US distributors thought that the original print of the film was too long. Therefore, the golfing tale and the Christmas ghost tale were cut. This confused American audiences who could not understand what Michael Allen, from the Christmas ghost tale, was doing in the linking story.
Cosmolgists Fred Hoyle, Thomas Gold and Hermann Bondi, developed the Steady State theory of the universe, an alternative to the Big Bang, after seeing "Dead of Night". They said that the circular nature of the plot inspired the theory.
According to Stephen Bourne's 2005 book "Elisabeth Welch: Soft Lights and Sweet Music," the depiction of Elisabeth Welch's character Beulah was "a breakthrough in the portrayal of black women in films... for the first time in a film, a black woman is portrayed as independent, successful and resourceful. [Welch] played an important part in the development of the plot, and was featured in the film's billing with such eminent players as Michael Redgrave, Googie Withers, Mervyn Johns and Frederick Valk."
[Source: Elisabeth Welch: Soft Lights and Sweet Music, Stephen Bourne, Scarecrow Press, 2005]
Googie Withers, when interviewed on an Australian TV midday show in the 1980s, revealed that only one take was possible in the mirror smashing scene as Ealing Studios' budget didn't extend to more than one mirror. So she gave it her best shot.
Parratt and Potter, the very-English characters portrayed by Basil Radford and Naunton Wayne in the Golfing Story are derivatives of Charters and Caldicott, created for Alfred Hitchcock's The Lady Vanishes (1938). The double-act proved to be so popular that Radford and Wayne were paired up as similar sport-obsessed gentlemen (or occasionally reprising their original rôles) in a number of productions, including this one. The name-change neatly sidestepped any copyright issues.
During Sally O'Hara's discussion about the party she attended, she says she met Francis Kent, who her friend says was murdered by his sister Constance in the house in 1860. This was an actual murder that took place in 1860, and the culprit's name was actually Constance Kent. She murdered her brother Francis "Saville" Kent at Road Hill House in 1860. Due to a lack of evidence in the case, she was not arrested and put on trial until 1865. The case garnered national attention in the United Kingdom and was partially responsible for the birth of modern detective techniques and the popularity of detective novels like the Sherlock Holmes series. In 2008, author Kate Summerscale released a book entitled "The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher", about the trial and subsequent lives of the Kent family. There was also a 2011 movie based on the book, The Suspicions of Mr Whicher: The Murder at Road Hill House (2011).
The first segment, featuring the race car driver who survived a crash, saw a hearse driver who said there was room for only one in his cab, then escaped death again when the driver of an ill-fated double-decker bus said the same thing, was inspiration for the Twilight Zone episode The Twilight Zone: Twenty Two (1961)
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
The "Christmas Party" ghost story is loosely based on a real life murder mystery. In 1860, Francis Saville Kent (aged nearly four years old) was murdered. His sixteen-year-old half-sister Constance later confessed to the crime.
Near the end of the film, Walter Craig wakes up, and so the film reveals that all that came before he woke up was a dream. Thus, the five stories in the film are flashbacks (or dreams) within the dream. Moreover, the final story (with Michael Redgrave) includes a flashback within it, which means that it is a flashback within a flashback (or a dream) within a dream.