it was late, one Christmas Eve. I have waited and waited for the BBC to bring it out on DVD or repeat it. Read more
Published on 8 Dec 2011 by tangfastico
4.0 out of 5 stars Not quite Dickens but a close call!
A colleague of mine preferred listening to the "wireless because the scenery is better" and, obviously, if one has a good imagination, Dickens' words are the best; he describes... Read more
Published on 18 Aug 2011 by RR Waller
4.0 out of 5 stars Review of The Signalman
I had already seen this on the TV some years ago, and the DVD quality was great, its not one of those all action films but does still keep you interested until the conclusion, when... Read more
Published on 1 May 2010 by Dr Crippen
5.0 out of 5 stars Cutting it fine
The late lamented Denholm Elliot plays the title role in this Victorian Gothic mystery adapted from a short story by Charles Dickens and first broadcast in late 1976 as part of the... Read more
Published on 5 May 2009 by Captain Pugwash
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent adaptation of a classic ghost story
This is a really excellent production. Denholm Elliott is superb as the haunted signalman. The original story by Charles Dickens was one of the very first ghost stories to be... Read more
Published on 27 Mar 2009 by Steve
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