Dead of Night 1945

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(45) IMDb 7.7/10
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Horror anthology. Architect Walter Craig (Mervyn Johns) arrives at country house Pilgrim Farm thinking that he has been hired to remodel it. He finds the building strangely familiar, and upon entering discovers that he recognizes all of the house's occupants from a recurring nightmare he has experienced. One by one, everyone present relates their own horrific nightmare: Grainger (Anthony Baird) dreams that he is a racing driver recuperating from an accident; teenager Sally O'Hara (Sally Ann Howes) dreams of a Christmas party where she discovers a lone crying child; Joan Courtland (Googie Withers) relates a story of an antique mirror linked to an ancient murder; the next story concerns two golfers who vie murderously for the attention of a young lady; and the final story features a ventriloquist (Michael Redgrave) whose dummy comes to life.

Starring:
Googie Withers, Alla
Rental Formats:
DVD

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature parental_guidance
Runtime 1 hour 39 minutes
Starring Googie Withers, Alla, Anthony Baird, Naunton Wayne, Basil Radford, Renee Gadd, Mary Merrall, Miles Malleson, Hartley Power, Esme Percy, Judy Kelly, Frederick Valk, Mervyn Johns, Allan Jeayes, Ralph Michael, Elizabeth Welch, Sally Ann Howes, Peggy Bryan, Michael Redgrave, Roland Culver
Director Basil Dear, Alberto Cavalcanti, Charles Crichton
Genres Horror, Thriller
Studio ELEVATION
Rental release 13 November 2006
Main languages English
Hearing impaired subtitles English

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By B. G. Carroll on 29 April 2014
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
The original camera negative of DEAD OF NIGHT perished in a fire 60 years ago and so available prints have been very poor over the years. The restoration here is therefore all the more remarkable and the picture quality is outstanding compared to previous releases. The only negative is the very poor sound quality which frankly renders some dialogue inaudible. My old videotape recorded from TV 20 years ago is much better so I can't understand why this has happened. Possibly the soundtrack has deteriorated even more than the image? The film is a classic and a must-see for anyone interested in the genre. It is the finest 'ghost story' omibus on celluloid.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By wolfers TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 24 Feb. 2014
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Had a quick glance at this hd remastering and I have to report its all good considering the age of the movie. The blacks look good and the overall clean up, if you compare with the unrestored comparision feature you can see a world of difference.The real bonus IS the bonus feature which I have watched, a nice 75 min Doc on the film.A must buy for one of the best British anthology movies.I urge you to buy this blu ray
see my snapshot in customer images for before/after restoration comparison.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By jimbob on 20 Mar. 2014
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Great picture restoration and improved audio (mostly) compared to earlier DVD releases. Opening credit music is not good, but most dialogue scenes are fine thereafter. The picture quality is the clear winner - better contrast, solid blacks, and more detail revealed throughout. This does make the viewing of this old classic a more rewarding experience. Talking heads "extra feature" of various critics and fans discussing the film is pretty much preaching to the converted, but does add some useful background information and insights.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By bram.k on 28 Aug. 2014
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
The first, and still the best, portmanteau horror movie. While the thrills are subtle - inevitable for a 1940s flick - this is a chiller almost by default. The top notch cast, the smart writing, the witty way the stories are tied together, all combine into an experience that once seen, is never forgotten. Every story is a winner - even the funny one with the two golfers - but the two that stayed with me are the framing story - ingenious to the point of postmodern boldness - and the ventriloquist tale (no, better make that THE ventriloquist tale: this is the one every horror story you know about a ventriloquist's dummy is stolen from, and there is something about this progenitor none of the derivatives ever caught). And the ending... well, don't let anyone tell you about it before you savour it for yourself. It is faaar out.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 20 Jan. 2015
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Dead of Night wasn't the first portmanteau or anthology horror film (Ealing Studios didn't even regard it as anything as downmarket as a horror film), but, despite the likes of Paul Leni's Waxworks [DVD] [1924] [US Import] [2024] [Region 1] [NTSC] and Julien Duvivier's Flesh and Fantasy [DVD] [1943] [Region 1] [US Import], [NTSC] it was certainly the most influential, particularly in the UK: it's hard to imagine the Amicus films of the 60s and 70s existing without its success. In retrospect it's a simple idea, teaming four of Ealing's top directors - Alberto Cavalcanti (Went the Day Well), Charles Crichton (The Lavender Hill Mob), Robert Hamer (Kind Hearts and Coronets) and Basil Dearden (Victim) - for a series of short tales of the supernatural wrapped up in the framing story of Mervyn Johns' architect whose finds himself living a recurring dream that inspires the people around him to tell of their own supernatural experiences to try to make sense of it. But while three of the stories are especially memorable, it's the strength of the framing device (inspired by E.F. Benson's The Room in the Tower but reaching a very different conclusion) that makes the film so effective.

Unlike almost all of the films that followed in its wake, for once the framing device is actually a story in itself that advances and develops as he slowly recollects the details of his own terrifying nightmare like lightning flashes in a dark night.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Sursubbu on 8 April 2014
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Dead of Night is a pioneering effort in the Brit anthology ghost story format that later led to the Amicus productions like Asylum or The House That Dripped Blood. What's pleasantly surprising is how well it holds up even today. In the framing story, a man visits a farmhouse where he meets a motley of strangers, and he has the sensation that he has seen them all in a dream. This leads to each of the others talking about a supernatural anecdote of their experience. This finally leads back to a brilliant climax for the framing story.
I first saw DoN several years ago on a very beat-up looking DVD source. While the new blu-ray from Studio Canal is no HD demo showcase, it is an immense improvement over previous home video releases of this neglected classic. Contrast and detail are healthy and the film has a generally unmanipulated look, which is pleasing. The mono (LPCM 2.0) sound is clear and quite adequate considering the source. The main extra is a long featurette with a bunch of film historians and critics discussing DoN and its long shadow on the anthology horror format. This is informative and fun.
On the whole highly recommended for classic horror fans!
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