13 user 19 critic

Les cauchemars naissent la nuit (1972)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Horror | 18 January 1973 (Belgium)
Two exotic dancers embark on a erotic friendship which takes a turn when one of them begins having recurring nightmares of her killing people in which the line between realty and fantasy begins to blur to the most extreme.


(as Jess Franco)


(screenplay), (dialogue) (as Josiane Gibert)





Cast overview:
Anna de Istria
Dr. Paul Lucas
Jack Taylor ...
Cynthia's Lover
Colette Giacobine ...
Cynthia Robins (as Colette Jack)
Andrea Montchal ...
The Neighbour (as André Montchall)
Neighbour's Girlfriend (as Susan Korda)


In Zagreb, the striper Anna de Istria works in a sleazy cabaret. She is seduced by the blonde Cynthia Robins that invites her to move to her house. Ana is disturbed by nightmares, where she kills a man with a spear, and Cynthia calls Dr. Paul Lucas to treat Ana. Meanwhile, a couple that lives in the house next door spies the movement in Cynthia's house. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


An Erotic Nightmare See more »


Crime | Drama | Horror


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

18 January 1973 (Belgium)  »

Also Known As:

Nightmares Come at Night  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


This movie is a Mish Mash of two different unfinished Jess Franco movies. One with Paul Muller from 1969, the other with Soledad Miranda from 1970. See more »


When Anna is watching the couple dancing, the woman has a purple top on. Halfway through, it pans to Anna and then back to the couple, where the woman has a skin-color shirt on. Again panning back to Anna and then the couple, the woman has the purple shirt back on. See more »

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User Reviews

Some films are best left undiscovered.
15 September 2009 | by (Hampshire, England) – See all my reviews

Although the packaging for Nightmares Come At Night promotes Soledad Miranda as its star, it is Diana Lorys who takes centre stage as Anna de Istria, a stripper who is seduced by Cynthia Robins (Colette Giacobine), a mysterious blonde who frequents her show. After being lured to Cynthia's home, Anna suffers a series of nightmares in which she sees herself committing murder, but despite help from her doctor, Paul Lucas (Paul Muller), she gradually begins to lose all grip on reality.

Recently rediscovered and never before released: so says the blurb on my DVD box for this erotic horror from prolific director Jess Franco. It's a statement that begs the question 'why did some idiot have to go and find the bloody thing?' because Nightmares Come At Night could have lain undiscovered for an eternity, and I couldn't have cared less: it's Franco at his most illogical, incomprehensible, and frustrating.

The director takes a rather promising premise, packs it with quality naked Euro totty from start to finish, yet still somehow manages to produce a finished product that has the ability to make one's eyelids feel as though they have lead weights sewn into them, and as usual, his directorial style can be described charitably as 'unique', although I prefer the adjective 'crap' (this guy even shoves manic zooms into his opening credits!!!). Franco's story is extremely weak, and is merely a lame excuse to get his leading ladies to take their clothes off (although he can't even get this right: he has Anna partake in the most boring strip show to ever be captured on film).

My version of this film was badly dubbed, something for which I suppose I should be grateful: I laughed a few times at the terrible dub track, and shudder to think how stupefyingly dull the film might have been without these unintentional moments of light relief. In fact, the highlight of the film for me was when the doctor uttered these words to Anna: 'you are a naughty little girl who, with a twitch of her magic stick, can transform her into a pink little pig or a stout and ugly black toad'. Whether this is an accurate translation I don't know (and what the hell it means is anyone's guess), but at least it made me chuckle! About the only other element worthy of note is the score, which lends a suitably grubby vibe and wouldn't be out of place playing in any sleazy 70s euro nightclub.

There are those who have described this film as 'dreamlike'; my guess is that these viewers actually fell asleep whilst watching and dreamt of something far more interesting without realising.

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