THE STALLS OF BARCHESTER (1971 U.K.) D/W/P: LAWRENCE GORDON CLARK
Throughout the 70`s, the BBC commissioned a one-off Ghost Story For Christmas teleplay each year (except 79), mostly by Clark, and mostly based on the writings of M.R. James (following, and no doubt inspired by the extraordinary WHISTLE AND I`LL COME TO YOU). This nicely ambiguous 45 min. tale was the first. An arhivist (Clive Swift) tries to piece together the circumstances surrounding the mysterious death of a 19th century Archdeacon of Barchester Cathedral (Robert Hardy) by trawling through library legers and dusty old tomes (the irresistable, musty thrill of the dark secrets to be found in forgotten antiquity pitched just right for a James adaptation methinks). Creepy and blackly comic, a low-key treat indeed. With Thelma ("i don`t really know, Rita") Barlow. The following year Gordon returned with A WARNING TO THE CURIOUS.

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