6.3/10
6,930
118 user 87 critic

Ghost Story (1981)

Two generations of men find themselves haunted by the presence of a spectral woman. When the son of one of the elderly men returns to his hometown after his brother's mysterious death, they attempt to unravel her story.

Director:

John Irvin

Writers:

Peter Straub (novel), Lawrence D. Cohen (screenplay)
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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Fred Astaire ... Ricky Hawthorne
Melvyn Douglas ... John Jaffrey
Douglas Fairbanks Jr. ... Edward Wanderley
John Houseman ... Sears James
Craig Wasson ... Don / David
Patricia Neal ... Stella
Alice Krige ... Alma / Eva
Jacqueline Brookes ... Milly
Miguel Fernandes ... Gregory Bate
Lance Holcomb ... Fenny Bate
Mark Chamberlin Mark Chamberlin ... Young John Jaffrey
Tim Choate ... Young Ricky Hawthorne
Kurt Johnson ... Young Edward Wanderley
Ken Olin ... Young Sears James
Brad Sullivan ... Sheriff Hardesty
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Storyline

Four successful elderly gentlemen, members of the Chowder Society, share a gruesome, 50-year old secret. When one of Edward Wanderley's twin sons dies in a bizarre accident, the group begins to see a pattern of frightening events developing. Written by Jeanne Armintrout <jeannee@uwyo.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The time has come to tell the tale.

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 December 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cuento de fantasmas See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,105,729, 20 December 1981

Gross USA:

$23,371,905

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$23,371,905
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Interiors were constructed inside the abandoned Union Station, the former New York Central Railroad's passenger train station on Broadway in Albany, NY and included a two story set. The murder or death scene was filmed on the second floor of that set. Scenes were filmed in sequence and the two story set was significantly aged after the death scene so that it later appeared as the derelict house. After the movie, the old station was refurbished and restored to its former grandeur and served as office space for Fleet Bank and now Bank of America. See more »

Goofs

(At around 20:00) When the three men enter the study, John Jaffrey (Melvyn Douglas) is wearing black-framed glasses as seen from the rear, but from the front camera angle, his face is bare. See more »

Quotes

Eva: I will take you places you've never been. I will show you things that you have never seen and I will see the life run out of you.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Family Viewing (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

Sweetheart of Sigma Chi
Written by F. Dudleigh Vernor and Byron D. Stokes
Performed by Guy Lombardo and The Royal Canadians (as His Royal Canadians)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
"An intelligent scary movie, a classic treasure, worth your time."
20 March 2005 | by victorsargeantSee all my reviews

I just finished viewing this film, sadly a faded print, little treasure for the fifth time, since its release in 1981. Its worth your time and attention. The cinema-photography is excellent. The film's musical score is excellent. Performances are often brilliant, as only seasoned actors can be. It must have been fun to work on this project. The new actors are equally great, especially Alice who plays Alma, the starring role.The young man who is the male lead, went on to become famous, as you will see in the famous faces of the other young men as well. What a great break for them all, to work with such seasoned legends. Alice is a rare flower, English actor who is now a major star.

This film was a work of love and you can feel it. The camera angles make the film spooky and scary. Even after five times, I was still surprised and jumped again. Bravo. Worth buying this film as a classic for your collections. "The Haunting of Hill House" comes to mind here.

The music is first rate and added so much to the plot and its eerie story. With the camera work, clever original shots, the story takes on a great level of artistry. BRAVO on the little jewel. SARGE IN Colorado


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