The Green Man

163498- The Green Man - Sleve.inddReview by David Paul Hellings



“Maurice Allington (Albert Finney – “Skyfall”, “The Gathering Storm”) is the promiscuous and alcoholic owner of a quaint British bed-and-breakfast hotel, the Green Man Inn. In the hope of attracting customers, when he’s not trying to seduce them, Allington keeps his guests entertained with tales of ghosts and spirits haunting his hotel, spreading rumours that the ghost of a notorious 17th century occult scientist haunts it. But he and his guests are in for a shock when they realise that the hotel is possessed by some very real and malevolent other-worldly spirits”.

– via Simply Media.


Once upon a time the BBC used to make highly effective ghost stories starring top cast, and with surprisingly creepy results. The BAFTA award winning “The Green Man” was one of them.

Based on the novel by Kingsley Amis and with an excellent screenplay from the late Malcolm Bradbury, “The Green Man” mixes light-hearted bedroom farce and the supernatural with highly rewarding results.

As womanising, alcoholic hotel owner Maurice, the always engaging Albert Finney delivers one of his finest television performances. A man struggling to keep his eye off the pretty female guests as his marriage continues to crumble, an eye on his increasingly isolated young daughter, and now dealing not only with the running of the hotel, and the loss of his father (the marvellous Michael Hordern – “Whistle and I’ll Come to You”), but also the arrival of a particularly unpleasant ghost. Aided by an excellent supporting cast and a fine location, Finney dominates as the superficial yet sympathetic protagonist.

5770Ghost stories have often made for quality television in the UK, usually screened each December with a big budget, period outing. The success of the original “The Woman in Black” series, “A Ghost Story for Christmas”, as well as short Omnibus releases such as “Whistle and I’ll Come to You”, shows that there’s a healthy audience for supernatural fare. The release on DVD of “The Green Man” has been a while coming but, now that it’s here, viewers can once more enjoy a tightly made, well played and written piece.

“The Green Man” is both amusing and genuinely unsettling, with ghostly moments that must have shocked a television viewing public expecting an easy-going ghost story. Instead, they got an opening straight out of “The Evil Dead”, a central character that seems to be losing his mind; and the ghost of the child murderer Underhill (Michael Culver), an unpleasant and convincing creation, providing a welcome counterpoint to the bedroom antics and humour of the rest of the series.

An atmospheric, three part mini-series that delivers for both fans of the supernatural, as well as those that enjoy farcical drama.

Very enjoyable, witty, and often down right scary. Highly recommended.

Sales info:

“British acting great Albert Finney stars as a slimy hotel owner in The Green Man, a gripping ghostly BBC Two mini series from 1990, which comes to DVD courtesy of Simply Media.

At times a sexual farce, at others a ghostly thriller, this BAFTA winning extraordinary three-part series is based on the Kingsley Amis 1969 satirical novel of the same name. Starring Linda Marlowe (Eastenders, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), Sarah Berger (Murphy’s Law, Castles), Nicky Henson (Syriana, Downton Abbey) and Josie Lawrence (Whose Line is it Anyway?, Fat Friends), it makes its DVD debut on 5 October 2015”.

This review originally appeared on SFFWorld at:


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