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Fear in the Night (1947)

3.7 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews

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(Aug 26, 2014)
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Film Chest Digitally Restored Version
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(Jan 11, 2016)
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DVD
(Sep 06, 2007)
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Editorial Reviews

A meek and mild bank teller awakens one morning from a disturbing dream in which he has killed a man, only to find that his dream may well have been real. Was he sleepwalking? Was he hypnotized? The suspense never lets up in this film noir original (later remade as "Nightmare" with Edward G. Robinson), as the story unravels to reveal an eerie tale of murder and mind control. Stars a young Deforest Kelley (later of Star Trek fame) in his feature film debut.

Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: Paul Kelly; DeForest Kelley
  • Directors: Maxwell Shane
  • Writers: William Irish; Maxwell Shane
  • Format: NTSC
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: Synergy Ent
  • DVD Release Date: September 6, 2007
  • Run Time: 72 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000VSOZWA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #403,116 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Fear in the Night (1947)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 29, 2003
Format: DVD
Two decades before he boldly went where no man had gone before aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise, DeForest Kelly starred in Fear in the Night, a vintage dark noir film (not to be confused with the 1972 Hammer film of the same name). Kelly plays a humble bank teller named Vince Grayson who awakens from a horrible dream, only to find that his nightmare may have been all too real. In the dream, he struggled with and then killed a man inside an odd octagonal room of mirrors. His relief upon waking up is dashed when he looks in the mirror and finds thumb marks on his neck. A quick self-inventory also reveals dried blood on his wrist and, most disturbingly of all, a key and button in his pocket, the very same items he grasped during his struggle in the dream. Naturally, he is both bewildered and horrified, and his need to talk about the situation leads him to his brother-in-law. Given the fact that his brother-in-law is a homicide detective, this doesn't strike me as the ideal plan. In any event, the guy doesn't believe him. A week later, Vince accompanies his sister and her cop husband as well as his own would-be sweetheart on a picnic. They seek shelter in a house at the beginning of a rainstorm, and wouldn't you know it, it's the same house as the one in Vince's dream. Things suddenly aren't looking too good for Vince, especially when he learns that a man was murdered in the house a week earlier. There's really only one fairly predictable way to explain these confusing events, yet the film still manages to maintain a significant amount of suspense up through its final moments. I found Fear in the Night to be quite a good film noir movie, complete with all the voiceovers and crescendo-happy music you would expect to find in this type of film.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a great old noir film, typical B-feature. I saw this as a child and was haunted for a few years by its eerieness. But, this DVD appears to be a copy of something shot off a movie screen with a camcorder and its visual quality is just at the threshold of human perception. The low price made it attractive enough to revive my memory of the more visible original.
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Format: DVD
Fear in the Night may be just another B movie designed to fill out a double bill, but it has some good things going for it. And that makes it a watchable, interesting noir.

Vince Grayson (DeForest Kelly), a pleasant, unexceptional young bank teller, wakes up one morning after a horrendous nightmare. He dreamed he was in a mirrored room, locked in a terrible fight with a strange man. He finds himself with a sharp-pointed awl in his hand and he drives it into the other man's chest. Then he drags the body into one of the small rooms behind one of the mirrored doors. When he wakes he's covered with sweat. He makes his way to the bathroom in the small hotel room he rents and finds thumbprints on his throat and blood on his hand. In his coat pocket he finds a blue button and an odd-shaped key. He makes his way to his sister's house to talk with her husband, Cliff Herlihy (Paul Kelly), a police detective. Herlihy just puts Cliff's story down to stress. But a couple of days later, driving out for a picnic with his girl friend, his sister and Cliff, Vince suggests they go to Salado Canyon, a place he's never been to before. In a downpour, Vince directs them to a large, dark house he's never seen. He knows where the key is under the mat. The house is empty, with the furniture and curtains covered by large, white drop cloths. He goes upstairs with Cliff and finds a small, mirrored room, and behind one of the mirrored doors, bloodstains.

Vince's nightmare is just beginning. Did he kill a man in the house? Why would he? Who were the two people killed there when Vince and Cliff talked with a local cop? Cliff Herlihy now is convinced that murders took place, that Vince wasn't responsible...and that Vince still might be a killer.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
You see the useless term "Digitally Remastered" used often to describe this or that release. In the case of "Fear in the Night" the term "Digitally RESTORED" is used. The word 'restored' has a clear definition and in this case it is a total lie. This "Film Crest Restored Classic" is not at all restored and looks just awful. Film Chest could have honestly used the term remastered because that is what we have in this release. Boosted brightness and extreme 'digital noise reduction' resulting in another low rent remastered version of this film. At least the previous version from Alpha Video had a low price to match the low quality.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
This was "Bones" McCoy's, that is, Deforest Kelley's first movie role! And he was great! He played the perfect part: a poor Joe who wakes one morning with visions of a murder bouncing around inside his head. Just a nightmare, right? Nope! Before he knows it, Kelley's character, simple bank teller Vince Grayson, has been made into a patsy for a double murder! The problem is that he can't remember much of anything about what happened the night before. Out of desperation, he turns to his brother-in-law Cliff Herlihy, a detective, to help sort things out. What results is an absolutely fun whodunit as Kelley, with the help of his brother-in-law, slowly try to piece together what really happened. Good stuff for no other reason than we get to see Kelley make his trademark raised eyebrow in a film noir! While the ending is very contrived and cornball, the rest of the film is sheer fun (with a particular emphasis on the coked-up, as Phil Marlowe would say, dream sequences that were done with some nice animation)! My score: "B+" for a "B movie."
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