17 user 21 critic

Les cauchemars naissent la nuit (1970)

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.


Jesús Franco (as Jess Franco), Jesús Franco


Jesús Franco (screenplay and adaptation), Jesús Franco | 2 more credits »




Credited cast:
Diana Lorys ... Anna de Istria
Paul Muller ... Dr. Paul Lucas
Jack Taylor ... Cynthia's Lover
Colette Jack Colette Jack ... Cynthia Robins
Andrea Montchal Andrea Montchal ... The Neighbour (as André Montchall)
Howard Vernon ... Howard
Soledad Miranda ... Neighbour's Girlfriend (as Susan Korda)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bob Buchholz ... Cynthia's Lover (voice)
Dorothy Elias-Fahn ... Cynthia Robins (voice)
Grant George ... The Neighbour (voice)
Dave Mallow ... Dr. Paul Lucas (voice)
Cindy Robinson ... Anna de Istria (voice)
Philece Sampler ... Neighbour's Girlfriend (voice)


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


Haunted by bloody nocturnal visions, Anne fears she is going insane. See more »


Crime | Drama | Horror


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


For years, it was considered a lost Jesús Franco film (after having played at a single theatre in Belgium in 1973). The film was eventually rediscovered in 2004. 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 »


Remade as The Sinister Eyes of Dr. Orloff (1973) See more »

User Reviews

NIGHTMARES COME AT NIGHT (Jesus Franco, 1970) **1/2
13 October 2004 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

I've just received and watched the R1 DVD of NIGHTMARES COME AT NIGHT (1970). I'm not quite sure what to make of the film on the basis of this one viewing: most of Franco's usual ingredients were there, to be sure – the accent on eroticism, of course, but also his customary virtues in the form of a bizarre and eclectic score and an effortlessly haunting, dream-like atmosphere. Special mention must also go to the stylish credit sequence, which was quite a nice – and unexpected – touch.

However, I did feel that something was missing here: perhaps because it was all so hastily put together, the film seemed to be going nowhere most of the time. Maybe it also had something to do with the incongruity of the two female leads: on this and other Forums, I've read a lot of praise for Diana Lorys' performance but, personally, she didn't impress me too much – though I wouldn't call her acting bad, and she can certainly handle herself well in a nude scene – and seemed only to alter between playing agitated (especially in her scenes with Paul Muller, where she must have asked him if she was going crazy a thousand times!) and being in a daze. As for Colette Jack, to me, she didn't manage to put across convincingly either the spell her character is supposed to have over Lorys or the intelligence necessary to organize a jewel heist, let alone the elaborate way in which her accomplices are dispatched (her final confrontation with Muller clearly suggests she was the 'brains' of the outfit)!

On the other hand, I was pleased by the contribution of both Muller (one of his few really meaty roles for Franco) and Jack Taylor (his one scene in the film – a very Godardian moment, by the way – is its highlight). To get to the jewel heist subplot, which many feel is out of place, one must remember that without it the film would have no plot whatsoever: since the whole ruse of hypnotizing Lorys is actually to get rid of Taylor (assuming he too is an accomplice, as this is never explained), Soledad Miranda and Andre' Montcall! Still, I would disagree that Miranda is wasted here: with only a few gestures and lines of dialogue in a couple of brief scenes, she manages nonetheless to create a character and, with the aid of her indelible sensuousness, leave quite an impression – I certainly wouldn't want the film to be without her!

Regarding the DVD itself, I would like to point out that I too experienced a momentary glitch during the layer-change. Knowing of Media Blasters' notorious reputation through online Forums (this is the only disc I own by them), I don't think I'll bother sending for a replacement as I doubt a repressing has been made at all. What's more, having recently experienced disappointment with the replacements I got from Flicker Alley (JUDEX [1916-17]) and Mondo Macabro (MILL OF THE STONE WOMEN [1960]) – where this same glitch was still present on the extra copies I received from both labels – I'm a bit wary of the prospect, to say the least!

As for the DVD transfer, the full-frame print used was rather soft (though this may have been intentional) and displayed occasional damage but it was certainly acceptable, especially when considering the extreme rarity of this item. On the other hand the French-language track, with its literate English subtitles, was very satisfactory when compared to the lifeless newly-dubbed version, clips of which were included in the Franco interview. The latter, then, is one of the most entertaining discussions I've seen featuring the Spanish director; his accent sometimes does get in the way but his recollections of Soledad were certainly articulately put, as well as obviously heartfelt, and the interview never wore out its welcome. The other extras were more basic stuff, though the photo gallery (sections of which are also featured in the interview) was quite a nice addition. In the long run, I would consider the film second-tier Franco: it's as if he was biding his time here waiting, as it were, for the full flowering of Soledad Miranda in order to embark on the next phase of his debauched career

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Spanish | French

Release Date:

18 January 1973 (Belgium) See more »

Also Known As:

Nightmares Come at Night See more »


Box Office


ESP100,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)| Color (Eastmancolor)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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