Rent The Mr James Collection (2012)

3.3 of 5 from 16 ratings
6h 12min
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With their terrifying demons, doomed protagonists and lurking terrors, the stories of MR James - the acknowledged master of the modern English ghost story - formed the basis of many classic BBC adaptations. The nine films collected here, from such acclaimed directors as Jonathan Miller and Lawrence Gordon Clark , proved immensely popular when they were first broadcast, and continue to shock and delight audiences today.
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Jonathan Miller, Lawrence Gordon Clark, Rosemary Hill, Pier Wilkie, Richard Fell
Mr. James, Jonathan Miller, Lawrence Gordon Clark, Robin Chapman, John Bowen, David Rudkin, Peter Harness, Justin Hopper
BFI Video
Horror, British TV, TV Documentaries, TV Mysteries
Release Date:
Run Time:
372 minutes
Disc 1:
This disc includes :
- Whistle and I'll Come to You (1968 and 2010 versions)
Disc 2:
This disc includes :
- The Stalls of Barchester (1971)
- A Warning to the Curious (1972)
Disc 3:
This disc includes :
- Lost Hearts (1973)
- The Treasure of Abbot Thomas (1974)
- The Ash Tree (1975)
Disc 4:
This disc includes :
- A View From a Hill (2005)
- Number 13 (2006)

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Reviews (1) of The Mr James Collection

M R James still waiting for a decent adaptation - The Mr James Collection review by MB

Spoiler Alert

Having the seen the 1970's TV adaptations of M R James (good then; less so now) I was interested to see a couple of the more recent ones. Alas, they managed not only to be as staid as the worst moments of the 1970s ones but so relentlessly unimaginative they do James's ghost stories a real disservice.

Take 'A View from A Hill', one of James's most chilling stories. As the central character in the TV film explores the haunted hill - site of ancient hangings - the director attempts to evoke the place's morbid atmosphere with serial killer-style subjective camera shots (cf. Black Christmas and a hundred other slashers) mixed with half-seen movement - the latter ok for one shot but quickly irritating. It's too crude, too literal, and simply doesn't work.

For those wanting to experience a cinema version of M R James's often creepy atmospherics, which no-one has really managed so far, I'd recommend the Italian 'Across the River'. True, it can't supply James's distinctive Englishness, but its central character - a naturalist in search of night-time creatures, using fixed cameras - is a pretty good equivalent to James's peripatetic antiquaries in search of ancient texts. And like in James, the mysterious unseen creatures turn out to be immensely vengeful and vicious, despite their innocent appearance.

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