6.5/10
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20 user 12 critic

Nightmare (1956)

A New Orleans musician has a nightmare about killing a man in a strange house but he suspects that it really happened.

Director:

Maxwell Shane

Writers:

Cornell Woolrich (novel), Maxwell Shane (written for the screen by)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Edward G. Robinson ... Rene Bressard
Kevin McCarthy ... Stan Grayson
Connie Russell ... Gina - Stan's Girl
Virginia Christine ... Mrs. Sue Bressard
Rhys Williams ... Deputy Torrence
Gage Clarke ... Belknap / Harry Britten
Marian Carr ... Madge Novick
Barry Atwater ... Capt. Warner
Meade 'Lux' Lewis Meade 'Lux' Lewis ... Meade
Billy May and His Orchestra Billy May and His Orchestra ... Themselves (as Billy May and his Orchestra)
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Storyline

A musician has a nightmare in which he killed a man. When he wakes up he finds evidence that the crime really took place and tries to find the truth with the help of his brother-in-law who is a police officer. Written by Volker Boehm

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Beware ! These are the eyes of a hypnotist !


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 August 1956 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Pesadilla See more »

Filming Locations:

New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

Pine-Thomas Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Frank Paul Sylos, who did the art direction, also did the art direction for "Fear in the Night," the original story, "Nightmare," by Cornel Woolrich. See more »

Goofs

According to the elevator there are only 15 floors in the hotel, but the shot of the building from outside shows more than fifteen. See more »

Connections

Version of Fear in the Night (1947) See more »

Soundtracks

What's Your Sad Story
Words and Music by Richard M. Sherman (as Dick Sherman)
Performed by Connie Russell / Billy May Orchestra
See more »

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User Reviews

Interesting, but Flawed
22 August 2008 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

If you can get past the improbable key to the mystery, the rest of the movie has some good, strong points. The first twenty minutes plunge us into McCarthy's nightmarish events that may or may not have actually happened. We don't know for sure and neither does he, but there are the scratches on his arm. Did he kill those people or not. The surreal effects are impressively done.

McCarthy delivers a gripping performance, as good as Invasion of the Body Snatchers (also 1956), and much better than expected for a B-movie. In short, he makes us believe that his dilemma, however improbable, is real and not just a story construct. Without that intensity drawing us in, the movie would, I think, amount to little more than a mildly interesting walk-through.

The New Orleans locations provide a clever anchor to the real world, and a good setting for the colorful jazz scenes. However, a 63-year old Robinson is at least 10 years too old for the brother-in-law part even though he manages the cop role well. And can we really believe the chance occurrence onto the scene-of-the-crime mansion in all that unfamiliar backcountry. Unfortunately, the script requires more than just an ordinary suspension of disbelief. Too bad the script couldn't work in more bayou scenes. Those coming at the end are really creepy and nightmarish in their own right. Too bad also that the excellent McCarthy made so few films, preferring, I gather, stage productions instead. All in all, an interesting if regrettably flawed little movie.


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