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

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Overview

User Rating:
6.7/10   770 votes »
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Down 13% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writer:
Jimmy Sangster (written by)
Contact:
View company contact information for Nightmare on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
17 June 1964 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
THREE SHOCKING MURDERS...did she DREAM them? ...or DO them? See more »
Plot:
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 »
Awards:
1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Clever but grim screenplay; haunting images. See more (20 total) »

Cast

  (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 
 
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
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:
Runtime:
USA:83 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
2.55 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound Recording)
Certification:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The BFI has the only 35mm print in the UK.See more »
Movie Connections:
Remake of Pesadilla (1963)See more »

FAQ

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13 out of 14 people found the following review useful.
Clever but grim screenplay; haunting images., 5 May 2001
Author: rockallnight from Ireland

Jimmy Sangster's screenplay for "Nightmare" is an excellent contemporary (early 1960s) thriller with Gothic touches. However, the script falters about halfway through when the young heroine Janet, who has been driven almost out of her mind by a series of terrifying events, is removed from the action of the story.

Instead of centering the action of the second half on characters sympathetic to the heroine who might take up her cause, identify the conspirators and bring them to justice - as happens in, for example, "Psycho" - the script reveals to the audience who the conspirators are, and then, until the final scene, makes them the center of the action.

It is asking a lot of an audience to identify with those whose machinations have brought about the committal of a sympathetic heroine, and this may well explain why the second half of "Nightmare" is less gripping than the first - especially as the plot of the second half is a variation on what has gone before, this time with an unsympathetic character experiencing terrifying events. This part of the screenplay also stretches credibility, since it seems unlikely that an antagonist with an alert and cunning mind would not detect a plot which is dividing him from his female accomplice.

The real strength of "Nightmare", however, is in director Freddie Francis' visual flair. A former cameraman/director of photography, using black and white 'scope and obviously influenced by his work on Jack Clayton's "The Innocents", he succeeds in creating a real sense of fear and isolation around his vulnerable heroine.

He achieves this by using the expanse of the 'scope frame, often surrounding Janet with shadows or, in daylight, setting her in a frame devoid of anything or anybody reassuring. For example: when Janet travels home from school, the railway station is almost deserted; we do not see the departing train from which she has presumably just alighted. There are no other cars on the road as she is driven home. As they pass the asylum she dreads, there are no signs of human activity within the grounds. Once back home she is dwarfed by the mansion "High Towers" she has become heir to, and her isolation is compounded by her home being located in remote snow-covered countryside.

Janet's isolation is social as well as physical; ostracized at boarding school in the early scenes, and clinging to a grotesque doll and a small transistor radio, she is never seen with anyone her own age (mid-teens). Her only friend at the school is a sympathetic teacher. At "High Towers" the guardian she dotes on, Henry Baxter, is at least twice her age - as are her other household companions.

In addition to traditional Gothic trappings (heroines wandering dark corridors in flowing night-dresses, candlelight illumination, door handles seen turning slowly and ghostly nocturnal figures) Freddie Francis endows several everyday objects with fearful connotations - Janet's doll, her transistor radio that forever blares out fast jazz, and above all, a birthday cake with lighted candles. The latter becomes a powerful image of dread, since it was on Janet's eleventh birthday the horrific event occurred that started the cycle of nightmares and fear of inherited insanity.

"Nightmare" has a particularly bleak atmosphere: most of the action is set during a harsh winter, the dialogue has virtually no humor and the ending - which should give the audience a sense of satisfaction - is grimly downbeat. This is probably because in achieving justice for Janet, her sympathizers have virtually duplicated the methods of the conspirators and brought about a similar result - a gruesome death and a woman on the edge of madness.

Highly recommended viewing.

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Nightmare (1964)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Unusually creepy, effectively atmospheric... gaby01575
Ending doesn't make any sense d_m_s
Final scene? **SPOILERS** OpaqueOne
Incredibly good chiller! bsfraser2003
'Nightmare' Update Oakley court bsfraser2003
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