Ghost Story

December 18th, 1981


Ghost Story

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Four successful elderly gentlemen, members of the Chowder Society, share a gruesome, 50-year old secret...

Release Year: 1981

Rating: 6.0/10 (3,342 voted)

Director: John Irvin

Stars: Craig Wasson, Alice Krige, Fred Astaire

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.

Writers: Lawrence D. Cohen, Peter Straub

Fred Astaire - Ricky Hawthorne
Melvyn Douglas - Dr. John Jaffrey
Douglas Fairbanks Jr. - Edward Charles Wanderley
John Houseman - Sears James
Craig Wasson - Don Wanderley / David Wanderley
Patricia Neal - Stella Hawthorne
Alice Krige - Eva Galli / Alma Mobley
Jacqueline Brookes - Milly
Miguel Fernandes - Gregory Bate
Lance Holcomb - Fenny Bate
Mark Chamberlin - Young Jaffrey
Tim Choate - Young Hawthorne
Kurt Johnson - Young Wanderley
Ken Olin - Young James
Brad Sullivan - Sheriff Hardesty

Taglines: The time has come to tell the tale.

Release Date: 18 December 1981

Filming Locations: Albany, New York, USA

Opening Weekend: $2,105,729 (USA) (20 December 1981) (548 Screens)

Gross: $23,371,905 (USA)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

The last feature film for veteran actors Melvyn Douglas, Fred Astaire, and Douglas Fairbanks Jr..

Errors in geography: Don's apartment in Orlando, FL, has an ocean view. Orlando is near the middle of the state, far from any ocean.

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

User Review

A fun, spooky tale that showcases some classic film stars

Rating: 6/10

I watched this film with a friend who described it as `one of the scariest movies he had ever seen.' I will agree with this assessment because the thrills are not cheap ones – they are genuine scares. Ghost Story stars Fred Astaire, John Houseman, Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Melvyn Douglas as members of the `Chowder Society' a group that gathers around the fireplace to drink brandy and tell ghost stories. The problem lies in the fact that they also share a long-kept secret that is now coming back to haunt them.

While it was novel to see these great actors in action, particularly in a genre where they are not normally known, this film is great because it does not rely on gore or special effects to scare the pants off the viewer. The horrors come from lower scale thrill, like a spooky house, an eerie soundtrack and quick flashes of horrific images that are sudden and impactful enough to make your heart leap into your throat.

This is a small, fun movie that isn't without its faults; (you can see the `secret' coming from a mile away) but the buildup to the unveiling of this secret is pure fun.



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