The Return: a ghost story


Another obscure film, The Return (1973) isn’t a television drama, more a miniature for the cinema, and as such may have been produced as a double-feature short. Director and co-writer Sture Rydman only has one other film to his credit but the music for The Return is by film composer Marc Wilkinson while the photography is the work of the very distinguished Douglas Slocombe.

The story is a blend by Rydman and fellow writer Brian Scobie of two ghost stories: Nobody’s House by AM Burrage, and The Middle Toe of the Right Foot by Ambrose Bierce. Nobody’s House is surprisingly one of the few Burrage stories I have on the shelves, and it provides the bulk of the script, the Bierce story being a very different piece concerning a duel in an abandoned building. Rydman’s film is a two-handed affair for two very good actors: Rosalie Crutchley, here playing a less sinister housekeeper than she did in The Haunting, and Peter Vaughan who the year before had been the lead in one of the best of the BBC’s MR James adaptations, A Warning to the Curious. The Return runs for 30 minutes, and to say much more would be to spoil it. The copy at YouTube does Slocombe’s photography no favours but you can at least watch it here.

Previously on { feuilleton }
Nigel Kneale’s Woman in Black
“Who is this who is coming?”