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Fear in the Night (1947)

Passed  -  Crime | Drama | Film-Noir  -  18 April 1947 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 718 users  
Reviews: 35 user | 15 critic

A man dreams he committed murder, then begins to suspect it was real.



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Title: Fear in the Night (1947)

Fear in the Night (1947) on IMDb 6.5/10

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Complete credited cast:
Paul Kelly ...
Cliff Herlihy
Vince Grayson
Lil Herlihy
Kay Scott ...
Betty Winters
Charles Victor ...
Captain Warner
Robert Emmett Keane ...
Lewis Belknap, aka Harry Byrd
Jeff York ...
Deputy Torrence (as Jeff Yorke)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Joey Ray ...
Contractor (scenes deleted)
Loyette Thomson ...
Waitress (scenes deleted)


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The suspense is terror fills the screen in the year's best mystery (original ad) See more »


Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

18 April 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

And So Scared to Death  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The failure of the original copyright holder to renew the film's copyright resulted in it falling into public domain, meaning that virtually anyone could duplicate and sell a VHS/DVD copy of the film. Therefore, many of the versions of this film available on the market are either severely (and usually badly) edited and/or of extremely poor quality, having been duped from second- or third-generation (or more) copies of the film. See more »


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 »


Vince Grayson: I've got an honest man's conscience... in a murderer's body.
See more »


Version of Nightmare (1956) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Superb Low Budget Film about Criminal Manipulation by Hypnosis
8 September 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

It may seem far-fetched, but it isn't. Five percent of the population are so highly suggestible that these things can happen, and they can be criminally manipulated by hypnosis. This is explained in complete detail in the book 'Open to Suggestion: The Uses and Abuses of Hypnosis', London, 1989. Cornell Woolrich, the brilliant crime and mystery writer, got his facts right when he wrote the story on which this film and its later remake, 'Nightmare' with Edward G. Robinson, were based. There were numerous books and articles in print about this subject by this time, although this film preceded by two years the classic work on the subject: John Watkins, 'Hypnotherapy of War Neuroses', in 1949, so Woolrich was clearly someone who went to a lot of trouble to research the subject. The lead character of Vince is brilliantly played by DeForest Kelley, who later became famous in 'Star Trek' and here is seen in his feature film debut (a previous Navy film not counted). Here, as a young man, Kelley perfected the confused, dazed, lost but innocently somnambulistic look of a victim of criminal hypnotic manipulation. He keeps saying: 'My mind was handcuffed', which is what it is like. He believes he has killed someone because he saw it in a dream. Maybe he did. The wicked hypnotist is played extremely well by Robert Emmett Keane, who gets it just right. Rarely has such hypnosis been played so convincingly and accurately on the screen. For a zero budget film, this one packs a big punch. The mystery is deeply intriguing, and for those who are not bothered by cheap sets, the film is immensely gripping. Paul Kelly adds powerful support as Vince's brother-in-law. Kelly, who died aged 57 of a heart attack, had a strange and tragic life, including spending 27 months in San Quentin Prison for manslaughter. The grit of prison life shows in some of his portrayals, such as this one. This film is one of the best zero budget thrillers you could ever watch, since it touches the deepest recesses of psychological mysteries, and does so in an authentic manner.

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