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      Ghost Story

      R Released Dec 18, 1981 1h 50m Horror Drama Mystery & Thriller List
      29% Tomatometer 31 Reviews 45% Audience Score 5,000+ Ratings Every year, four affluent old friends -- Ricky Hawthorne (Fred Astaire), Sears James (John Houseman), Dr. John Jaffrey (Melvyn Douglas) and Edward Wanderley (Douglas Fairbanks Jr.) -- meet to tell ghost stories. When one of Wanderley's sons dies mysteriously the day before his wedding, and the ghostly apparition of a beautiful woman appears on the ice, the four old friends have no choice but to piece together one last story -- this one more terrifying than all the others, because it is true. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Premiered Apr 02 Buy Now

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      Critics Consensus

      Director John Irvin wastes the efforts of a tremendously talented cast, making this one Ghost Story that deserves to be drowned out by boos.

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      Critics Reviews

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      Michael Blowen Boston Globe The transformation of "Ghost Story" from novel to film is this year's best example of why some writers hate to see their books made into movies. Sep 19, 2021 Full Review Sheila Benson Los Angeles Times Director John Irvin, so good at the intricacies of "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" has come a cropper here. Sep 19, 2021 Full Review Sumner Rand Orlando Sentinel "Ghost Story" is just what its title says it is, a ghost story, and a humdinger of a ghost story at that. Rated: 4/4 Sep 19, 2021 Full Review Matt Brunson Film Frenzy An OK film adaptation whose primary point of interest is its collection of superlative seniors in the leading roles. Rated: 2.5/4 Oct 14, 2023 Full Review Phil Edwards Starburst The printed word doesn't necessarily translate well to the screen and the overall effect is bitty and therefore unsatisfying. Jul 28, 2022 Full Review Nancy Scott San Francisco Examiner I advise you to skip it no matter how much you love those four grand actors. What a waste. Even the credits are a disaster. Rated: 1/4 Sep 19, 2021 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

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      acsdoug D I remember watching this movie many years ago on this newfangled invention called "cable TV." I liked it then. When I saw it listed I thought, "Did I like it because it's scary or because Alice Krige is so hot?" Turns out it's both. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 04/13/24 Full Review Jeff M The obvious joy of this film is the remarkable combination of Astaire, John Houseman, Melvyn Douglas and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. I mean, come on, this film is worth at least one viewing just because of their presence. I wish there were more scenes of all of them together. I can't say the film itself is worthy of their talents. It's a classy but emotionally distant and uninvolving ghost story that isn't the least bit scary and only eerie in sections. I think this would have been more effective as a story to tell verbally around a campfire in the dead of night. Wasson and Krige, who seem to be out of their clothes A LOT, are fine but unmemorable. And this has one of the most obtrusive musical scores I've heard in ages. Best Actress winner Patricia Neal is totally wasted in two scenes as Astaire's wife. A subplot involving an escaped mental case from an asylum is utterly unnecessary. There are a couple eerie moments here and there, but an abrupt ending only adds to the overall feeling of disappointment. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 01/17/24 Full Review Don H Not expected! Taken back to beautifully crafted silent films for most part. Sound bytes are brief and poignant, times just tear jerking. Budget entirely absent from results. Never have seen cinema deliver so many serious messages! I kept steering the plot(s) toward my expectations only to be shocked from scene to scene. Most will never appreciate the genius of this unique and sensitive film. Hands down a Five Star movie standard. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 01/08/24 Full Review Diane L I thought this movie was a well told ghost story. It is actually one of my favorite movies from this era. Legendary cast of characters and a ghost who seeks justice. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 12/27/23 Full Review Chris F Severely underrated movie with a brilliant cast of stars in their later years, a wonderfully chilling performance by Alice Krige, and a story equal parts horrifying and sad. Fred Astaire and John Houseman absolutely shine here, and while the horror is more subtle and less in your face than most modern genre movies, the subtlety makes the story all the more poignant - Astaire's mastery of physical acting and expression work speaks such volumes in the final scenes. Minus a star for some imperfect cuts and some pacing bumps near the end of the film, but overall a must see - especially during the Halloween season. A toast: to the Chowder Society. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 11/02/23 Full Review Maureen M This is truly a classic. Great cast and story. Due to todays standards when it comes to special effect, younger generations may not appreciate it. Especially if you're more interested in CGI and slashers and care less for a well crafted storyline. But if you were born before the 90's, and/or have a passion for great story telling, into older thrillers, mysteries and/or horror, definitely check this one out and ignore the negative reviews! Rated 5 out of 5 stars 09/17/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

      Cast & Crew

      Ghost Story

      Ghost Story: Official Clip - Eva's Revenge Ghost Story: Official Clip - Eva's Revenge 3:40 Ghost Story: Offical Clip - Drowned in the Lake Ghost Story: Offical Clip - Drowned in the Lake 2:10 Ghost Story: Official Clip - You Won't Live Forever Ghost Story: Official Clip - You Won't Live Forever 1:51 Ghost Story: Official Clip - Ghostly Heart Attack Ghost Story: Official Clip - Ghostly Heart Attack 2:26 Ghost Story: Official Clip - A Dance With Death Ghost Story: Official Clip - A Dance With Death 2:20 Ghost Story: Official Clip - Bridge Of Death Ghost Story: Official Clip - Bridge Of Death 2:16 Ghost Story: Official Clip - Frozen Doom Ghost Story: Official Clip - Frozen Doom 1:15 Ghost Story: Official Clip - The Cold Woman Ghost Story: Official Clip - The Cold Woman 1:15 Ghost Story: Official Clip - I Want You Now Ghost Story: Official Clip - I Want You Now 1:26 Ghost Story: Official Clip - John's Nightmare Ghost Story: Official Clip - John's Nightmare 1:02 View more videos
      25% 32% The Guardian 62% 62% Psycho II 59% 34% Psycho III 75% 66% Sea of Love 61% 58% Dracula Discover more movies and TV shows. View More

      Movie Info

      Synopsis Every year, four affluent old friends -- Ricky Hawthorne (Fred Astaire), Sears James (John Houseman), Dr. John Jaffrey (Melvyn Douglas) and Edward Wanderley (Douglas Fairbanks Jr.) -- meet to tell ghost stories. When one of Wanderley's sons dies mysteriously the day before his wedding, and the ghostly apparition of a beautiful woman appears on the ice, the four old friends have no choice but to piece together one last story -- this one more terrifying than all the others, because it is true.
      Director
      John Irvin
      Screenwriter
      Lawrence D. Cohen
      Distributor
      Universal Pictures
      Production Co
      Universal Pictures
      Rating
      R
      Genre
      Horror, Drama, Mystery & Thriller
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Dec 18, 1981, Original
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Apr 19, 2016
      Runtime
      1h 50m
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