TV at the Alamo

GHOST STORIES FOR CHRISTMAS

Director Jonathan Miller, Lawrence Gordon Clark
Year 1968 & 1972
Starring Michael Hordern, Peter Vaughn, Clive Swift
Run Time 92min

Originally broadcast in the dying hours of Christmas Eve, the BBC's A GHOST STORY FOR CHRISTMAS series was a fixture of the seasonal schedules throughout the 60's and 70's. Tucked away from the more joyous yuletide celebrations late at night, the hour long films gave viewers an extra winter chill, continuing a long tradition of spooky stories that undercut the seasonal cheer. The films are classic slow-burners. There's no rush to get to the scares, nor any false jump-shocks to punctuate proceedings; just a buildup of dread, taking time to concoct a thick atmosphere of unease, with strange, intriguing characters, things glimpsed out of the corner of the eye, and then great payoffs that are impossible to completely shake off.

We'll be presenting two of the best films from the annual series, 1968's WHISTLE AND I'LL COME TO YOU and 1972's A WARNING TO THE CURIOUS, both based on tales first told by master ghost story writer M.R. James at nocturnal Christmas gatherings in his chambers when he taught at Eton and Cambridge. So gather close around the fire and help us keep alive the fantastic tradition of telling terrifying stories in the dead of winter,.

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