Screen Two (1985–2002)
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A group of old people is being frightened by mysterious phone calls.


Jack Clayton


Muriel Spark (novel), Alan Kelley (screenplay) | 2 more credits »


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Stephanie Cole ... Dame Lettie Colston
Jacqueline Leonard Jacqueline Leonard ... Gwen - Dame Lettie Colston's Maid
Renée Asherson ... Charmian Colston
Michael Hordern ... Godfrey Colston
Elizabeth Bradley Elizabeth Bradley ... Mrs. Anthony
Thora Hird ... Jean Taylor
Margery Withers Margery Withers ... Grannie Barnacle
Mary Healey ... Ward Sister
Robert Flemyng ... Ronald Sidebottome
Barbara Hicks ... Tempest Sidebottome
Damaris Hayman Damaris Hayman ... Miss Lottinville
Maggie Smith ... Mrs. Mabel Pettigrew
Maurice Denham ... Guy Leet
Preston Lockwood Preston Lockwood ... Deaf Old Man
Arthur Hewlett ... Ancient Man


The story sets in UK during the 1940's. Lettie Colston is a bad tempered lady, who treats in a very rude fashion her maid and has a quite strict personality. Charmian Colston, on the contrary, is a very nice woman, but she lives obsessed with Jean Taylor, because she calls every person like that despite his husband, Godfrey Colston, tells her everyday that Taylor's in the hospital. In fact, Lattie visits almost everyday to Jean at the hospital, a very calm old lady, who shares the room with other old women, some of them living in her own world. One day, Lattie receives a mysterious phone call, with a creepy male voice speaking, telling that "remember that you have to die one day". Charmian is receiving the same phone calls as well as Godfrey. Other friends are receiving the phone calls as well, a group of old people who likes to organize social reunions, gathering together in funerals. Lattie and Charmian are too scared because of these phone calls, and they're trying to find out who ... Written by Alejandro Frias

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Plot Keywords:

based on novel | See All (1) »









Release Date:

19 April 1992 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Jack Clayton spent many years trying to set up a film of Muriel Spark's novel, which was first published at the end of the 1950s. He was repeatedly told that too many of the leading characters were old people for any film version to be a box-office success. After the film of "Driving Miss Daisy" had proved a great hit, he tried again, but, even then, could only set the film up as a TV movie, using the same screenplay that he had prepared for the cinema. See more »

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User Reviews

Review of "Memento Mori"
23 November 2006 | by mj-ekSee all my reviews

I recently viewed a video of the BBC/Masterpiece Theatre version of Muriel Spark's marvellous novel. If anyone knows where I can get a copy of this excellent production, please let me know.

The plot concerns mysterious telephone calls which are received by a number of elderly persons. The caller simply states "Remember, you must die" and then hangs up. Naturally this frightens the old people, but it is important to note that this is not a depressing novel (or film). On the contrary, Muriel Spark uses her considerable skills to write a delightful satire about the fears and idiosyncrasies of old people.

The film starred many excellent British actors and adhered closely to the novel. Among the cast were Michael Hordern, Maggie Smith, Zoe Wannamaker, Thora Hird and John Wood. This film was the last work of the famed British director, Jack Clayton. I have been told that Maggie Smith won a British award for her performance and the music score has been highly praised.

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