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Pillow of Death (1945)

Approved | | Mystery, Horror | 14 December 1945 (USA)
Attorney Wayne Fletcher and his secretary are having an affair, so when Wayne's wife is found smothered to death, he becomes the prime suspect. As the police investigate the murder, a ... See full summary »



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Credited cast:
Wayne Fletcher (as Lon Chaney)
Brenda Joyce ...
J. Edward Bromberg ...
Rosalind Ivan ...
Amelia Kincaid
Clara Blandick ...
Belle Kincaid
George Cleveland ...
Samuel 'Sam' Kincaid
Wilton Graff ...
Police Captain McCracken
Bernard Thomas ...
Bruce Malone (as Bernard B. Thomas)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Fern Emmett ...
Mrs. Williams (scenes deleted)


Attorney Wayne Fletcher and his secretary are having an affair, so when Wayne's wife is found smothered to death, he becomes the prime suspect. As the police investigate the murder, a psychic with questionable motives tries to contact the deceased woman. Soon, Wayne begins seeing visions of his dead wife, and other people involved with the case begin to be killed, one by one. Written by Norman Cook <unclescrooge@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A NEW Inner Sanctum Mystery...the case of the whispering corpse! See more »


Mystery | Horror


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

14 December 1945 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

I nattens skugga  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


This is the only one of the six Inner Sanctum films to omit the "Spirit of the Inner Sanctum" prologue. See more »


Julian Julian: Do you think your wife committed suicide?
Wayne Fletcher: I don't... really know what to think.
Julian Julian: Your wife was murdered, Mr. Fletcher. I instructed her to rest before coming to my studio for tonight's experiment... and then... I seemed to receive a message from her... I knew she had come to harm. I;m sure she was trying to contact me... from the other side.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The only one of the six Inner Sanctum films to have no closing credits. See more »


Follows Strange Confession (1945) See more »

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User Reviews

Pillow Talk?
21 October 2006 | by (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

"Pillow of Death" was the sixth and final film of Universal's "Inner Sanctum" series based on the popular radio series of the day and starring Lon Chaney Jr.

Lawyer Wayne Fletcher (Chaney) and his attractive secretary Donna Kincaid (Brenda Joyce) return to Donna's home after working late one night. Fletcher promises her that he is going to talk to his wife that night about a divorce so that he and Donna can be together.

Fletcher returns home to learn that his wife has been murdered and is greeted by Police Captain McCracken (Wilton Graff) and his wife's psychic Julian Julian (J. Edward Bromberg). McCracken immediately suspects Fletcher and arrests him. Next he goes to the Kincaid house, a creepy old mansion, to question the family.

Among those questioned are Belle Kincaid (Clara Blandick), her brother Sam (George Cleveland), an English relative Amelia Kincaid (Rosiland Ivan) and Donna. McCracken discovers a neighbor, Bruce Malone (Bernard B. Thomas) peeping through a window and brings him in for questioning. Julian arrives and is also under suspicion.

Fletcher is released for lack of evidence and he and Donna try to identify the killer. Julian later holds a séance where the voice of Fletcher's wife is apparently heard. Strange noises emanate from the attic of the old house. Secret panels are revealed. Suddenly other murders begin to take place. Finally, the murderer is discovered to be.............. And I'll bet you'll never guess what the murder weapon turns out to be.

For Chaney, this film marked the end of his Universal contract. He would appear in two more films for them, "Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein" (1948) and "The Black Castle" (1952). Over the period 1941-45 Chaney managed to appear as all four of the Universal monsters (Frankenstein's monster, Dracula, The Wolfman and The Mummy) as well as, in several other films and serials. They never really developed the promise he showed in "Of Mice and Men" (1939) and was effectively type cast for the rest of his career.

The "Inner Sanctum" series (1943-45) at least gave him a chance to star in his own series, playing a different character in each film. The series, although a low budget "B" series was nonetheless an entertaining six mysteries and served to further display Chaney's talent.

Brenda Joyce is probably best remembered as "Jane" in the RKO "Tarzan" films with Johnny Weissmuller produced between 1943-48. Watch for old timer J. Farrell MacDonald as the cemetery Sexton.

Arguably the best of the six "Inner Sanctum" mysteries.

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