Bank teller Vince Grayson wakes from a nightmare in which he and an unknown woman murdered a man in a strange, mirrored room. Only a dream...but Vince finds that he has physical objects and bruises from his "dream." His cop brother-in-law dismisses his story...until the family, on a picnic, takes shelter from a thunderstorm in a deserted mansion containing that mirrored room. Is doom closing in on Vince? Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
It is daytime when Vince Grayson (DeForrest Kelly) is about to jump out of his window. When his brother in law goes to save him-it is nighttime. When he is pulled back into the window-it is daytime again See more »
This is a classic noir from a classic year in the cycle. Max Shane was a Black Mask writer, the important pulp magazine precursor of the Noir genre. William Irish aka Cornell Woolrich was the master of the period. Cheepo producers Pine and Thomas, known as the Dollar Bills, later took the genre rightward making police the center of the action in the early 50's (HE WALKED BY NIGHT) and were later Ronald Reagan's producers. Shane later remade the same story as NIGHTMARE (1956) with Edward G. Robinson again for Pine/Thomas when working for them was a sign of having been absolved of anti-Americanism (which Robinson needed in 1956). However in 1947 FEAR IN THE NIGHT was one of the derivative low budget pictures which are best regarded because their humble manufacture prevented elaboration beyond the original stories. They are short, lean, punchy and to the point and no consideration has to be made in favor of any star's ego, directors pretensions or studio executives view of what constitutes a 'moral' story. The classic element here is that the protagonist IS guilty, though he is not responsible because he was hypnotised. So the classic neuroses of the 20th Century is again aired out. FEAR IN THE NIGHT is what it is, a classic situation expressing inner fear and guilt in the simplest and most direct way and all the better for that.
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