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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All good
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...
Published 14 months ago by wolfers

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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars At last, a great film restored!
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...
Published 12 months ago by B. G. Carroll


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars At last, a great film restored!, 29 April 2014
By 
B. G. Carroll (Liverpool, England, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dead Of Night (Ealing) - Special Edition [1945] [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
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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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All good, 24 Feb. 2014
By 
wolfers "bluesman" (uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dead Of Night (Ealing) - Special Edition [1945] [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Old classic, nicely restored., 20 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: Dead Of Night (Ealing) - Special Edition [1945] [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic worth the name in every way, 28 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: Dead Of Night (Ealing) - Special Edition [1945] [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Just room for one inside, sir.", 20 Jan. 2015
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dead Of Night (Ealing) - Special Edition [1945] [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
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. Despite its apparent simplicity, the construction is surprisingly complicated, not just with flashbacks within flashbacks but in the way the ebb and flow of the stories could possibly be seen as different aspects of Johns' own madness as he becomes increasingly unsettled despite the best efforts of Frederick Valk's conveniently visiting-for-the-weekend disbelieving psychiatrist (every story of the supernatural needs its sceptic) to provide rational explanations. And when the dream finally fulfils its destiny to become an expressionist nightmare, Johns finds reality breaking down as he is trapped inside even more oppressive versions of the tales he's been told...

Like all portmanteau films, the quality of these tales varies. Dearden handles both the linking narrative and, with supreme irony, the vignette of a racing driver recuperating from a crash haunted by visions of a hearse driver intoning "Just room for one inside, sir" as a precursor of disaster: Dearden would himself die in somewhat uncanny circumstances on the very spot he had staged an onscreen car crash in The Man Who Haunted Himself. Crichton draws the short straw with Basil Radford and Naunton Wayne's comic relief tale of two obsessive golfers whose rivalry in love and on the links continues even after the death of one. It's a pleasant enough slice of whimsy that owes as much to their popular Charters and Caldicott outings as to H.G. Wells' short story The Inexperienced Ghost, and it has one memorably morbidly comic image as one character disappears beneath a lake as well as some risqué sexual undercurrents, but it's not too surprising that this episode (along with the Christmas party story) was dropped from the US release.

Cavalcanti gets two stories, the first a thin mood piece set at a children's Christmas party in a country house that was partly inspired by the same notorious real-life murder that inspired best-seller The Suspicions of Mr Whicher, easily outshone by the last, a kind of perverse romantic triangle where Michael Redgrave's partner taunts and drives him increasingly mad with jealousy with his plans to team up with the new man in his life - Redgrave's partner being a ventriloquist dummy. Redgrave, looking at times surprisingly like Benedict Cumberbatch, always regarded it as his best screen role, and he brings out some latent undercurrents that other evil ventriloquist dummy movies have avoided with his impressive mixture of fear, loathing and pitiful dependence on the obnoxious lump of wood.

Yet while it's the film's best known episode, in many ways the most chilling is actually Robert Hamer's story of a haunted mirror Googie Withers gives her fiancé Ralph Michael that reveals more and more of a past murder scene that's unnerving enough to have even the vainest of viewers throwing a sheet over the bedroom mirror. Not many people have a ventriloquist's dummy, but the notion of an everyday household object like a mirror reflecting and projecting something malign is much more inclusively unsettling, especially when the possibility it's all in his mind is discounted with a horrible moment of recognition that's most perhaps the film's most unnerving as it draws the innocent in.

All are peeks behind the curtain into worlds others can't see but, in the case of the haunted mirror and the dummy, some find themselves briefly drawn into. That the stories flow so effortlessly in and out of the framing story is probably down to Ealing's famously collaborative nature, where directors would share ideas and solve each other's technical problems over a pint in the pub across the road. Despite the differing approaches taken, they all feel part of the same film rather than in competition, and there's a restraint that works in the film's favour. It's often a subtly unnerving, from the shot where a curtain in a nighttime hospital opens onto bright daylight beyond to the gradually more oppressive lighting Douglas Slocombe uses in the framing story as the noose tightens around Johns' neck. The end result is the kind of film that repays repeat viewings, not just to catch a detail that makes more sense second time round but also as an entertaining and classy set of fireside tales for the long nights.

StudioCanal's Blu-ray and DVD restoration is a bit of a mixed bag as well. The picture is massively improved over the previous video and DVD releases and TV prints and they thankfully haven't boosted the brightness the way they often do with their colour films, but the sound quality is less impressive. Most of the dialogue is fine (though you'll be grateful for the subtitles in a couple of places), but the music track hasn't fared so well - not a big problem when it's underscoring dialogue or effects but the pinched and tinny opening credits don't do Georges Auric's score any favours.

The extras are thin - a restoration comparison, a stills gallery and a talking heads documentary where various critics and director John Landis discuss the film - but the latter turns out to be surprisingly engaging despite its 75-minute running time. Along with various interpretations of the film it also offers the odd behind the scenes titbit, such as the fact that the film's closing shots were a late addition after a projectionist's error. Despite the listing on Amazon.co.uk, there is no trailer included.

All in all a very worthwhile release.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic anthology finally gets its due!, 8 April 2014
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This review is from: Dead Of Night (Ealing) - Special Edition [1945] [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just room for one inside, sir..., 4 July 2014
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This review is from: Dead Of Night (Ealing) - Special Edition [1945] [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
The film itself is a classic, fondly remembered from my childhood (where it seems a creepy classic like this could be seen on a midweek evening on BBC2). Atypical of what is now regarded as an "Ealing" film, it is a genuinely creepy and quite unsettling piece of work. The framing story of the portmanteau format is engaging, and while it may seem a little hackneyed to the "sophisticated" 21st century viewer, in its time it was a game changer.
The most famous story is of course featured on the cover, featuring Michael Redgrave as a ventriloquist who may be possessed by his dummy, or "simply" mad. The other stories are entertaining, the weakest of which is probably the comedic golfing ghost yarn.
The picture quality is a great improvement over my DVD copy, but still far from perfect, there are still scratches and flickering apparent, and looking at the restoration comparison, far more egregious defects were corrected, so why not all? (I'm sure there are technical and finacial reasons).
The soundtrack is my biggest concern. Of course I expected nothing more than a mono soundtrack, but the one presented is a little anaemic and muddy. I had to "mess about" with my amplifier to get the best out of it. Hence only four stars.
To be fair this is probably the best presentation of the film we'll ever get, and I'm happy to have it. (I hope "Halfway House" gets a similar treatment).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing restoration work but stays faithful to the original look, 21 Oct. 2014
This review is from: Dead Of Night (Ealing) - Special Edition [1945] [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
The film itself is a real classic, but I'll leave the critical reviews to imdB.

Let's get this out of the way: there's no horrible colourised version. I'm putting this early on because I needed to be sure of this when purchasing because we've had some old black and white movies which were colour on the bluray version, and it just looks (ironically) unnatural. It's very clever, but not what I want. It took me a long time to find this out so in the hopes of saving someone time - here it is!

What I DID want was this Bluray, because they do exactly what I want, they keep the film as it is, but just show it off with what they can do today. It's one of the best produced blurays I've ever seen. The restoration is masterful (see the key difference: it wasn't "remastered" - it was "restored" - and the latter takes much longer!) and they even include a short film which displays side-by-side film of the original copy and the re-mastered.

I bought this as a present for a huge fan of the movie and portmanteaus in general and she loved it!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best i have ever seen it, 28 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: Dead Of Night (Ealing) - Special Edition [1945] [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
i have seen several releases of this film . dvd.8mm .and 16mm. this blu ray release beats them all. lovely to look at from my digital projector. a great film and an excellent release.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent classic, 18 Mar. 2014
By 
D. C. Day (Worcester, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dead Of Night (Ealing) - Special Edition [1945] [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I first saw this in 1946 when still at school and have never forgotten it. Although it cannot really compete with today's in-your-face horror movies it is still subtly creepy. Having particularly in mind its hour-long critique by clearly knowledgeable film buffs I would say it is well worth watching, if not keeping.
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