Dead of Night (1945)
- Summaries (4)
Architect Walter Craig, seeking the possibility of some work at a country farmhouse, soon finds himself once again stuck in his recurring nightmare. Dreading the end of the dream that he knows is coming, he must first listen to all the assembled guests' own bizarre tales.
Walter Craig, an architect, is summoned down to a house called Pilgrim's Farm by a prospective client whom he does not know. On arrival he experiences strongly the feeling that he has been to the place before. He is taken into the house and introduced by his host to a group of people. These also are familiar, though none of them appear to know him. After somewhat constrained greetings he tells them that he has met them all, and the house, and the situation, is a recurring dream. He explains how this dream always starts quietly and pleasantly - at the present moment - but after a certain small incident invariably begins to darken into ghastly nightmare, culminating in horror - a horror of his own creation - from which he wakes up sweating with fear. He never remembers his dream for more than a few moments after waking, until the next time it occurs. He then describes the incident which will mark the turning point of his dream - the breaking of a pair of glasses belonging to one of the party, a psychiatrist. Increasingly fascinated, the party one by one reveal that each has at some time undergone an "inexplicable" experience. The narration of these make up the body of the film.
The architect Walter Craig drives to a farmhouse in the countryside of London and he is welcomed by the owner, Eliot Foley. Foley introduces him to the psychiatrist Dr. Van Straaten, his friend Joan Cortland, his young neighbor Sally O'Hara and the race car driver Hugh Grainger. Craig says that he has the sensation of Déjà vu since he had had a nightmare with them in that house but one lady is missing. However Mrs. Foley arrives, completing the characters of his dream. The skeptical Dr. Van Straaten does not believe in the supernatural but the guests describe supernatural events that they have lived. Grainger had a car accident and then a premonition that saved his life; Sally had met a ghost during Christmas; Eliot and his wife had lived an evil experience with a haunted mirror; two golfers loved the same woman and decide to win her in a game, but one of them dies and haunts the other; and Dr. Van Straaten tells the story of a ventriloquist with double personality that is dominated by his dummy. But when Dr. Van Straaten accidentally breaks his glasses and the power goes out, the nightmare continues.
An architect senses impending doom as his half-remembered recurring dream turns into reality. The guests at the country house encourage him to stay as they take turns telling supernatural tales.
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