6.4/10
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Fear in the Night (1947)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 16 June 1948 (Mexico)
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

Taglines:

Walking through a NIGHTMARE...KILLING in a DREAM! (original ad) See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The failure of the original copyright holder to renew the film's copyright resulted in it falling into public domain, meaning that virtually anyone could duplicate and sell a VHS/DVD copy of the film. Therefore, many of the versions of this film available on the market are either severely (and usually badly) edited and/or of extremely poor quality, having been duped from second - or third-generation (or more) copies of the film. See more »

Goofs

When Vince Grayson is ordered by Belknap to write his suicide note, he misspells Belknap as "Belnap", leaving out the "k". See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Version of Nightmare (1956) See more »

User Reviews

 
Forgotten Gem
13 January 2015 | by merrywaterSee all my reviews

This is a sadly forgotten, but fantastic film noir gem released in 1947, and based on a story by the renowned author Cornell Woolrich . The opening is an amazing and surrealistic dream sequence up along with, say, Polanski's dream sequence in Rosemary's Baby. Straightforward plot, good though perhaps not great actors, and decent directing. It was a low budget production which is apparent, albeit not a nuisance.

A remake was made by the same director nine years later. The original had a tenser atmosphere which corresponded well to the surrealistic formula. On the other hand, the remake had Edward G. Robinson starring in a supporting role.

An unnecessary detail in the remake was a musical ingredient that was extended to the protagonist being a musician. The upbeat jazz music, absent in the original, actually interfered with the tense atmosphere. However, this was the style in the mid-fifties cf Hitchcock's remake of The Man Who Knew Too Much (also released in 1956) that featured one of this year's greatest hits, Que sera sera.

Contrary to Hitchcock's successful remaking, Fear in the Night surely didn't need one, and the remake - Nightmare - isn't more of a classic today than its original version.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 June 1948 (Mexico) 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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