Dr. Lynn Harper, psychologist, has been called out to the old Ingston Mansion, a dark and mysterious place with a very bad reputation, in order to make an assessment of the sanity of Margaret Ingston, daughter of patriarch Kurt Ingston. She claims to be sane, but she is clearly very disturbed; we can't be certain, although the doctor gives her a clean bill of health. But then Dick Baldwin shows up on the scene, just when Dr. Lynne has been receiving thinly veiled threats from the inhabitants of the house. He's our hero. Three medical doctors have been invited out to the mansion as well, Dr. Timmons, Dr. Phipps and the sleazy Dr. King (Lionel Atwill). One by one the doctors are mysteriously murdered. Dick Baldwin must figure out who is doing the killings, and he must do so before whoever it is can kill his new love interest, Dr. Lynne Harper. But the only one he can trust is Kurt Ingston himself, since Ingston has no legs and can't have perpetrated these murders. Is it sinister Rolf, ... Written by
Alfred Hitchcock attended a screening of this film, as he wanted to cast Janet Shaw in his Universal production, "Shadow of a Doubt, " thoroughly enjoyed it, and was amazed at how quickly it was shot, from July 5-18, 1942, to be released October 23, on a double bill with "The Mummy's Tomb. " See more »
[dramatic license] When one of the doctors is about to be killed, the killer's shadow on the wall becomes larger as he approaches. Of course, this means that the killer is actually moving closer to the light, and therefore, away from his victim. See more »
Night Monster is the best Universal Horror film of the 30s and 40s that was NOT about one of the Major Monsters (Dracula, Frankenstein, Wolf-Man or Mummy). In fact, it may just be the best one ever. I first saw it on TV in the 1960s as a pre-teen and have seen it about 10 times since, including twice in the last year. It is a very successful film in terms of using atmosphere to communicate a sense of dread. The film effectively used the themes of Insanity, Murder, Eastern Mysticism and the properties of Nature (crickets and frogs going silent for no reason) to keep the viewer unhinged throughout the whole film. The murders are creepy and mysterious. The actors are top shelf.
I remember being scared, puzzled, mystified and wondering how the murderer got around. I remember the scene where Dr. Timmons is murdered. The actor really looked frightened. The scene where Leif Erickson's strangled body is discovered in the closet was strong stuff in the early 40s.
If you haven't seen this film...SEE IT! Just remember the time in which it was made and you will have a 73 minute feast.
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