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The Stalls of Barchester (1971)

TV Movie  |   |  Horror  |  24 December 1971 (UK)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 165 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 6 critic

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'.

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(story) (as Montague Rhodes James)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Thelma Barlow ...
Letitia Hayes
Will Leighton ...
Librarian
Harold Bennett ...
Archdeacon Pulteney
Penny Service ...
Jane Lee
Martin Hoyle ...
Verger
Erik Chitty ...
Priest
David Pugh ...
John
Ambrose Coghill ...
Museum Curator
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Storyline

A scholar, Dr Black (Clive Swift), is engaged in cataloging the collection of the library of Barchester Cathedral. He is finding the work heavy going as there is little of any real interest within the collection and the librarian is proving less than helpful. However, the librarian and Dr Black discover a box of documents pertaining to a former Archdeacon of the Cathedral. Black begins reading the diary of Dr Haynes, an ambitious cleric who finds his promotion to the position of Archdeacon blocked by a geriatric incumbent who seems like he will never vacate the position. The impatient Haynes (Robert Hardy) seems to conspire to hasten the Archdeacon's death and is duly appointed Archdeacon. However, his diary reveals that once in post Haynes becomes increasingly disturbed as he is plagued by unnerving events both within the Cathedral and his own home. Written by Mark_a_Wood <markawood@hotmail.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

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

Genres:

Horror

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Release Date:

24 December 1971 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Ghost Story for Christmas: The Stalls of Barchester  »

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

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User Reviews

 
Goes beyond disappointing
19 December 2007 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I really didn't care for this, I love the rest of the M R James series, but this one had no tension, no terror, no dread. The effects were extremely fake. The way the story was told was boring and monotonous. To be perfectly honest I found it an embarrassment to be associated with the BBC's other great adaptations of M R James. The main character was so emotionless and flat that i was left not caring what was going to happen to him, (although he may have been meant to be played this way). Prehaps it just wasn't a good choice of story.

With some things you can say, "well it wasn't scary but I still enjoyed watching it", well not with this.


1 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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