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Dead of Night (DVD)

Anna Massey , Peter Barkworth , Don Taylor , Rodney Bennett    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
Price: 13.96 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Anna Massey, Peter Barkworth, Edward Petherbridge, Clive Swift
  • Directors: Don Taylor, Rodney Bennett, Paul Ciappessoni
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Dolby, PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Bfi
  • DVD Release Date: 28 Oct 2013
  • Run Time: 150 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00E65SHQY
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 10,033 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description


Films by Don Taylor, Rodney Bennett and Paul Ciappessoni

After years of unavailability, the three surviving episodes from the legendary BBC horror anthology series, Dead of Night, finally comes to DVD. Originally screened on BBC2 in 1972, and rarely seen since, Dead of Night has been highly sought by fans of the BBC and British Horror for decades.

A film by Don Taylor
In what is perhaps the most terrifying of the episodes, four wealthy, middle-class friends (Clive Swift, Edward Petherbridge, Anna Cropper and Sylvia Kay) gather for a Christmas dinner in a country cottage only to find that the past will not rest while they feast.

A film by Rodney Bennett
The professionalism of an experienced and respected airline pilot (Peter Barkworth) is placed under scrutiny when he encounters the ghostly apparition of a Second World War Lancaster bomber.

A film by Paul Ciappessoni
A middle-class housewife (Anna Massey - Peeping Tom, Frenzy) becomes increasingly paranoid when her nights are interrupted by the terrifying and unexplained sound of a woman crying in one of the rooms in her new house.

Special Features

  • Gallery of stills from the missing episodes
  • Downloadable scripts for the missing episodes (PDF)
  • Fully illustrated booklet features essays and biographies by Lisa Kerrigan, Oliver Wake, Derek Johnston and Alex Davidson

UK | 1972 |colour | English language, with optional English hard-of-hearing subtitles | 150 minutes | DVD9 | Region 2 PAL DVD | Original aspect ratio 1.33:1 | Dolby Digital mono audio (320kbps)

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A chilling, must-see classic 29 Oct 2013
By downkiddie TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a hugely enjoyable and perfectly chilling DVD of classic television. A relatively late casualty of the BBC's junking policy it now sadly consists of just 3 episodes. Everyone knows about "Dr Who" missing episodes, but these are so expertly crafted it's criminal the full series doesn't exist. The three we have left however are very good though.

Whilst all the episodes are ghost stories to some degree, there's more to them also. They all have some other intertwined theme; "The Exorcism" a middle left commentary on greed and capitalism, whilst the others explore various psychological issues. Whether this appeals or not, they are also very good and genuinely chilling ghost stories. All have a modern day (70s) setting, in modern homes full of the latest technology (every shot has a hifi or food mixer in it), all enhancing the unsettling commonplace ghost story feel.

The stand out episode for me is "The Exorcism", starring Edward Petherbrige and Clive Swift, this is a perfect claustrophobic ghostly thriller. A festive Christmas gathering begins to turn sour as odd things happen and the four friends become trapped in the house. Although we know it's only a set at the BBC (BBC Glasgow according to the PDF paperwork on the disc, not Television Centre), and today's equivalents would have more atmospheric lighting and tighter direction, the tension and terror is so well realised it still manages to chill us so expertly. The terror and claustrophobia is very reminscent of Associated Television's later "During Barty's Party" by Nigel Kneale (part of the "Beasts" series), however this one with its Christmas country cottage setting is better entertainment for a winter's night.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wish there were more 23 Dec 2013
By Sally T
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
We both enjoyed this dvd and it's a pity there are only three stories but as has been explained, only these three have been recovered. They are all suited to winter viewing, especially round Christmas. It is fascinating to watch a normal Christmas dinner with all sorts of food on the table in a lovely country cottage, turn into absolute horror! Perfection in hauntings. All three stories have an underlying sense of desolation and sadness because of humans' attitude towards each other whether it is a failure to understand each other, whether it's greed, whatever the cause, we are promised ghosts and we get them, the acting is tops by all protagonists and so is atmosphere. Favourite is the Exorcism. If you have not got this dvd and love ghost stories, don't hesitate get it.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dead of Night 20 Nov 2013
Dead of Night DVD
British Film Institute

Way back in 1972 the BBC made a supernatural TV series called Dead of Night. This title is not to be confused with a more recent American DVD of the same name or an older Michael Redgrave movie from the 1940s. The BBC series ran from 5 November until 17 December 1972 with seven episodes each of 50 minutes duration. It appears that only three episodes seem to be surviving but as a part of their Gothic: The Dark Heart of Film programme, the British Film Institute people have put them on a DVD for general release in October this year.

I do recall seeing one of these episodes back in 1972 when I was a young student plodding away at chemistry but with an avid interest in all matters relating to Science Fiction and associated literature, that episode being Return Flight, and I do recall thinking it was pretty good. Since then, however, I don't think this series has appeared on TV again so it's really one up for the BFI and their media archaeology for bringing it back to the viewing public once more.

The surviving episodes on the DVD are:

The Exorcism by Don Taylor. A middle-class couple have invited another couple round for Christmas dinner at their country cottage. Everything has been modernised to the latest standard but what they forget is that the cottage has a long history with previous occupants, some going back to the early 19th century when there was a famine and public unrest. Things start to go wrong in the house such as a power cut and doors that are unable to open. There is also something upstairs. Tension builds as evening progresses and they find what is behind the mystery of the house.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great British Chiller Series 13 Feb 2014
By mark
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Having seen 'the Exorcism' as a boy in the UK In 1970's, I was eager to revisit a programme which I had found wonderfully scary at the time; I was not disappointed. Don Taylor's script whilst plainly making a political point about the evils of poverty and capitalism, continues to thrill with its famous and disturbing images. The dialogue, fashions, and special effects all show their age but equally the play is a reminder of how television used to be able to produce such cerebral and stylish thrillers with conviction and regularity.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime 6 Nov 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The British culture has produced some of the greatest shows ever! I watched these episodes without knowing what to expect and was blown away! Why did they discard the rest? Not sure but like the works of the great Greek tragedies I am just thankful that we can have a taste of a great moment in the annals of the television history... Thank you BFI! Keep up the great work!
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