6.3/10
6,804
115 user 80 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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ON DISC
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, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$23,371,905
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
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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

Final theatrical feature film of veteran actors Melvyn Douglas, Fred Astaire, and Douglas Fairbanks Jr.. See more »

Goofs

Don is back at Eva's mansion with a broken leg on a freezing night. Yet Ricky decides it is more important to have the car pulled from the lake first. Surely this would be second priority to rescuing Don. See more »

Quotes

Sears James: It was as if she had never been here. As if it had never happened.
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Connections

Featured in Trailer Trauma 3: 80s Horrorthon (2017) 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)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
I Wanted to Know What They Did
19 April 2006 | by HitchcocSee all my reviews

I read Peter Straub's book and was quite pleased with the result of the movie. First of all, like many, I loved the cast. They are all great men of the world cinema and the pull off the story with great aplomb. The movie is about something someone does in his or her youth and then must live with forever. In a good ghost story, the characters get no points for being once youthful and reckless. The fact that they meet and share their stories means that they never seem to intend closure. They never allow themselves to face the music and, hence, the revenge of the spirit is acceptable in the world where they find themselves. I just thought that a society devoted to the telling of ghost stories was a great idea. Anyway, while the plot does wander around a bit and it takes time to get to the point, it still works great. It was nice to see that Fred Astaire could still act (because he was such a great dancer we forget that he had a great comic talent and, in this case, a dramatic talent). The others are equally formidable. There are also some pretty slimy, putrid visions that appear and make for a pretty good rank on the jump scale. The actually scene that explains everything (I won't spoil it) is both sad and revealing. While not the greatest movie, it works very well and I would recommend it.


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