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Ghost Story aka Circle of Fear: The Complete First Season

4.7 out of 5 stars 72 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Horror movie maestro William Castle (The Tingler) followed his role model Alfred Hitchcock into TV with this anthology series of suspense and shudders, though he ceded the hosting chores to Sebastian Cabot (TV's "Family Affair") as "Winston Essex" for the first part of the series. A mid- season name change (to "Circle of Fear") and a no-host format were intended to boost ratings, but this quirky, chilling and fascinating series only lasted one season. All 23 hour-long episodes are included with outstanding guest stars like Jason Robards, Helen Hayes, Melvyn Douglas, Gena Rowlands, Jodie Foster, Angie Dickinson, Geraldine Page, Patricia Neal, Martin Sheen, Stella Stevens, Karen Black, Rip Torn, Carolyn Jones, Mariette Hartley, William Windom and many, many more, this is a must-have for lovers of thrillers and classic television alike! Newly remastered.

When sold by Amazon.com, this product will be manufactured on demand using DVD-R recordable media. Amazon.com's standard return policy will apply.


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Sebastian Cabot, Sheila Larkin, Meg Foster, Don Red Barry, Robert Mandan
  • Directors: Daryl Duke, Paul Stanley
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 6
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: SPHE
  • DVD Release Date: May 1, 2012
  • Run Time: 701 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007Q0JJD6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,405 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Hey 1970's kids! The show that scared you to death is available on DVD at long last! GHOST STORY/CIRCLE OF FEAR (1972-73) is back! The series was produced by the legendary William Castle and stars Sebastian Cabot ("Family Affair", "The Time Machine") as Winston Essex, the proprietor of an old hotel that is haunted by various ghosts and other supernatural creatures. For the GHOST STORY episodes, Cabot introduced each episode. Halfway through the series' one-and-only season, Cabot was dropped from the show and it was retitled CIRCLE OF FEAR. Writers for both incarnations of the show included Richard Matheson, Robert Specht, Anthony Lawrence, Seeleg Lester, D.C. Fontana, Henry Slesar, Robert Bloch and Harlan Ellison. The following is a list of episode titles for all 23 episodes (each episode runs approximately 51 minutes).
GHOST STORY:
1. "GHOST STORY: The New House"--Guest Starring Barbara Parkins, Jeanette Nolan, Sam Jaffe, David Birney (NOTE: This originally aired as the first half of the TV movie DOUBLE PLAY)
2. "The Dead We Leave Behind"--Guest Starring Jason Robards, Stella Stevens, Jack Kelly
3. "The Concrete Captain"--Guest Starring Stuart Whitman, Gena Rowlands, Walter Burke
4. "At the Cradle Foot"--Guest Starring James Franciscus, Elizabeth Ashley, Meg Foster
5. "Bad Connection"--Guest Starring Karen Black, Michael Tolan, Skip Homeier
6. "The Summer House"--Guest Starring Carolyn Jones, Steve Forrest, William Windom, Robert Mandan
7. "Alter-Ego"--Guest Starring Helen Hayes, Charles Aidman
8. "Half a Death"--Guest Starring Eleanor Parker, Pamela Franklin, Stephen Brooks, Andrew Duggan
9. "House of Evil"--Guest Starring Melvyn Douglas, Richard Mulligan, Jodie Foster
10.
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I consider Ghost Story (Circle of Fear) to be one of the best horror anthology series ever made and I am a fan of others such as Thriller and Night Gallery. This DVD package delivers the goods, the shows look as though they were filmed yesterday. They have top notch authors and big name actors performing in them. It is a shame that the series was cancelled after only one season. When comparing this series to it's contemporary, The Night Gallery I rate it as far superior. The special effects are top notch and not cheesy, there are no "humorous" sketches, just riveting and suspenceful programs. Sebastian Cabot does a great job as the shows host, although the Mansfield House itself is very cheerful and serene when contrasted with the stories presented. Cabot was jetisoned as the host a little more than half way through the series when it was switched over to Circle of Fear due to poor ratings. His departure and the new format was not enough to save the show from cancellation. I have very mixed emotions about this, in those days a show often failed, not because of poor content, but because of time slot placement--whatever it's competition was, it was sufficeint to doom the show. I wish they had retained Cabot and perhaps tried some better marketing techniques, although the Circle of Fear format did produce some very creepy offerings.

Unfortunately the only place this set falls short is that there are no special features, or even a list of the episodes on the DVD packaging. That should not deter you from purchaing this top notch collection though, because there was nothing else like it produced prior to it or since. These shows shine in that they were able to create scares without resorting to shocking or grizzly footage.
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UPDATE: Now that I've received the dvds it's time for an update. The picture quality is superb and everyone should be happy. The only let down is the cheap menus that were created for the episodes. All you get is a listing of episodes with images of various Sony tvs in the background. Apparently, where the menus are concerned, creativity is not required when making these on demand dvd sets even though the price is higher than a standard set.
Overall this set is still well worth the price for the rarity and cult status that this tv series holds.

This is fantastic! The classic anothology series from the early 70s is finally seeing a dvd release!
This series was made when tv productions were still original, creative, and not cheap to make reality shows.
Even though the price is slightly high and the set is dvd-r it is still worth it and a small price to pay for being able to own this classic series!!
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As a huge fan of anthologies such as TZ, Night Gallery, Outer Limits, and Boris Karloff's THRILLER, I was thrilled to see this released to disc.

Program Content: This is a William Castle production - and that usually carries the connotation of theatrical gimmickry. But far from a gimmicky spookfest like House on Haunted Hill or 13 Ghosts (don't get me wrong, I love those films for what they are), this TV production came along in the "modern" television age. This was 1972-1973, several years past the William Castle produced, Rosemary's Baby, and contemporary to the final season of Night Gallery - a new era, to be sure. Furthermore, this series had the guiding hand of Richard Matheson (I am Legend, Legend of Hell House, Twilight Zone, Duel, etc.) The result? A paranormal series with an edge. The overall tone is, I dare say, a tad edgier than Night Gallery. And, yet, the series is a product of its time. What I term "edgy" must be viewed in the context of its time, and viewer expectations must be adjusted accordingly. This was not a period of flashy editing and jump scares, but, rather, a time when Story mattered. Thankfully, Story drives this anthology and Richard Matheson is the captain. And the cast is stellar, too. The names read like a Who's Who of the best working actors of the time.

Picture Quality: The prints used in the mastering of these DVDs are superb. Color and clarity are pristine, and there is NO discernible damage or excessive grain. The image quality adds an extra dimension to the enjoyment of these shows. They are better than what we've seen released in the Night Gallery issues, which date themselves to the same period.
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