A young orphan, Stephen, is sent to go and live with his strange, much older cousin at his remote country house. Once there, Stephen experiences terrible dreams in which he sees a young girl and boy who are missing their hearts.

Writers:

(story), (dramatisation)
Reviews

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Ash Tree (TV Short 1975)
Short | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Man of leisure Sir Richard (Edward Petherbridge) receives notification that his Uncle has died, bequeathing him his stately country manor and all its lands. On his return to England he ... See full summary »

Director: Lawrence Gordon Clark
Stars: Edward Petherbridge, Preston Lockwood, Barbara Ewing
A Warning to the Curious (TV Movie 1972)
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An archeologist goes treasure hunting along the English coast in search of a lost, fabled crown that supposedly helps protect Great Britain against invasion.

Director: Lawrence Gordon Clark
Stars: Peter Vaughan, Clive Swift, Julian Herington
The Stalls of Barchester (TV Movie 1971)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

While cataloging the library of Barchester Cathedral, a scholar finds a diary detailing the events surrounding the mysterious death of an Archdeacon some 50 years earlier. The first of the BBC's famed 'A Ghost Story for Christmas'.

Director: Lawrence Gordon Clark
Stars: Robert Hardy, Clive Swift, Thelma Barlow
The Signalman (TV Short 1976)
Drama | Horror | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A lonely Signalman is visited by a stranger.

Director: Lawrence Gordon Clark
Stars: Denholm Elliott, Bernard Lloyd, Reginald Jessup
A View from a Hill (TV Movie 2005)
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In fact Dr Fanshawe is not on holiday. As an archaeologist, he has been engaged by the squire to catalogue a private collection of local artefacts.

Director: Luke Watson
Stars: Mark Letheren, Pip Torrens, David Burke
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

After placing his ailing wife Alice in a care home elderly academic James Parkin goes to stay at a wintry out-of-season hotel which they used to visit together. Walking on a deserted beach ... See full summary »

Director: Andy De Emmony
Stars: John Hurt, Gemma Jones, Lesley Sharp
Number 13 (TV Movie 2006)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In order to authenticate some historical papers in a cathedral town, Oxbridge academic Anderson stays at a local hotel in room 12, initially disregarding the lack of a number 13 as ... See full summary »

Director: Pier Wilkie
Stars: Greg Wise, Paul Freeman, David Burke
The Ice House (TV Short 1978)
Short | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Paul recently divorced seeks sanctuary at a country retreat run by a sinister brother and sister.

Director: Derek Lister
Stars: John Stride, David Beames, Elizabeth Romilly
The Stone Tape (TV Movie 1972)
Fantasy | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A research team from an electronics company move into an old Victorian house to start work on finding a new recording medium. When team member Jill Greeley witnesses a ghost, team director ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Sasdy
Stars: Michael Bryant, Jane Asher, Iain Cuthbertson
The Tractate Middoth (TV Movie 2013)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

On his deathbed vicar Rant makes a secret confession to his niece Mary Simpson. Some twenty years later young librarian William Garrett is asked by elderly John Eldred to locate a book ... See full summary »

Director: Mark Gatiss
Stars: Louise Jameson, John Castle, Eleanor Bron
Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The Reverend Justin Somerton, a scholar of Medieval history, and his protégé Lord Peter Dattering are visiting an Abbey library. Studying a stained glass window they uncover clues leading to a treasure hidden by a disgraced Abbot.

Director: Lawrence Gordon Clark
Stars: Sheila Dunn, Anne Blake, Frank Mills
Stigma (TV Short 1977)
Short | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A young couple move into a remote country house in the middle of a stone circle. They employ workmen who disturb an ancient menhir, unleashing a supernatural force.

Director: Lawrence Gordon Clark
Stars: Kate Binchy, Peter Bowles, Maxine Gordon
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Simon Gipps-Kent ...
Stephen
...
Mr. Abney
James Mellor ...
Parkes
Susan Richards ...
Mrs. Bunch
Christopher Davis ...
Boy
Michelle Foster ...
Girl
Roger Milner ...
Vicar
Edit

Storyline

A young orphan, Stephen, is sent to go and live with his strange, much older cousin at his remote country house. Once there, Stephen experiences terrible dreams in which he sees a young girl and boy who are missing their hearts.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

gothic horror | based on book | See All (2) »

Genres:

Short | Horror | Mystery

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

25 December 1973 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Ghost Story for Christmas: Lost Hearts  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Quotes

Mr. Abney: Good. Excellent. Out to grass. Quite the thing.
See more »

Connections

Featured in MR James: Ghost Writer (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Hyperion III
(uncredited)
Music by Bruno Maderna
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Effective and creepy horror film that delivers off a strong atmosphere and mystery
11 March 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Young Stephen comes out to the countryside to stay with his cousin, the eccentric old Mr Abney. Alone with Abney and his two staff, Stephen hears of the other children who have stayed at this house before him thanks to the kindness of Abney. When he thinks he sees them he responses to their signals for silence by not mentioning it to any of the adults, however when a boy and a girl come for him and night and reveal themselves to have no hearts. However is it just the dream that the adults assure him it all is?

Shown again recently on BBC4 as part of their season of ghost story films leading up to Christmas, this was easily one of the better of them. The foundation of the film is the wonderfully non-threatening Abney, a kindly uncle for the world even if he is a bit eccentric. However, the viewer will keep asking, if he is so cheerful and kind, why is Stephen seeing these two ghostly figures in trees and windows? The questions are what held my attention but the strength of the film is in using them to create an uncertain air that is quite creepy. On top of this are thrown two white faced children who predate Ringu and the like by many decades. They move so effectively and simply that it is just roundly unnerving. Wisely director Clark doesn't shroud these two characters in horror but instead makes them innocent, smiling and cheerful – making them seem all the more creepy.

They are not great child actors but they work this well. Gipps-Kent is a solid lead and avoids being cute or overly confident but the film is dominated by the eccentric wonderfulness of O'Conor as Abney. His turn keeps things quite upbeat and makes the mystery and the ghosts seem just that bit more creepy. Overall then this is a great little ghost story. Modern viewers may feel a little bit like it has done better elsewhere (it has, in recent Japanese horrors) but it is worth remembering that this film came many decades before and is just as creepy now as it must have been then.


6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?