The Door Swung Open - and THERE WAS THIS THING AGAIN...with the knife in its neck again...and here was this man...the man she had given her terrified trust...who had hidden that body not an hour before...and she was his prisoner again...and his arms were around her again...(original poster)
Non horror entry in Universal's SHOCK! television package
1942's "Nightmare" was a higher budget 'B' from Universal, who were hoping that name value would make a star out of top billed Diana Barrymore (John's daughter, Drew's aunt). Unfortunately, her obvious talent failed to translate into box office success, quickly retiring from the screen, only to star in tabloid headlines for the rest of her unhappy life (dead at age 38 of a drug overdose in 1960). This particular feature may be her finest showcase, with a most unorthodox leading man in 40 year old Brian Donlevy, whose character, an American stranded in London, raises nary an eyebrow when she asks him to dispose of a dead body in her upstairs study. We later find that the corpse is that of her long unseen husband (Henry Daniell), who turned up on her doorstep in time to be murdered by persons unknown, but not before offering up a dying clue with his last breath. Understandably fearing that she might be arrested, and puzzled when the corpse winds up back in the study after being safely transported across town hours before, she ends up swiping a car so they can escape to Scotland to visit her wealthy cousin (Gavin Muir). Brian Donlevy proved to be an underrated leading man, but did fine work here, and in 1936's "Half Angel" and 1937's "Midnight Taxi." Henry Daniell is criminally wasted, but other small roles are well played by such familiar performers as Arthur Shields, Hans Conreid, John Abbott, and Ian Wolfe (playing a nastier butler than usual). Holds up fairly well until the end, but definitely NOT a horror film, despite its status among Universal's SHOCK! package of genre titles issued to television in the late 50's (Pittsburgh's CHILLER THEATER never showed it, but Minneapolis' HORROR INCORPORATED did).
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