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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Old Time Ghosts
When his twin brother David is killed after falling from his apartment window, Don Wanderley(Craig Wasson) returns to the small town to be with his father Edward(Douglas Fairbanks Jnr) for the funeral. Edward is one of four elderly members of 'The Chowder Society' who tell eachother creepy stories round a roaring coal fire. One story they do not talk about is a true...
Published on 13 Oct 2010 by Mr. Jonathon T. Beckett

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3.0 out of 5 stars Only adaptation but not a great one
I read Peter Straub's 'Ghost Story' when it was published several decades ago and found it superbly written and one of those books you genuinely cannot put down once started. Until recently I hadn't known a film had been made based upon this work and often wondered why. Then, by pure chance, discovered this version including Fred Astaire who, once away from the twinkling...
Published 17 months ago by Georges


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Old Time Ghosts, 13 Oct 2010
By 
Mr. Jonathon T. Beckett "vampire lover" (Dracula's Crypt) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Ghost Story_Reg. 2_Fred Astaire, Fairbanks, Douglas_EU-Import (DVD)
When his twin brother David is killed after falling from his apartment window, Don Wanderley(Craig Wasson) returns to the small town to be with his father Edward(Douglas Fairbanks Jnr) for the funeral. Edward is one of four elderly members of 'The Chowder Society' who tell eachother creepy stories round a roaring coal fire. One story they do not talk about is a true story, a terrible secret that they have kept quiet for fifty years. Their silence is about to be broken however, as Don has his own story to tell. A story of a woman called Alma Mobley(Alice Krige). The members of the Chowder Society know her by a different name. It seems that the secret they have kept quiet so long has come back to haunt them in the present, and threaten all their lives.
This is an entertaining film, an old fashioned ghost story with added gruesome special effects. In fact, these rather silly special effects do not add anything to proceedings, and lend a rather uneven tone to the whole film. It should also be said that 'Ghost Story' fails in one vital area, it doesn't actually scare the audience. However , these are minor quibbles.
The real joy here is the presence of four great old actors clearly enjoying playing off eachother. As well as Fairbanks Jnr, we get John Houseman, Fred Astaire and Melvyn Douglas to entertain us. It's in the scenes where these old timers are present that the film is at its most enjoyable. These four great actors appearing in the autumn of their careers also gives an elagiac feel to the film.
There's also a very nice music score underpinning the unfolding events, and there is a great performance by Alice Krige as the vengeful ghost of the title. Not an unqualified success but a very entertaining film. This release is short on extras but the picture and sound quality are both very good. 4 out of 5
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ghost story fred astaire, 19 Aug 2010
A Kid's Review
This review is from: Ghost Story_Reg. 2_Fred Astaire, Fairbanks, Douglas_EU-Import (DVD)
this is a very creepy and atmospheric ghost story absolutely perfect for viewing afound Christmas!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 7 July 2014
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This review is from: Ghost Story_Reg. 2_Fred Astaire, Fairbanks, Douglas_EU-Import (DVD)
Amazing film! A classic ghost story.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A spine chiller, 16 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Ghost Story_Reg. 2_Fred Astaire, Fairbanks, Douglas_EU-Import (DVD)
Good old creepy story best viewed on a dark stormy night. Famous old cast liked a lot,thanks. Nothing more to say.
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4.0 out of 5 stars time filler, 13 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Ghost Story_Reg. 2_Fred Astaire, Fairbanks, Douglas_EU-Import (DVD)
Ghost story is a fun time waster,having read the book i was hoping to be more entertaned.Ghost story needs the miniseries treatment the sam as stephen king got with The stand,6 hour epic to tell the whole spooky story.But alas it is not to be,hopfully it might happen.I still like it as a rainy sunday kind of movie.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great, 11 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Ghost Story_Reg. 2_Fred Astaire, Fairbanks, Douglas_EU-Import (DVD)
Great to find this as not easy to get in uk DVD region. Just what expected as wanted to watch this again for sometime as not easy to get hold of.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Only adaptation but not a great one, 18 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Ghost Story_Reg. 2_Fred Astaire, Fairbanks, Douglas_EU-Import (DVD)
I read Peter Straub's 'Ghost Story' when it was published several decades ago and found it superbly written and one of those books you genuinely cannot put down once started. Until recently I hadn't known a film had been made based upon this work and often wondered why. Then, by pure chance, discovered this version including Fred Astaire who, once away from the twinkling toes image of his youth, was a very watchable actor.

I certainly hoped for something better. This is a directional mess. The intention was clearly to start with a montage of events as it affected the various characters leading up to the point when the modern section of the story could become the main narrative. This was muddled and confusing. The director seemed to think he could do what an author might in creating a series of random events which eventually are shown how they fit into the greater story. This doesn't work because there are too many characters from the past and future and the future. A reader can take time to understand, refer back if necessary, to get everything into context. But, in this instance in Straub's book this isn't necessary because he has the skill to move between the different elements seamlessly without losing any threads.

Once the film plot moves beyond the zig zag ride of past/present the film does settle down although still with flashbacks, but less of them. With all this fussiness going on the actors clearly were doing the best they could in the circumstances. The film ended very abruptly, not taking account of the 'washing up' Straub includes to round off his original work.

The result is one is left wondering whether the film was made this way because of cost considerations or to be part of the 'flashback movement' which was being overdone by film makers at the time this was made. It travels very poorly from its era to this one.

I'm not sorry I bought it; the settings were good but I'd like to see a remake, or better still a TV series which could give the time to the subtleties and nuances of Straub's plot and sub-plots which are far more interesting than the rather crude and truncated illustration of them here.
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