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Fear (1946)

Approved | | Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery | 2 March 1946 (USA)
A medical student--broke, hungry and desperate for money--is hired to murder a loan shark. After the killing he is tormented by guilt over what he's done. A detective, who knows the student... See full summary »


Alfred Zeisler


Dennis J. Cooper (original screenplay) (as Dennis Cooper), Alfred Zeisler (original screenplay)

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Complete credited cast:
Peter Cookson ... Larry Crain
Warren William ... Police Capt. Burke
Anne Gwynne ... Eileen Stevens / Cathy Stevens
James Cardwell ... Ben - a Student
Nestor Paiva ... Detective Shaefer
Francis Pierlot Francis Pierlot ... Prof. Stanley
William Moss William Moss ... Al
Almira Sessions ... Mrs. Williams - Landlady
Darren McGavin ... Blonde Student
Harry Clay Harry Clay ... Student (as Henry Clay)
Ernie Adams ... House Painter
Johnny Strong Johnny Strong ... Student
Charles Calvert Charles Calvert ... Doc
Fairfax Burger Fairfax Burger ... Magician


A medical student--broke, hungry and desperate for money--is hired to murder a loan shark. After the killing he is tormented by guilt over what he's done. A detective, who knows the student committed the crime but can't prove it, plays on the young man's guilt in order to get him to confess to the crime. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

2 March 1946 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Black Tower See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Monogram Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (TV) (edited)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This film's earliest documented telecast took place in Cincinnati Tuesday 27 December 1949 on WKRC (Channel 11). See more »


After Larry Crain kills the professor, he goes to the door when he hears the two students outside, we see that the chain lock is latched. He then goes back to the desk to retrieve the ash tray and when he goes back to the door to go out, the chain lock is now unlatched. See more »


Version of Raskolnikow (1923) See more »

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User Reviews

A nightmare is a wish your heart makes...
29 October 2001 | by bmacvSee all my reviews

The dream (or nightmare) structure was a staple of the noir cycle; The Woman in the Window, Fear in the Night, and its remake Nightmare were some of the films that employed this device. Far from a cop-out, it was a way of packaging a rather subtle psychological insight: that our dreams expressed our conflicts between our superegos and our ids. (In a later film with noirish roots, Brian De Palma's Body Double, the "story" of the movie similarly sketched the protagonist's worst self-estimation, triggered by a claustrophobic episode.)

In Fear, a medical student (Peter Cookson) is on the brink of abandoning school because his money has run out; in frustration, he murders a professor who moonlights as a pawnbroker. Questioned by the police, he ill-advisedly spouts warmed-over Nietzsche like the effete killers in Hitchcock's Rope. Then, out of the blue, a scholarly periodical to which he submitted an article sends him a check for $1000 (!) -- the most implausible occurrence in the entire noir cyle. He grows more reckless, and suspicion continues to grow....

Fear was a low-budget Monogram programmer (clocking in at just over an hour) but looks a lot better, angled and shadowed like more lavish productions. It won't satisfy the literal-minded, but it's a decent enough way to while away a dark hour.

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