Runtime: 95 mins
Published/distributed by BFI
(Including VAT at 20%)
Ghost Stories from the BBC: The Stalls of Barchester / A Warning to the Curious RRP 19.99
Clark, Lawrence Gordon
As a Christmas treat in the late 1960s and 70s, the BBC produced adaptations of ghost stories based on the works of MR James, the Cambridge academic and author of some of the most spine-tingling tales in the English language, which were broadcast to terrified viewers in the dead of winter. This was a tradition that was briefly revived by the BBC between 2007 and 2010.
These adaptations, which have a subtlety and style all of their own, have been a major influence on many contemporary British horror filmmakers and have come to be some of the most sought after British TV titles by their legions of eager fans.
This volume of Ghost Stories from the BBC includes the DVD premiere release of 1971's The Stalls of Barchester starring Robin Hardy, and 1972's A Warning to the Curious (previously released on DVD by the BFI), starring Peter Vaughan.
The Stalls of Barchester (Lawrence Gordon Clark, 1971, 45 mins)
While cataloguing the collections of Barchester Cathedral library, Dr Black stumbles across an intriguing box of papers belonging to former Archdeacon Haynes. In it, he discovers a hidden history of blood guilt and macabre supernatural revenge.
With its superb cast and beautiful choral accompaniment by Norwich Cathedral choir, Lawrence Gordon Clark's ('Harry's Game') evocative adaptation of James' short story inspired the BBC's popular 1970s series 'A Ghost Story for Christmas'.
A Warning to the Curious (Lawrence Gordon Clark, 1972, 50 mins)
The second of Clark's MR James adaptations for the BBC features Peter Vaughan (Straw Dogs, Our Friends in the North) as a doomed amateur archaeologist who pays a terrible price for his curiosity about an ancient Saxon legend.
John McGlashen's extraordinary photography imbues the wide open Norfolk coastline with an uneasy sense of dread.
Extras* Introduction to The Stalls of Barchester by director Lawrence Gordon Clark (2012, 10 mins)
* Introduction to A Warning to the Curious by director Lawrence Gordon Clark (2012, 12 mins)
* Ghost Stories for Christmas with Christopher Lee - 'The Stalls of Barchester by MR James' (Eleanor Yule, 2000, 30 mins): Christopher Lee recreates MR James famous soirees at which the antiquary would read his tales of the supernatural to eager undergraduates.
* Ghost Stories for Christmas with Christopher Lee - 'A Warning to the Curious by MR James' (Eleanor Yule, 2000, 30 mins): dramatic reconstruction of one of the author's Christmas readings.