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(aka "Nightmare" or "And So Scared to Death")


directed by Maxwell Shane
USA 1947


A steady contributor to filmmaking from 1937 to 1956, Maxwell Shane penned screenplays for nearly sixty films, but sat in the director’s chair for only five, which, according to Spencer Selby Dark City: The Film Noir, can all be classified as noirs: Fear in the Night (1947), City Across the River (1949), The Glass Wall (1953), The Naked Street (1955), and Nightmare (1956, a remake of his own Fear in the Night). Evidently, Shane appreciated Woolrich's conception for the novelette “Nightmare” because he not only scripted and directed two versions of it, but in adapting it to film, he retained most of the original material and captured much of the author’s atmospheric style and thematic intent.

DeForest Kelley, commendable in his first screen role and later famous as Bones McCoy in the Star Trek series, plays the confused protagonist, Vince Grayson, who wakes from a disturbing nightmare in which he stabs a man with an awl and stuffs his body in a closet. Although the gory crime seemed an imaginative invention, Vince finds in his pocket a button and key he saw in the dream, and notices bruises on his neck, all of which suggest that the event really happened.

Excerpt of review from Thomas C. Renzi at Film Noir of the Week located HERE


Theatrical Release: 18 April 1947 (USA)

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DVD Review: Alpha - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Review!

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Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:10:30

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.50 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio Dolby Digital Mono (English)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Alpha

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Alpha Video DVD Catalog

DVD Release Date: June 24, 2003
Keep Case

Chapters 6



Fear in the Night is a little B thriller from the mind of Maxwell Shane, based on a short story Nightmare by Cornell Woolrich. The film was remade by the same director just 9 years later with Edward G. Robinson, taking the title of Woolrich's story. Nightmare (1956) is currently owned by United Artists and is currently very hard to see in region 1 in quality version, although there is a Spanish DVD that we will be reviewing soon.

Fear in the Night took a plunge into public domain territory and there are number of releases from different studios. This DVD from Alpha is a real mess and can not be recommended - the interlaced transfer is video-sourced and is in very poor shape. The sound is likewise very poor - with many pops, hiss and drops from time to time. We will be looking for a better DVD release of this movie, but right now avoid Alpha DVD at any cost.

  - Gregory Meshman


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