Rent Ghost Story (1974)

2.7 of 5 from 63 ratings
1h 27min
Rent Ghost Story Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
  • General info
  • Available formats
Set in 1930's England it tells of three former public schoolmates, Larry Dann (The Bill), Murray Melvin (The Devils) and the enigmatic Vivian MacKerrell (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 (The Girl on a Motorcycle). The haunting transports us to a surreal world of incest and murder, inhabited by a demonic doll and a sadistic doctor who presides over a corrupt insane asylum.
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Stephen Weeks
Philip Norman, Rosemary Sutcliff, Stephen Weeks
Nucleus Films
British Films, Horror, Thrillers
Release Date:
Run Time:
87 minutes
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.78:1 / 16:9
  • Audio Commentary with Stephen Weeks, moderated by Professor Samuel Umland
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Ghost Stories - an all-new 72 minute featurette including interviews with Director/Producer Stephen Weeks. Actors Larry Dann and Murray Melvin. British Horror Icon Barbara Shelley and composer (and Pink Floyd collaborator) Ron Geesin, with comments from writer Kim Newman
  • Alternate opening credits sequence
  • Stephen Weeks' The Making of Ghost Story PDF
  • Stephen Weeks' My Early Films PDF
  • Terror. Tweed & Win Essay by Drewe Shimon PDF
  • Original Press Book pdf
  • The Chelsea Cobbler store commercial
  • 7 early previously unseen short Stephen Weeks films: Own s War (1965 / B+W / 10m) Deserted Station (1965 / B.W / 7m); The Camp (1965 / B.W / 4m); Moods of a Victorian Church (1967 / Colour / 9m); Two At Thursday [1968/B+V/ 10m); 1917(1968/Colour / 35m) - the lost Tigon film!; Flesh (1969/Colour/3m); Trailers for other Nucleus Films" releases
Disc 1:
This disc includes the main feature
Disc 2:
This disc includes the main feature plus the follwing bonus short films:
- Owen's War (1965)
- Deserted Station (1965)
- The Camp (1965)
- Moods of a Victorian Church (1967)
- Two at Thursday (1968)
- 1917 (1968)
- Flesh (1969)
Special Features:
- The Chelsea Cobbler
- Alternate Ghost Story Credits
- Press Book (.pdf)
- The Making of Ghost Story (.pdf)
Release Date:
Run Time:
87 minutes
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.78:1 / 16:9
BLU-RAY Regions:
(0) All
  • Audio commentary with Director Stephen Weeks, moderated by Prof. Samuel Umland
  • 'Ghost Stories: The Curious Tales of the Making of Ghost Story' - A 72 minute feature-length documentary including interviews with Director Stephen Weeks, Actors Larry Dann and Murray Melvin, British Horror Icon Barbara Shelley and composer/Pink Floyd collaborator Ron Geesin, with comments from crtitic Kim Newman
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Alternate opening credits
  • 7 of Stephen Weeks' Short Films
  • 13 Film Commercials
  • Unseen footage from 1984's aborted The Bengal Lancers! (30 mins)
  • Newly discovered 1969 test footage for Gawain and the Green Knight, with David Leland (8 mins) Gallery
  • PDF files

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Reviews (3) of Ghost Story

Don't mind if I do. - Ghost Story review by Steve Mason

Spoiler Alert

A film of such soporific aimlessness and self indulgence that it could only have been made by a stoned six former. A small cast of poshos in boating shoes, cream slacks and pretty frocks wander around a nice old house, occasionally visited by visions of a Victorian doll.

I would say it shows no signs of talent at any level, if only because it doesn't. (The director did make the distinctly ok, I Monster.) Though someone clearly has an interesting dressing up box. A cult classic for some. For others, a bewildering waste of time.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

Mild Spoilers ... - Ghost Story review by NP

Spoiler Alert

Supercilious Duller, prissy McFayden, ever-enthusiastic Talbot (Vivian MacKerrell, Murray Melvin and Larry Dann) are three ex-college friends who meet up after four years for a reunion in MacFayden’s sprawling country house. One gets the impression the three were rather associates by necessity rather than bosom buddies, as their waspish glances and sneering comments – usually directed at poor, silly Talbot – would attest. Such needling among them seems deliberately provocative, with McFayden giggling, “He’ll go mad,” as Talbot makes his way to bed on the first night.

As the most sensitive, it is Talbot who is afflicted by a strange haunting. Dolls seem to come to life, and imagery of the house’s former residents Sophie (MacFayden’s cousin, as it turns out) and Mrs Rennie (Marianne Faithful and Penelope Keith). Sophie is being persuaded she is losing her mind thanks to Robert (Leigh Lawson), which in turns informs Talbot’s further visions of an austere insane asylum. The reasons Robert wishes to do away with his sister in such a way is because he finds that he ‘fancies her’.

The performances are very theatrical, slightly larger than life (Melvin is a theatre veteran and specialises in fragile, effete characters, whereas MacKerrell was a notable eccentric in real-life: the subject of the film ‘Withnail and I’) and the substituting of Bangalore Palace in India, where this was filmed, for creepy 1920’s England in the height of summer adds to the not-quite-rightness of the overall atmosphere. Talbot is being invited to witness events, but is given no clue as how to rectify them (it is his inability to help that ultimately brings about his death via some non-special effects). The sweaty, spacious visuals are very effective, as are the scenes in the asylum when the inmates finally break-out and subject their doctor Borden (Anthony Bate) to an excruciating, lengthy wet shave.

Irritated to a point beyond even his usual unpleasantness, Duller leaves – his temper no doubt fuelled by his own inability to communicate with the spirits that are clearly drawn instead to Talbot. The depiction of the house he leaves behind is extremely creepy, and it is almost possible to sympathise with the waspish McFayden – suddenly the victim of Talbot’s wayward behaviour now he is left alone with him – for not wanting to stay there alone. This unease is exemplified by Ron Geesin’s eerily out-of-place music. The film is an unsettling oddity, and directed by Stephen Weeks who also directed the Christopher Lee film ‘I, Monster (1970)’ at the age of only 22.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Better than I was expecting - Ghost Story review by PD

Spoiler Alert

I'm a big fan of a Withnail and I chose this film mainly to see the actor Vivian MacKerrel in one of his few screen roles. MacKerrel is reputed to have been the model for the drug and alcohol riddled character Withnail.

I was expecting both McKerrel and the film to be terrible but actually it was all quite fun. Intentionally or not the film borders on parody and the interactions between the three posh chums were a delight to watch. If you are looking for a serious art film or a even genuinely scary movie you will be sorely disappointed, but as a piece of entertaining 1970s esoterica it fits the bill just fine.

The extras are interesting too and describe how the film was set in England but shot on location in India whilst the credits claim it to be shot on location in Wales.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

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