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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Room for one more inside...'
I've seen this classic film almost every time it's been shown on TV for the last 30 years, and it's great to be able to have a permanent copy for one's DVD library. Perhaps because the TV prints have always been poor, I'm not so bothered about the print quality as others seem to be (although the sound is rough in places). Sure, this deserves to have the full restoration...
Published on 15 Sep 2007 by Steve

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104 of 106 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Awful transfer!
As mentioned before this truly is a British Classic and it is great that it has been made available on DVD. The film shows just what can be accomplished with minimal special effects and budget yet still come across as totally captivating and in some parts downright nerve tingling.

Where this DVD suffers tho is in its presentation which is shoddy and shows a...
Published on 31 Jan 2007 by Cudsie


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars early portmanteau classic, 11 Nov 2008
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This review is from: Dead Of Night [DVD] (DVD)
The quality of the film's transferance onto DVD is poor and the dubbing in particular is suspect, but this film is undoubtedly a classic.It's apparently the earliest example of a 'portmanteau' horror film(,a film which narrates a series of separate tales).Here, an architect visits a country house and tells the guests of a recurring nightmare he's had about the house and the inhabitants, prompting them to relate a series of supernatural experiences, the creepiest of which is the last one, involving a ventriloquist (Michael Redgrave) and a seemingly independent dummy. When the tales have been related, there is an horrific climax and a disturbing twist: the protagonist seems to be stuck in a nightmarish 'groundhog day' scenario.
All of the stories are entertaining but the light hearted 'comic relief' one about two golfers fighting over the same woman is something of an anachronism. Apart from this 'blemish', and making due allowances for the film's relative antiquity, I'd recommend horror afficionados to purchase this. This is clearly a very influential film and it's hard to see how Amicus films could have proceeded to make classics like 'Vault of horror' and 'Tales from the crypt', had it not been made in the first place. A retrospective pat on the back is due to Ealing studios, who obviously weren't just dab hands at making classic comedies.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Original and Greatest Horror Anthology, 29 Jan 2012
By 
D. M. Davison "DOM" (LONDON, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Dead Of Night [DVD] (DVD)
Only just watched this, after seeing such great reviews all over the place. It certainly doesn't disappoint and never gets dull. One of those films that you just can't turn away from. Each story is well crafted especially the Ventriloquist doll segment. It's all topped off with a great twist. Highly recommended!!!!!!!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Milk and sugar Mr Craig?", 22 Feb 2006
By 
Meryl M. Heasman "mezzipops" (england) - See all my reviews
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From the moment Walter Craig (Mervyn Johns) arrives at the farmhouse you have that uneasy feeling that something is looming around the corner, and yet the atmosphere is so very friendly and welcoming. As the film progresses and each guest tells their story the feeling of dread starts to slowly seep in and yet you feel compelled, just like Walter Craig, to watch the unfolding events. The sense of forboding in this story is kept alive by the curious shadowy lighting and superb musical score by Georges Auric. The actors give an outstanding performance and Sir Michael Regrave is terrifying as the psychopathic ventriloquest Maxwell Frere (not one to invite to your children`s parties). The overall suspense of this film could never be improved by being re-made, in fact Hitchcock could not have done a better job. If you want to feel VERY afraid then watch this alone.I bit my nails down by the end of the first segment. Sir Michael Balcon who produced this film also was the executive producer for my next favourite film, also with Sir Michael Redgrave, called "The Night My Number Came Up" another great British classic. I would love to buy this one on DVD. Dead of Night is a definite one to watch,if you dare. from Meryl Heasman (SONGWRITER) Catflap Music.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Memorable, 24 Jun 2000
By 
Mr. S. Carlin "arca20" (England) - See all my reviews
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This is a classic British film, genuinely scary in parts. Effectively an anthology tale with a frame story both aspects work. The film begins with a man arriving at a house out in the country. There he tells the assembled people that he has a dream about being there, with them. Each of the other guests relates a ghostly tale. Everyone mentions the story of the ventriliquist's dummy - and sure enough this is probably the finest story of the collection. Further mention must also go to the haunted mirror and the framing story itself. Perhaps the weakest story (although still enjoyable) is a rather tongue and cheek tale of two good golfing friends. Apart from this the mood becomes increasingly dark and sinister.
If you like your horror stories with a bit more thought and a more chilling ethos rather than unsubtle blood and gore and things jumping out of cupboards then this is for you.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Collection, 12 Dec 2003
By A Customer
This is a wonderful collection of classic Ealing films that are very rarely available to see on television these days.
Whilst one sympathises with the reviewer over the quality of the pictures, these films really are not bad at all. Are they restored to the level of something like Citizen Kane - no. How many films that are over 50 years of age are? There are limits to the resources and I for one am extremely grateful that these gems are avaiable in this medium.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dead Of Night, 30 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Dead Of Night [DVD] (DVD)
A very good film, the stories kept me hooked. Only problem was the sound could have been better, but i suppose that is old films for you.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Redgrave's performance is a knockout!, 10 Mar 2012
This review is from: Dead Of Night [DVD] (DVD)
"Dead of Night" is a classic 1940's supernatural thriller that has managed to retain most of its chills in spite of the passing years. An architect is invited to spend the weekend at the country home of a prospective client. When he arrives he realizes he has repeatedly dreamt of this visit and the encounter with the other house guests. He also is aware that there is something unpleasant associated with the visit. A well-known psychiatrist scoffs at his premonition, but the other guests offer their support by recounting their own experiences with the occult.

The resulting stories are a mixed bag. Some are slight, others are a bit silly. But whatever shortcomings the early stories possess are more than atoned for by the concluding tale, related by the psychiatrist himself, in which Michael Redgrave plays a ventriloquist whose dummy has a mind of its own. It is a genuinely frightening vignette, and Redgrave is superb as a man tormented either by the supernatural or his own madness. It is a fitting climax to a well-made, eerie film.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific accompanying musical score by Georges Auric, 19 Aug 2000
By A Customer
One aspect of this film so far not mentioned in the other interesting reviews is the contribution made by the superb musical score by Georges Auric. Just compare the contrasting musical accompaniment to the identical opening and closing sequences and you will see what I mean. At the start when the Mervyn Johns character arrives at the farmhouse the music is pleasant and pastoral but at the end, when we know what is in store for the architect, the scene is accompanied by a nightmarish sequence which perfectly suggests a sense of looming disaster. Auric's great score is available on a recently released CD(in the UK) devoted to the film scores of this fine composer.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars They Just Don't Make 'em Like This Anymore, 28 July 2006
By 
Eddie (Derbyshire) - See all my reviews
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Although not apparently readily available as a singular item on DVD, Dead of Night remains a favourite film in my collection, having first seen it probably forty years ago on a rainy Sunday afternoon when they used to show stuff like this on TV. It impressed me then and it still does.

Probably the most astounding thing is that it was made in 1945 when it would have been way ahead of its time as a 'scary movie'. Audiences were probably scared witless. After the effects of six years of war though, it is more likely that its effect was cathartic.

Its problem now of course is that when seen with contemporary eyes it may be easy to laugh off the film as a quaint Ealing production complete with bad acting. And it's in black and white... It is very English, quaint and peppered with very middle class accents and some of the acting does have an unintentional comic edge ("Gosh! We forgot the linen cupboard! Come on!'), but these aspects have become part of its charm and they contrast nicely with the terrors within but do not detract from them.

The story itself is simple enough and the linking narrative dovetails neatly with the individual tales which are related by the film's protagonists. The stories vary considerably in weight and this gives a texture which is leavened with some very chilling moments. While the first story is rather light, there is a beautiful moment when time changes from night to day. Simply but very effectively constructed, with the music playing somewhere beyond adding a wonderfully creepy atmosphere to the proceedings. It is devices such as this, which avoid the 'in your face' method of unnerving the audience, that add to the film's strength. In the Christmas party segment, the most chilling scene is at the very end, at the moment when the main character realises what she, and the audience, have just experienced.

The film has been critisised, perhaps unfairly, for the inclusion of the golfing story but this has its own merits and is driven along by the performances of Basil Radford and Naughton Wayne who play off each other to great effect. However, this tale is in fact excused by the Eliot Foley character as being rather light hearted and of course this lightness serves as the calm before the storm which constitutes the final tale. And here Michael Redgrave brings to the screen a terrifying performance of a man embraced by the arms of madness.

It is very easy to empathize with the characters and we fear for them as well as with them. The linking narrative is skilfully directed by Basil Dearden. Watch these scenes especially for their composition, lighting and movement of both camera and the characters within the frame. Mervyn Johns provides the central role and gives a good performance as a man with severe daja vu problems, struggling to remember and place the fragments of his dream. All this of course takes a turn for the worse as the story progresses towards it's climax where we are treated to a hellish nightmare which reaches very cleverly back into the stories and uses sharp editing and crazy camera angles to great effect before delivering its final blow. And here the film is neatly packaged in brown paper, tied with string and bearing a label which reads: 'This is how it should be done'.

A little gem in the history of British cinema, along with The Innocents which makes an excellent companion piece.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Ealing classic, 26 Jan 2012
This review is from: Dead Of Night [DVD] (DVD)
I was pleased to find this old classic on DVD as it's a film I could only vaguely remember. It's a very good psychological horror. The part that sticks in my mind is of course the ventriloquist's dummy, which is one of those rather unsettling tales! And if you enjoy this one you should also check out the other Ealing film, The Halfway House, which also features Mervyn Johns.
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