Fear In The Night (DVD) (1947) (All Regions) (NTSC) (US Import)
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Top Customer Reviews
Low budget across the board but not suffering too much for it. A cracking little film noir mystery neatly condensed into 72 minutes. Maxwell Shane`s film is dealing in dreams and a protagonist caught in a circumstance, without understanding, that`s out of his control. Tormented not only by the events of what appears to be in his "dream", but also by the heavy cloud of befuddlement that follows him during daylight hours. He himself ponders if he is going insane? It`s a good question, and one which Shane and Woolrich do well to not answer for the first half of the film as the atmosphere stays hazy. The tone of the narrative is aided considerably by Greenhalgh`s photography, Schrager`s music and Shane`s box of cheap, but hugely effective, tricks.Read more ›
Vince Grayson (DeForest Kelly), a pleasant, unexceptional young bank teller, wakes up one morning after a horrendous nightmare. He dreamed he was in a mirrored room, locked in a terrible fight with a strange man. He finds himself with a sharp-pointed awl in his hand and he drives it into the other man's chest. Then he drags the body into one of the small rooms behind one of the mirrored doors. When he wakes he's covered with sweat. He makes his way to the bathroom in the small hotel room he rents and finds thumbprints on his throat and blood on his hand. In his coat pocket he finds a blue button and an odd-shaped key. He makes his way to his sister's house to talk with her husband, Cliff Herlihy (Paul Kelly), a police detective. Herlihy just puts Cliff's story down to stress. But a couple of days later, driving out for a picnic with his girl friend, his sister and Cliff, Vince suggests they go to Salado Canyon, a place he's never been to before. In a downpour, Vince directs them to a large, dark house he's never seen. He knows where the key is under the mat. The house is empty, with the furniture and curtains covered by large, white drop cloths. He goes upstairs with Cliff and finds a small, mirrored room, and behind one of the mirrored doors, bloodstains.
Vince's nightmare is just beginning. Did he kill a man in the house? Why would he? Who were the two people killed there when Vince and Cliff talked with a local cop? Cliff Herlihy now is convinced that murders took place, that Vince wasn't responsible...and that Vince still might be a killer.Read more ›
Mr DeRiemer has published a very good review of this here, and I agree with much of what he says, though he is perhaps a bit more enthusiastic about its virtues than I am. Cornell Woolrich's stories tend to explore the darker recesses of human behaviour (his biography is well worth checking out), and this script based on one does just that. But the plot of hypnosis and nightmare and auto-suggestion is really quite stagey and has a dated rather than timeless feel to it.
Direction is competent within the allotted low budget, though Maxwell Shane makes very little of the octagonal mirrored room possibilities; anyone familiar with Orson Welles's glorious use of mirrors in The Lady from Shanghai will feel very underwhelmed here.
I also agree with Mr DeRiemer that John Kelly has a dynamism in his role as brother-in-law/detective that makes the rest of the cast look a bit pedestrian.
Not a bad second picture film noir, but there are lots of better examples of the type out there. Try for starters Narrow Margin (1952), Dangerous Crossing (1953), The Hitch-Hiker (1953) and Detour (1945).
The only negative thing about the product was that the box gives wrong information as to the role played by Deforest Kelley and one of the other actors but that would be a fault of the DVD Company not the seller but this did not detract from the product.
I would recommend the product and the seller.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This DVD arrived in the post this morning Saturday again it is a low budget movie the main star is the actor who was in a few westerns but is better known for playing the part of... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Shirley Steadman