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Dead of Night 1945

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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:
Michael Redgrave, Renee Gadd
Rental Formats:
DVD, Blu-ray

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature parental_guidance
Runtime 1 hour 39 minutes
Starring Michael Redgrave, Renee Gadd, Elizabeth Welch, Esme Percy, Roland Culver, Sally Ann Howes, Basil Radford, Judy Kelly, Hartley Power, Miles Malleson, Peggy Bryan, Anthony Baird, Frederic, Frederick Valk, Naunton Wayne, Mary Merrall, Ralph Michael, Googie Withers, Allan Jeayes, Mervyn Johns, Alla
Director Charles Crichton, Alberto Cavalcanti, Basil Dear
Genres Horror, Thriller
Studio ELEVATION
Rental release 13 November 2006
Main languages English
Hearing impaired subtitles English
Discs
  • Feature parental_guidance
Runtime 1 hour 39 minutes
Starring Michael Redgrave, Renee Gadd, Elizabeth Welch, Esme Percy, Roland Culver, Sally Ann Howes, Basil Radford, Judy Kelly, Hartley Power, Miles Malleson, Peggy Bryan, Anthony Baird, Frederic, Frederick Valk, Naunton Wayne, Mary Merrall, Ralph Michael, Googie Withers, Allan Jeayes, Mervyn Johns, Alla
Director Charles Crichton, Alberto Cavalcanti, Basil Dear
Genres Horror, Thriller
Studio Elevation Sales
Rental release 24 February 2014
Main languages English
Hearing impaired subtitles English

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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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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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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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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By Tony Jones VINE VOICE on 26 Nov. 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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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By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 50 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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