6.5/10
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44 user 19 critic

Fear in the Night (1947)

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

Director:

Maxwell Shane

Writers:

Cornell Woolrich (story "Nightmare") (as William Irish), Maxwell Shane (written for the screen by)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Paul Kelly ... Cliff Herlihy
DeForest Kelley ... Vince Grayson
Ann Doran ... Lil Herlihy
Kay Scott Kay Scott ... Betty Winters
Charles Victor 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 Joey Ray ... Contractor (scenes deleted)
Loyette Thomson Loyette Thomson ... Waitress (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

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 <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

nightmare | key | button | picnic | mansion | See All (57) »

Taglines:

Can a man commit MURDER in a dream?...Here is the spine-tingling, blood-freezing answer...different from any mystery you've ever seen!...(original ad) See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 August 1948 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

And So Scared to Death See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

DeForest Kelley's debut cinematic appearance. See more »

Goofs

It is daytime when Vince Grayson (DeForest 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 »

Quotes

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

Connections

Remade as Nightmare (1956) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Such a clumsy film with such inventive great scenes!!
4 December 2010 | by secondtakeSee all my reviews

Fear in the Night (1947)

This is one surprising film. It's not "great" for several reasons (it's not even very good), but it has great, bizarre, creative, daring aspects for a commercial film. In fact, its brilliance is only the more tragic relative to its drawbacks (a clumsy plot and some mediocre acting, unfortunately). But the special effects, dream sequences, and just plain surreal imagery are all worth the look.

There are a couple of deep flaws in the plot--like a group of four people drive up to a house they've never been to and because it's raining they go inside and make tea and take a nap. And the characters are kind of just going through the motions sometimes to get to the next step. Decidedly low budget. But you know how a low budget can inspire makeshift solutions--here we have room of mirrors, some hypnosis, a murder that the murderer can't remember, crazy dreams, and a brother-in-law who is a tough detective.

The two leads are Paul Kelley (rather good, the strength of the cast) and DeForest Kelley (solid, too, and later to be Dr. McCoy in Star Trek, yes!).


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