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4.5 out of 5 stars144
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 29 April 2014
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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on 24 May 2007
Great film but, as other reviewers have noted, this transfer is very poor. You will get a much better transfer if you buy the region 1 Dead of Night/The Queen of Spades double release available from amazon marketplace sellers or from amazon.com.
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on 31 January 2007
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 total lack of care, appreciation and understanding of the product.

The transfer is from the original VHS release from over 10 years ago now and it has in no way been properly remastered or restored. As to be expected the image is softer than you expect for new transfers and there are many blemishes and frame splices and cuts from the old print. These can be forgivable however the sound is atrocious. Wooly, muffly, distorted and heavily dampened down to eliminate the inherent hiss of the RCA original this audio really lets the film down.

I will say tho that it is slightly better than the even worse print that Channel 4 has shown in the past!

A great pity.
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VINE VOICEon 15 September 2007
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 business done, but that is very expensive, and I've been disappointed in the past with some American issues of classic films (NTSC to PAL conversion?) so I haven't tried that avenue. Yet.

To the film itself. I am concerned that younger viewers coming new to this film may have unreasonable expectations; it has dated certainly, having a very middle-class 30's/40's Englishness about it that may put some viewers off straight away. This of course would be a terrible shame. Ealing Studios themselves did it no favours by having as a poster (reproduced on the DVD box) a depiction of some weird monster- completely misleading as these are human, psychological, tales.

Over the years, I've asked people what their favourite of the five (six?) separate stories is. Although everyone remembers Michael Redgrave's fine performance with the ventriloquist's dummy, it is The Mirror which is remarked on more than you might expect. This is I think the deepest tale in terms of character development, and we really get drawn into the drama gradually unfolding. I've also always had a soft spot for the delightful Naunton/Wayne golf sequence, a gentle comedy in the middle of the film - giving us a breather before we get inexorably dragged towards that astonishing climax; as surreal as anything you will see in British cinema.

At its current preposterously low price I would snap this up. A better U.K. transfer may come along some day, but this will do in the meantime.

So go on, join Mervyn Johns, and visit Pilgrim's Farm.

Again.
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on 2 April 2005
Ealing may well be better known for its Ealing Comedy series but this quadruple set of films are excellent from direction to acting.
These period films somewhat represent old post war Britain with the quaint traditions, pleasantness and Received Pronounciation accents and dialogue. Certainly a trip down memory lane.
All of the films are well acted and interesting though personal taste is fundemental in liking any of them.
I wont go into the storylines as they are best watched with no preconcieved ideas.
My favourite in this series has to be Dead of Night. It is with true credit that the acting and direction of this film make it a Ealing classic. Without resorting to blood and guts effects, it conveys the real sense of intrigue and supernatural happenings that does keep you entertained throughout the film. It is more ghost story than horror, but thats fine in my opinion.
Unlike a lot of modern Hollywod films, it not pretending anything other and it is not altering history in favour of the American Empire!
I would recommend this series to anyone interested in the genre of Ealing films.
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on 21 October 2001
The new types of horror films cannot hold a candle to this very creepy film. The lack of blood and guts, that modern film makers feel they need to put into new films, I feel adds to the tension.The final scene is the kind of nightmare we all dread.
The tale of the mirror is truly hair raising, I felt the hairs on the back of my neck raise on more than one occasion during the film.
A VERY SCARY FILM.
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on 24 February 2014
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.
review image
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VINE VOICEon 26 November 2006
This film scared me as a teenager when I saw it on TV. Many years later it scared me again. Finally I have it on DVD and it can now scare me again whenever I want.

The film itself is stitched together like a quilt from a set of individual stories all of which show that horrow needs merely acting and writing, not CGI. I defy anyone to watch this and ever be comfortable with ventriloguist's dummies again;-)
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on 28 August 2014
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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on 11 November 2008
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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