IMDb > Nightmare (1964)
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Nightmare (1964) More at IMDbPro »


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Jimmy Sangster (written by)
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Release Date:
17 June 1964 (USA) See more »
THREE SHOCKING MURDERS...did she DREAM them? ...or DO them? See more »
Janet is a young student at a private school; her nights are troubled by horrible dreams in which she sees her mother... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
1 nomination See more »
(7 articles)
User Reviews:
Excellent Gothic horror! See more (21 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
David Knight ... Henry Baxter
Moira Redmond ... Grace Maddox

Jennie Linden ... Janet
Brenda Bruce ... Mary Lewis
George A. Cooper ... John
Clytie Jessop ... Woman in White
Irene Richmond ... Mrs. Gibbs
John Welsh ... Doctor
Timothy Bateson ... Barman
Elizabeth Dear ... Janet as a Child
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Isla Cameron ... Mother (uncredited)

Julie Samuel ... Maid (uncredited)
Hedger Wallace ... Sir Dudley (uncredited)

Directed by
Freddie Francis 
Writing credits
Jimmy Sangster (written by)

Produced by
Jimmy Sangster .... producer
Original Music by
Don Banks 
Cinematography by
John Wilcox (director of photography)
Production Design by
Bernard Robinson 
Art Direction by
Don Mingaye 
Makeup Department
Roy Ashton .... makeup artist
Frieda Steiger .... hair stylist
Production Management
Don Weeks .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Douglas Hermes .... assistant director
Art Department
Eric Hillier .... prop buyer (uncredited)
Sound Department
Jim Groom .... sound editor (as James Groom)
Ken Rawkins .... sound recordist
Jim Perry .... boom operator (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Les Bowie .... special effects (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Ronnie Maasz .... camera operator
Geoff Glover .... focus puller (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Rosemary Burrows .... wardrobe mistress
Editorial Department
James Needs .... supervising editor
Music Department
John Hollingsworth .... music supervisor
Other crew
Pauline Harlow .... continuity (as Pauline Wise)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
USA:83 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.55 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Did You Know?

Jennie Linden was 11th hour casting choice replacing Julie Christie, who dropped out to do John Schlesinger's "Billy Liar.".See more »
Movie Connections:
Remake of Pesadilla (1963)See more »


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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful.
Excellent Gothic horror!, 18 September 2006

British director Freddie Francis is nowadays best known for his excellent work as a cinematographer in films such as "Sons and Lovers" (1960), "The Elephant Man" (1980), "Glory" (1989) and "The Straight Story" (1999); but in the 60s, he directed several horror films for the two most important horror films production companies in the United Kingdom: Hammer and Amicus. While his career as a director looks uneven when compared to his successful work as a cinematographer, he managed to craft a few little gems for both companies that have slowly become cult classics. Among them, "Nightmare" comes up as one of his best, an elegant Gothic horror that tells a story about madness, death, and nightmares.

The film is the story of Janet (Jennie Linden), a young student at a private school, who by nights is haunted by horrible nightmares about her insane mother, who is currently locked in an asylum. As the nightmares become more constant, she is sent back home for the winter in order to rest a while. But the nightmares keep haunting Janet's dreams and soon she becomes more and more convinced that somehow she has inherited her mother's insanity despite the efforts of her guardian Henry (David Knight) and her nurse Grace (Moira Redmond) to help her.

Written by another Hammer regular, Jimmy Sangster (who wrote the Hammer classics "Curse of Frankenstein" and "Dracula"), the plot is a terrific thriller with horror elements that adds psychological themes to the story, always questioning reality as Janet watches it. The suspense and the mystery are the key factors of the plot and Sangster handles both elements with excellent care and the whole setting (an old house during a winter) enhances the feeling of paranoia and madness the characters suffer. Some critics have pointed out that the film somehow loses steam by the second half, and while in my opinion this is relatively true to an extent, I think this doesn't really do any harm and it's still a wonderfully developed mystery.

"Nightmare" is visually a Hammer film that went against the conceptions of the so-called "Hammer style" and modernized their concept of Gothic horror by setting the film in contemporary times. The claustrophobic location looks wonderful in the beautiful black and white photography (another move away the "Hammer style") and Francis shows why he has a reputation as cinematographer. His eye for the visual is perfect and gives a whole new dimension to the "old dark house" element so common in Gothic horror. The style of the film looks like an enhanced version of his previous "Paranoiac", as here the mix of suspense, Gothic horror and British melodrama works in a near-perfect way.

The cast is entirely made up of non-Hammer regulars, which gave the film a fresh face and it really works. Jennie Linden was a last-minute choice for the role of Janet, and we can say that they got lucky with her, as her performance is top-notch and frightening believable. Moira Redmon is also superb, giving her character, the nurse Grace an aura of mystery that is both appealing and haunting. David Knight is not as lucky although fortunately, he does not appear too much in the film. Totally the opposite are the cases of George A. Cooper and Irene Richmond, who give remarkable performances in such a sadly limited screen time.

"Nightmare" is an excellent thriller that suffers from some small minor flaws that hurt the film a bit. The sudden division of the film in two parts works very well as an interesting plot device, but the second part of the film is a bit harder to follow as the change comes a bit too sudden (although in general it's still pretty good). Another minor complain (well, not exactly a complain), is that Francis at times puts a lot of emphasis on the atmosphere and style over the plot, although this is never too distracting.

Certainly Hammer will always be known for their excellent versions of Dracula, Frankenstein, the Mummy and the Werewolf, but this little film is as good as those and maybe even more. "Nightmare" is part of that line of underrated classics that Hammer made and that hopefully will receive more appreciation now that they are finally available. 9/10. An excellent thriller!

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Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Ending doesn't make any sense d_m_s
Unusually creepy, effectively atmospheric... gaby01575
Final scene? **SPOILERS** OpaqueOne
Incredibly good chiller! bsfraser2003
'Nightmare' Update Oakley court bsfraser2003
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