ITV Playhouse: Season 11, Episode 9

Casting the Runes (24 Apr. 1979)

TV Episode  |  Comedy, Drama
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 84 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 2 critic

Like NIGHT OF THE DEMON, this adaptation is based only very loosely based on the original ghost story by M.R. James. However, it does feature eerie scenic views and is directed by Lawrence "Ghost Story For Christmas" Gordon Clark

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Title: Casting the Runes (24 Apr 1979)

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
Iain Cuthbertson ...
Jan Francis ...
Bernard Gallagher ...
Joanna Dunham ...
Edward Petherbridge ...
Henry Harrington
Christopher Good ...
John Harrington
Patricia Shakesby ...
Elise Marriott
...
John Marriott
Jane Lowe ...
Joanna
Alan Downer ...
Peter
Clifford Parrish ...
Wiggin
Christine Buckley ...
Housekeeper
Abdul Ali ...
Doctor
Simon Prebble ...
Newscaster
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Like NIGHT OF THE DEMON, this adaptation is based only very loosely based on the original ghost story by M.R. James. However, it does feature eerie scenic views and is directed by Lawrence "Ghost Story For Christmas" Gordon Clark

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horror movie remake | See All (1) »

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Comedy | Drama

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24 April 1979 (UK)  »

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Connections

Version of Curse of the Demon (1957) See more »

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Interesting
2 January 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Best known for the BBC 'Ghost Story for Christmas' series, Lawrence Gordon Clark directed this M.R. James adaptation for Yorkshire Television. Updated to the present day, 'Casting the Runes' is an atmospheric, often eerie tale marred by some basic flaws. The main character is now a TV journalist, who incurs a magician's wrath after mocking him in a documentary. Shot on a mixture of videotape and 16mm film, 'Casting the Runes' conjures a sense of the uncanny against a mundane backdrop. While the special effects are variable - to say the least - the show transcends its limited budget. That said, the script could have been stronger. A longer running time would have helped, with more character and narrative development. As things stand, the pace seems rushed towards the end and a strong cast is underused. The weak ending is both cheap and objectionable. Leading lady Jan Francis appeared in John Badham's 'Dracula' (1979) around the same time, as the ill-fated Mina. For all its faults, 'Casting the Runes' is worth a look, though good luck finding a copy.


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