Dead of Night

Dead of Night

Director: Alberto Cavalcanti, Charles Crichton, Basil Dearden, Robert Hamer

Cast: Alberto Cavalcanti, Charles Crichton, Basil Dearden, Robert Hamer

     
 

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Considered the greatest horror anthology film, the classic British chiller Dead of Night features five stories of supernatural terror from four different directors, yet it ultimately feels like a unified whole. The framing device is simple but unsettling, as a group of strangers find themselves inexplicably gathered at an isolated country estate, uncertain why

Overview

Considered the greatest horror anthology film, the classic British chiller Dead of Night features five stories of supernatural terror from four different directors, yet it ultimately feels like a unified whole. The framing device is simple but unsettling, as a group of strangers find themselves inexplicably gathered at an isolated country estate, uncertain why they have come. The topic of conversation soon turns to the world of dreams and nightmares, and each guest shares a frightening event from his/her own past. Many of these tales have become famous, including Basil Dearden's opening vignette about a ghostly driver with "room for one more" in the back of his hearse. Equally eerie are Robert Hamer's look at a haunted antique mirror that gradually begins to possess its owner's soul, and Alberto Cavalcanti's ghost story about a mysterious young girl during a Christmas party. Legendary Ealing comedy director Charles Crichton lightens the mood with an amusing interlude about the spirit of a deceased golfer haunting his former partner, leaving viewers vulnerable to Cavalcanti's superb and much-imitated closing segment, about a ventriloquist (Michael Redgrave) slowly driven mad when his dummy appears to come to life. Deservedly acclaimed and highly influential, Dead of Night's episodic structure inspired an entire genre of lesser imitators.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
A classic horror anthology, Dead of Night still has the ability to deliver chills, even this many decades after its release. It's an enthralling omnibus, one that continues to work year after year, viewing after viewing, in spite of the fact that so many of its surprises have become familiar to viewers over time. The best segment is inarguably the final one, the finest exploration of the creepy relationship between a ventriloquist and his perhaps-otherworldy dummy ever put on film. Again, this is a setup that has been done many times, but never so effectively as here, thanks in large part to Alberto Cavalcanti's superb direction and Michael Redgrave's enthralling performance. Cavalcanti also directs the least effective episode, involving a very young Sally Ann Howes and a ghost; but though less effective, it still makes an impression. Director Charles Crichton's macabre humor works well with actors Naunton Wayne and Basil Redford in the droll golfing segment, and Robert Hamer's smooth direction of the mirror sequence is equally effective. Basil Dearden does well directing the hearse sequence, but he does even better creating the "wraparound" that frames the stories, especially in the climactic déjà vu montage that is surprisingly chilling. Blessed with a strong cast, several strong directors, and solid scripting, Dead of Night is a classic of the genre.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/10/2015
UPC:
0644827653522
Original Release:
1945
Source:
Nostalgia Family
Region Code:
1
Sales rank:
10,913

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Mervyn Johns Walter Craig
Michael Redgrave Maxwell Frere
Sally Ann Howes Sally O'Hara
Mary Merrall Mrs. Foley
Roland Culver Eliot Foley
Frederick [Fritz] Valk Dr. Van Straaten
Basil Radford George Parratt
Judy Kelly Joyce Grainger
Barbara Leake Mrs. O'Hara
Naunton Wayne Larry Potter
Ralph Michael Peter Courtland
Allan Jeayes Maurice Olcott
Elisabeth Welch Beulah
Hartley Power Sylvester Kee
Anthony Baird Hugh Grainger
Magda Kun Mitzi
Googie Withers Joan Courtland
Renée Gadd Mrs. Craig
Miles Malleson Hearse Driver
Robert Wyndham Dr. Albury
Michael Allan Jimmy Watson
Esme Percy Dealer
Peggy Bryan Mary Lee
Garry Marsh Harry Parker
John McGuire Hugo

Technical Credits
Alberto Cavalcanti Director
Charles Crichton Director
Basil Dearden Director
Robert Hamer Director
Georges Auric Score Composer
John V. Baines Original Story,Screenwriter
Michael Balcon Producer
Lionel Banes Special Effects
T.E.B. Clarke Screenwriter
Sidney Cole Producer
John Croydon Producer
Charles Hasse Editor
Marion Horn Costumes/Costume Designer
Ernest Irving Musical Direction/Supervision
Harold Julius Cinematographer
Angus MacPhail Screenwriter
Bianca Mosca Costumes/Costume Designer
Jack Parker Cinematographer
Michael Relph Art Director
Cliff John Richardson Special Effects
Douglas Slocombe Cinematographer
Eric Williams Sound/Sound Designer

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