Fear in the Night

Fear in the Night

4.5 2
Director: Maxwell Shane

Cast: Maxwell Shane, Paul Kelly, DeForest Kelley, Ann Doran

     
 

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Maxwell Shane's Fear In The Night (1947) has arrived on DVD courtesy of Alpha Video is a better-than-decent release. A startling film noir based on the Cornell Woolrich story "Nightmare," it's dropped from sight on television since the 1970's so DVD enthusiasts should savor this release. The source is a clean but otherwise slightly fuzzy 16mm dupe print, with a

Overview

Maxwell Shane's Fear In The Night (1947) has arrived on DVD courtesy of Alpha Video is a better-than-decent release. A startling film noir based on the Cornell Woolrich story "Nightmare," it's dropped from sight on television since the 1970's so DVD enthusiasts should savor this release. The source is a clean but otherwise slightly fuzzy 16mm dupe print, with a few frames missing and some splices in evidence, about on a par with the last theatrical showing that this reviewer saw of the movie. There are blemishes but nothing serious enough to harm our enjoyment of the film, which remains one of the more darkly entertaining examples of the mystery genre ever to come out of Hollywood -- in its defense, the producers have put the audio up at a fairly high volume, which gives very good play not only to the dialogue but also toRudy Schrager's dark, atmospheric score. The usual six chapters on this Alpha release are largely irrelevant in a plot as filled with eerie episodes as this one is, but the budget price is appreciated. What's more, given the unlikelihood of an authorized disc version apprearing anytime soon, this is probably the best chance that a lot of us will have to see this movie for years to come.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Fear in the Night is totally implausible, but if a viewer can get past that fact, he'll find himself absorbed in this taut, gripping mixture of "mystery" noir and psychological thriller. Coming in at a lean 72 minutes, Fear is a fast-paced picture that concentrates less on character development than on plot and atmosphere. It plays its melodrama straight, accepting the story as just a fun pulp exercise, and coming off as much more enjoyable and effective for that reason. Production values are admittedly spare, even for a B-picture, but they're used to good effect, with John H. Greenhalgh Jr.'s moody lensing helping to mask the film's basic cheapness. Maxwell Shane's direction is almost as bare-bones as his script, but that's not cause for complaint; it perfectly compliments the writing, and makes for a film with maximum impact. In the leads, a very young DeForest Kelley is convincingly overwrought; he already has some of the mannerisms that he would become famous for on Star Trek, but they work well here. Paul Kelly is an excellent foil for him, and he brings an edge to his role that is interesting; at times, he seems to not really care for this brother-in-law of his, and that creates a nice dynamic. Best of all is Robert Emmett Keane, whose villainous hypnotist is a great deal of fun, especially during the hypnosis-by-watch sequence.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/24/2003
UPC:
0089218418999
Original Release:
1947
Rating:
NR
Source:
Alpha Video
Presentation:
[B&W]
Time:
1:12:00
Sales rank:
58,221

Special Features

[None specified]

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Paul Kelly Cliff Herlihy
DeForest Kelley Vince Grayson
Ann Doran Lil Herlihy
Kay Scott Betty Winters
Robert Emmett Keane Lewis Belnap
Charles Victor Capt. Warner
Gladys Blake Bank Clerk
Jack Collins Actor
Leander de Cordova Man
Chris Drake Elevator Operator
Stanley Farrar Patron
Julia Faye Mrs. Tracey-Lytton
John Harmon Mr. Bilyou
Michael Martin Harvey Bob Clune
Dick Keane Lewis Belknap
Joey Ray Contractor
Janet Warren Mrs. Belnap
Jeff York Torrence

Technical Credits
Maxwell Shane Director,Screenwriter
John H. Greenhalgh Cinematographer
William Pine Producer
Elias H. Reif Set Decoration/Design
Harry Reif Set Decoration/Design
Rudy Schrager Score Composer
Howard A. Smith Editor
F. Paul Sylos Art Director
William C. Thomas Producer

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Chapter 1 [10:16]
2. Chapter 2 [12:08]
3. Chapter 3 [10:01]
4. Chapter 4 [13:59]
5. Chapter 5 [15:28]
6. Chapter 6 [8:40]

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Fear in the Night 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed DeKelley's performance; knowing his future lay in westerns and sci fi, his acting was a bit forced. Overall not a bad film, a bit slow-paced. A rare VHS version, I cannot find this film anywhere!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Okay, if your a Deforest Kelley fan like me, you'll love it. The effects are bad, and the beginning is kind of cheesy. But the farther you watch it, the better it gets. Near the end, I was hooked on finding out what happens! Must see for Kelley fans!