The Stalls of Barchester



IMDb Rating 6.8/10 10 778 778

Top cast

Robert Hardy as Archdeacon Haynes
Clive Swift as Dr. Black
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
415.64 MB
English 2.0
25 fps
12 hr 45 min
Seeds 8
771.75 MB
English 2.0
25 fps
12 hr 45 min
Seeds 15

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Sleepin_Dragon 8 / 10

A fine start to a great series.

As Christmas approaches, this series is always a must watch, and The Stalls of Barchester is a great start to a fantastic series. This one feels like a delicious starter for a few episodes which soon follow. I've always considered this a classy production, glorious production values, a wonderful setting and a truly reliable cast. Psychological fears in this one as opposed to out and out scares, but the focus more so here is on the story.

It's wonderfully gothic, even though it's set inside a Cathedral, with wonderful carvings and tales of a hanging tree. Robert Hardy is excellent as the tortured Archdeacon Haynes, there are fine performances all round.

Subtle horror that's definitely worth your time. m 8/10

Reviewed by Bunuel1976 7 / 10

GHOST STORY FOR Christmas: THE STALLS OF BARCHESTER (Lawrence Gordon Clark, 1971; TV) ***

The second M.R. James adaptation I have set up for this Halloween marathon emerges a marked improvement on the cerebral and rather uneventful WHISTLE AND I'LL COME TO YOU (1968). The horror is still subtly deployed throughout, but it creates the right kind of frisson and a distinct aura of unease (thanks largely to the remote wintry locale, also incorporating the obligatory vast mansion) for this intrinsically low-key and character-driven piece. The setting is a school run by the Church – and, apparently, James had himself toyed with the idea of taking the cloth (and would actually become a teacher, among whose pupils was a certain Christopher Lee!); it involves jealousy and machinations among the staff, particularly when the current Dean 'refuses' to relinquish his position to the ambitious Robert Hardy (later of Hammer's DEMONS OF THE MIND [1972]). After he resorts to murder to obtain his wish, however, he begins to be haunted by the old man – via whispering disembodied voices and manifestations as either a black cat or a caped figure bearing a ghoulish hand with creepy talons! The predictable (but still effective) ironic climax, then, sees Hardy expiring in the exact same fashion as the fate he had planned for his doddering predecessor.

Reviewed by Prof-Hieronymos-Grost 7 / 10

Slightly flawed, but still intriguing ghost story

The Stalls of Barchester(1971) Lawrence Gordon Clark

One Dr. Black is commissioned to catalogue the finer points of Barchester Cathedral Library and report back on the more interesting entries. Black struggles however to find anything of remote interest, finding the books in bad condition or just interminably dull. He enlists the assistance of librarian, in the hope that he may direct him towards more interesting tomes. Together they find little of interest, but stumble on the unread diaries of one Archdeacon Haynes, the former head of the diocese. The librarian informs Black of the strange circumstances of Haynes's death, theses facts and a quick browse through his writings immediately strike a chord with Black. Initially he finds the entries to be about the mundane clerical workings of the diocese and also on his ambitions to succeed the incumbent Archdeacon Pulterney, who it would seem was going to live for ever before he himself also died in odd circumstances after a fall down the stairs. But what really rises Black's interest is Black's writing on the strange happenings within the cathedral and his home after he did take over. Haynes's becomes aware of peculiar events, noises and whispering voices, that seem to have no solid basis in reality. He questions his own sanity, analyses his family's mental history and quickly denies the possibility that he is going mad. But when his fears rise after some hellish visions, he must again question what the reasons for it are.

The Stalls of Barchester was the first in the BBC's series of Ghost Stories for Christmas and after the success of Jonathan Miller's Whistle and I'll Come to You (1968), the makers again took inspiration from the works of M.R.James. I must admit that I found this film a less well defined adaptation than later films in the series, while it certainly holds your interest, there is a distinct lack of scares. Sure it has its creepy moments, ghostly whispers, doors opening by themselves, even some evil looking cats, but one very unsettling ghostly hand apart, it lacked the fear factor I craved. The cause of this may be one of two things, either this is too faithful a literary adaptation or Clark hadn't developed a style for adapting James' work. Either way the viewer never really comes to terms with Haynes's fears, he remains rather aloof and his fears are given so little time on screen, that some viewers may lose interest or worse still just not care. Another reason maybe the fact that the story telling is done through a third party, namely Dr Black (usually a successful ploy in other James's works), but here perhaps less so. Still though the premise remains intriguing and the film on the whole retains interest throughout, there's even time for some wry black humour concerning Archdeacon Pulterney, whose clutches to life becomes a continuing annoyance to Haynes. A youthful Hardy is excellent in the role, despite the aforementioned aloofness of the character. Clark for his part created a fine debut film, slightly flawed perhaps, but still brimming with good ideas, that would develop even more throughout his directorial career.

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