Ghost Story

1981, Horror, 1h 50m

31 Reviews 5,000+ Ratings

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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. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

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.

Cast & Crew

Fred Astaire
Ricky Hawthorne
Melvyn Douglas
Dr. John Jaffrey
Douglas Fairbanks Jr.
Edward Charles Wanderley
John Houseman
Sears James
Alice Krige
Eva Galli, Alma Mobley
Craig Wasson
Don Wanderley, David Wanderley
Patricia Neal
Stella Hawthorne
Tim Choate
Young Hawthorne
Kurt Johnson
Young Wanderley
Ken Olin
Young James
Brad Sullivan
Sheriff Hardesty
Guy Boyd
Omar Norris
Helena Carroll
Mrs. Meredith
Robin Curtis
Rea Dedham
Breon Gorman
Nettie Dedham
James Greene
The Postman
Philippe Sarde
Original Music
Jack Cardiff
Cinematographer
Ernst Rolf
Film Editing
Norman Newberry
Production Design
Norman Newberry
Art Director
Mary Ann Biddle
Set Decoration
May Routh
Costume Design
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Critic Reviews for Ghost Story

Audience Reviews for Ghost Story

  • Feb 07, 2019
    Four old gentlemen, in a small club that celebrates ghost stories as well as strong drink, cannot believe it when they are visited by bad dreams and occurrences that seem to point to a real ghost in their lives. The main attractions to this particular story are its top heavy cast as well as the popular story by Peter Straub. The scares have not weathered the passing of years too well, but the spooky vibe still remains and carries the work nonetheless.
    Super Reviewer
  • Apr 11, 2013
    Ghost Story is an average horror yarn that had the potential of being something truly memorable. As it stands, there are some effective moments here and there, but overall the material is mostly flat with minimal chills to be had. I enjoyed the film as a mindless time waster, but I also felt that the filmmakers could have put a bit more effort into the film's script to really make it stand out among other ghost tales. Acting wise, there are some good performances, unfortunately there are no standout performances either. Genre fans may enjoy it, and there some good things about the film. However like I said, there should have been more effort put into delivering something truly horrifying. Ghost Story is mildly chilling, and it leaves a lot to be desired. Is the film worth seeing, you ask? Well, it is, if you want something in the vein of Amityville horror, where it's not too scary, and then this is a perfect film to watch. Ghost Story is one of those films that is perfect for newcomers of the horror genre as the horror content is quite soft, but suggests more that what is going on, on-screen. In that sense, it leaves the imagination run wild, and it that respect, the movie succeeds at being quite entertaining and overcoming its shortcomings. The film could have been reworked, but as a whole, it's mindless entertainment that will appeal to new fans of horror, but for the veteran, they notice its flaws very early. The plot on the other hand is quite good, but good have been perfected a bit more to really make Ghost Story a memorable horror classic. In the end, it's worth seeing, and if you can get past its imperfections, you might like it as a cheesy horror tale.
    Alex r Super Reviewer
  • Oct 30, 2009
    Not bad at all but not as scary as I hoped it would be
    Super Reviewer
  • Feb 24, 2009
    Even though the effects are outdated, there are some very genuine feelings of creepiness and read while watching this. This movie also relies heavily on flashbacks and more of a story than most brainless horror movies, even though it isn't as fun as some slasher flicks.
    Super Reviewer

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