A group of old people is being frightened by mysterious phone calls.



(novel), | 2 more credits »


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Dame Lettie Colston
Jacqueline Leonard ...
Gwen - Dame Lettie Colston's Maid
Charmian Colston
Godfrey Colston
Elizabeth Bradley ...
Mrs. Anthony
Jean Taylor
Margery Withers ...
Grannie Barnacle
Ward Sister
Ronald Sidebottome
Tempest Sidebottome
Damaris Hayman ...
Miss Lottinville
Mrs. Mabel Pettigrew
Maurice Denham ...
Guy Leet
Preston Lockwood ...
Deaf Old Man
Arthur Hewlett ...
Ancient Man


The story sets in UK during the 1940's. Lettie Colston is a bad tempered lady, who treats in a very rude fashion her maid and has a quite strict personality. Charmian Colston, on the contrary, is a very nice woman, but she lives obsessed with Jean Taylor, because she calls every person like that despite his husband, Godfrey Colston, tells her everyday that Taylor's in the hospital. In fact, Lattie visits almost everyday to Jean at the hospital, a very calm old lady, who shares the room with other old women, some of them living in her own world. One day, Lattie receives a mysterious phone call, with a creepy male voice speaking, telling that "remember that you have to die one day". Charmian is receiving the same phone calls as well as Godfrey. Other friends are receiving the phone calls as well, a group of old people who likes to organize social reunions, gathering together in funerals. Lattie and Charmian are too scared because of these phone calls, and they're trying to find out who ... Written by Alejandro Frias

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Plot Keywords:

based on novel | See All (1) »







Release Date:

19 April 1992 (UK)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Jack Clayton spent many years trying to set up a film of Muriel Spark's novel, which was first published at the end of the 1950s. He was repeatedly told that too many of the leading characters were old people for any film version to be a box-office success. After the film of "Driving Miss Daisy" had proved a great hit, he tried again, but, even then, could only set the film up as a TV movie, using the same screenplay that he had prepared for the cinema. See more »

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User Reviews

Anything but deadly
26 April 2005 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

I have had the pleasure of reading many of Muriel Spark's novels and stories, the first being "The Abbess of Crewe," whose deadpan satire of Watergate made me laugh so hard that I thought my face might freeze into a mask of idiot's delight. "Nasty Habits," its unfortunate film version, was a disappointment. I therefore feared an even sadder fate would befall any screen treatment of "Memento Mori," which has long since become my favorite of Ms. Spark's works, having, I think, the most impressive balance of satire and warmth in her entire oeuvre.

I was delighted, then, when I saw the film broadcast on PBS. To this day I can't decide whether the lion's share of the credit for its brilliance belongs to Maggie Smith and her fellow actors or to the director or the screenwriters. It doesn't matter; it's not my place to judge.

However, I have always been at a loss to understand why this effectively lost masterpiece has not been available to the public after all this time. Surely PBS or BBC America could at least air it again, so that we happy few who were blessed to have caught it might at least record it off the TV.

In the meantime, we will have to subsist on our fond memories.

Heavy, heavy sigh.

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