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Ghost Stories for Christmas Volume 1 [3 x Blu-ray]
UK

 

Whistle and I’ll Come to You (1968)       Whistle and I’ll Come to You (2010) 

 

The Stalls of Barchester (1971)       A Warning to the Curious (1972)       Lost Hearts (1973)

 

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 1970s and spawned a long tradition of chilling tales, which terrified yuletide viewers for decades to come.
This much-requested release brings four landmarks of the series their Blu-ray debut, having been newly remastered by the BFI from original film materials. All based on classic short stories by acclaimed writer MR James, his atmospheric settings and creeping unease are eerily realized in these seminal dramas that unleash evil spirits that will haunt and unnerve.

***

A Ghost Story for Christmas is a strand of annual British short television films originally broadcast on BBC One between 1971 and 1978, and revived sporadically by the BBC since 2005. With one exception, the original instalments were directed by Lawrence Gordon Clark and the films were all shot on 16 mm colour film. The remit behind the series was to provide a television adaptation of a classic ghost story, in line with the oral tradition of telling supernatural tales at Christmas.

Excerpt from Wikipedia located HERE

Films

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Review: BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the DVD Screen Captures!

Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Bonus Captures:

Distribution BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate Sample Blu-ray:

Audio

LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Commentaries:

LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit

Subtitles English (SDH), None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
BFI

 

Edition Details:

• Newly recorded audio commentaries for Whistle and I’ll Come to You (1968) and A Warning to the Curious by TV historian Jon Dear
• Newly recorded audio commentaries for The Stalls of Barchester and Lost Hearts by Kim Newman and Sean Hogan
• Whistle and I’ll Come to You (2010, 52 mins): John Hurt stars in this 2010 interpretation of MR James’s chilling tale
Jonathan Miller and Christopher Frayling interview (2012, 3:24)
• Neil Brand reads MR James’s original story (2001, 41:52, audio only)
• Ramsey Campbell on MR James (2001, 15:37)
• Ramsey Campbell reads The Guide (2001, 26:39)
• Introductions by Lawrence Gordon Clark (2012, 21:42 + 12:08 + 19:52): the director of seven of the BBC’s classic A Ghost Story For Christmas episodes discusses his part in the first three instalments he directed
• Ghost Stories For Christmas with Christopher Lee (2000, 58:38): BBC Scotland’s ‘talking-head horror’ series starring the iconic actor as an MR James-like raconteur of fireside Christmas ghost stories. Included on this release are The Stalls of Barchester and A Warning to the Curious


Blu-ray Release Date: December 5th
,
2022
Transparent Blu-ray Case

Chapters 9

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: BFI Blu-ray (November 2022): BFI have transferred Ghost Stories for Christmas: Volume 1 to a three Blu-ray package. Eric had reviewed Ghost Stories for Christmas - The Definitive Collection (6-DVD set) from BFI in 2012, HERE. We have compared some captures below. This has 1080i transfers (accurate for original 25fps UK TV) of Whistle and I’ll Come to You (1968), Whistle and I’ll Come to You (2010) - technically an extra, The Stalls of Barchester (1971), A Warning to the Curious (1972) and Lost Hearts (1973.) The original TV 70's broadcasts we shot in 16mm. The HD presentations are rich in grain texture - there is a slight shift in some colors - presumably exporting them more accurately. They looks quite good showing more information in the frame and the grain and improved detail seems the dominant feature of the higher resolution upgrade.  

NOTE: We have added 70 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, BFI use linear PCM dual-mono tracks (24-bit) in the original English language. Effects are modest. From Wikipedia; "Adam Scovell, analyzing the aural aesthetics of the BBC Ghost Stories, notes that although Clark talks about "stock music", the early adaptations make use of what were then new, avant-garde classical works found in the BBC's gramophone library at Egton House - A Warning to the Curious uses György Ligeti's Atmosphères (1961) and Cello Concerto (1966) to signify the appearance of the ghost of William Ager, and the high, meandering flute part of another contemporary work, Bruno Maderna's Hyperion III (1966), is used in both this film and Lost Hearts.
Lost Hearts also makes use of Ralph Vaughan Williams's English Folk Song Suite and the hurdy-gurdy music of the ghostly Italian boy, who plays the tune L'amour De Moi. The Treasure of Abbot Thomas was the only entry in the series to have its own original score. Geoffrey Burgon's score consists of an organ, two countertenors and various unconventional percussion instruments; according to Clark, a "mixture of evensong and bicycle chains". It sounds flat with some depth in the uncompressed transfers. BFI offer optional English (SDH) subtitles on their Region 'B'
Blu-ray.

The BFI Blu-ray offers a new commentaries for Whistle and I’ll Come to You (1968) and A Warning to the Curious by TV historian Jon Dear and for The Stalls of Barchester and Lost Hearts by Kim Newman and Sean Hogan. Cited as an extra but in 1080P is the 2010 interpretation of Whistle and I’ll Come to You with John Hurt (see captures below.) Also included are some previous supplements; Jonathan Miller and Christopher Frayling interview from 2012 for 3.5 minutes, from 2001 Neil Brand reads MR James’s original story (audio only for 3/4s of an hour,) Ramsey Campbell on 'MR James' and he reads The Guide plus 2012 introductions by Lawrence Gordon Clark where the director of seven of the BBC’s classic A Ghost Story For Christmas episodes discusses his part in the first three installments he directed. From 2000 we get an hour's worth (2 episodes) of Ghost Stories For Christmas with Christopher Lee where the BBC Scotland’s ‘talking-head horror’ series starring the iconic actor as an MR James-like raconteur of fireside Christmas ghost stories.

Ghost Stories for Christmas: Volume 1 on BFI Blu-ray has almost three hours of the classic British short television films. There are seven more - The Treasure of Abbot Thomas (1974,) The Ash Tree (1975), The Signalman (1976) - the most critically acclaimed, Stigma (1977), The Ice House (1978), A View From a Hill (2005) and Number 13 (2006) - portending future Blu-ray volumes. While watching these I was reminded of The Stone Tape - a ghost story originally broadcast on Christmas Day 1972. But these were better - more cerebral but retaining an edge of spookiness. I really liked A Warning to the Curious with Peter Vaughan (Tom Hedden in Straw Dogs) about an amateur archaeologist who travels to a remote seaside town in Norfolk to search for the lost crown of Anglia, but after unearthing it he is haunted by a mysterious figure. And, of course, Lost Hearts with ghoulish zombie-fied children <shudder>. These are excellent and the extras-stacked packages makes me anxious for the next volume. Certainly recommended!

Gary Tooze

 


Menus / Extras

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Whistle and I’ll Come to You (1968)

 

 


1) BFI - Region 2 - PALTOP

2) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) BFI - Region 2 - PALTOP

2) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

Whistle and I’ll Come to You (2010)

 

 


1) BFI - Region 2 - PALTOP

2) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) BFI - Region 2 - PALTOP

2) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


The Stalls of Barchester(1971)

 

 


1) BFI - Region 2 - PALTOP

2) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


A Warning to the Curious (1972)

 

 


1) BFI - Region 2 - PALTOP

2) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) BFI - Region 2 - PALTOP

2) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


Lost Hearts (1973)

 

1) BFI - Region 2 - PALTOP

2) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

More full resolution (1920 X 1080) Blu-ray Captures for DVDBeaver Patreon Supporters HERE

 

 

 
Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Bonus Captures:

Distribution BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray


 


 

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