6.3/10
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120 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)
Reviews
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:

Ghost Story 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

The big old spooky mansion was a matte painting designed by veteran Hollywood special effects whiz Albert Whitlock. See more »

Goofs

In the retelling of the 1931 events, Sears & Ricky describe Edward's impotence with Eva. However, Eva was silenced before she had a chance to reveal this information; information which Edward is not likely to have shared (at least, not truthfully.) See more »

Quotes

Ricky Hawthorne: Good Lord, she's in the pond!
Gregory Bate: Alive. Still alive.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Dead Don't Die (2019) 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

 
One of My Favorite Movies of Ghost Story
29 May 2009 | by claudio_carvalhoSee all my reviews

When his brother David (Craig Wasson) dies on the eve of his wedding, Don travels back to his hometown in New England for the funeral services. He meets his grieving father Edward Charles Wanderley (Douglas Fairbanks Jr.), who has a weekly meeting with his old friends Ricky Hawthorne (Fred Astaire), Dr. John Jaffrey (Melvyn Douglas) and Sears James (John Houseman) to tell tales of horror, and together they form The Chowder Society. When Edward and John die in mysterious circumstances, Don sees the picture of Eva Galli (Alice Krige) from the 20's and he joins Rick and Sears to tell a ghost story about his romance with Alma Mobley. Then, the survivors of The Chowder Society disclose a tragic story from their youth, when they accidentally killed their friend Eva, and they conclude that Eva and Alma are the same woman and her spirit is seeking revenge.

Today I have just watched ""Ghost Story", which is one of my favorite movies of ghost story, maybe for the fifth or sixth time and for the first time on DVD. I have never read the best-selling novel of Peter Straub, but I really love this tragic and sad tale. Alice Krige is sexy, hot, beautiful and also scary in her double role of Eva and Alma. It is great to see the veterans Fred Astaire, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Melvyn Douglas and John Houseman together in one of their last works. Craig Wasson was in evidence in the 80's and has also good performance. The cinematography is very beautiful and highlighted by the DVD that unfortunately is very poor, without any special feature or subtitle. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "História de Fantasma" ("Ghost Story")

Note: On 03 Jun 2017 I saw this film again.

Note: On 12 Feb 2019 I saw this film again.


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