Dead of Night (1972– )
7.1/10
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A Woman Sobbing 

Jane is an discontented middle-class wife and mother. One night in her bedroom she hears a woman crying, though her husband hears nothing. Is it a symptom of her depression or is her home ... See full summary »

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Cast

Episode credited cast:
Tommy Boyle ...
Fitter
Nicky Cox ...
Robin
Jan Edwards ...
Woman in church hall
Elaine Elder ...
Dutch au-pair
Denis Gilmore ...
Fitter's mate
John Graham ...
Philip
Ronald Hines ...
Frank Pullar
...
Sandy
...
Fay
...
Priest
...
Jane Pullar
Craig McFarlane ...
James
Donna Reading ...
Secretary
Yokki Rhodes ...
Inge
David Whitworth ...
Man in church hall
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Jane is an discontented middle-class wife and mother. One night in her bedroom she hears a woman crying, though her husband hears nothing. Is it a symptom of her depression or is her home haunted? In her attempts to discover the truth she becomes increasingly paranoid Written by Gazhack

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Horror

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17 December 1972 (UK)  »

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User Reviews

 
Another intelligent and creepy instalment from 'Dead of Night'
28 July 2016 | by See all my reviews

'A Woman Sobbing' was the final episode in the TV horror anthology series 'Dead of Night'. It's one of only three episodes to have survived, the others having been long ago deleted by the BBC. I think it would be fair to say that this one isn't as good as series opener 'The Exorcism' but is definitely superior to the other surviving instalment 'Return Flight'. It's actually a pretty fine bit of TV horror in fact. Its story focuses on an unhappy woman, unsatisfied with life as a housewife in a remote country area. Her life is made more traumatic when she starts hearing a woman sobbing in the attic in the dead of night. She begins hearing this nightly but is it really a ghost or is this a result of her schizophrenia, a condition she is taking medication for.

Like 'The Exorcism' the main reason that this episode is so good is down to a very strong performance from its central actress. In the case of 'The Exorcism' it was Anna Cropper who was the standout; in this one it is Anna Massey who puts in a very convincing performance of a schizophrenic woman. She is, by turns, harsh and vulnerable and ensures that the story is always interesting. There is enough psychological depth in her portrayal that it raises the question over whether there is an evil entity at all or whether the voices are merely a result of her mental illness. In fairness, this quite reasonable question is effectively answered in the prologue in a way that removes the ambiguity somewhat. Nevertheless, like the other instalments in this very interesting series, the mixture of the supernatural with contemporary social concerns is a good idea. It results in a commendable serious-minded and intelligent approach to the horror genre, while still being quite effectively chilling in places. This episode is no different and is really a very good way to sign the series off on.


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