Dead of Night/Queen of Spades
DEAD OF NIGHT A group of strangers is mysteriously gathered at a country estate where each reveals a chilling tale of the supernatural. First, a racer survives a brush with death only to receive terrifying premonitions from beyond the grave. Then a teen's innocent game of hide-and-seek leads to an encounter with the macabre. Next, a young couple purchases an antique mirror that unleashes a horrific power from its past. In a lighter vein, two competitive golfers play for stakes that may haunt the winner forever. Finally, a renowned ventriloquist descends into an abyss of madness and murder when his dummy develops a mind of its own. But even after these frightening tales are told, does one final nightmare await them all? Britain's venerable Ealing Studios brought together four brilliant directors -Charles Crichton (THE LAVENDER HILL MOB), Basil Dearden (THE MIND BENDERS), Alberto Cavalcanti (NICHOLAS NICKLEBY) and Robert Hamer (KIND HEARTS AND CORONETS) to create this classic chiller that remains one of the most influential horror films ever made. This is the uncut and complete UK version of DEAD OF NIGHT, now newly restored from original archival materials for the first time in decades.
THE QUEEN OF SPADES "Unusual And Macabre!" ~ Leonard Maltin's Movie & Video Guide A gambling craze is sweeping 19th century St. Petersburg, yet a dashing Russian army captain (Anton Walbrook of THE RED SHOES) is too impoverished to participate. But when he learns that an aging countess (an award-winning performance by Dame Edith Evans of TOM JONES) may hold the ultimate key to gaming riches, the desperate young officer will stop at nothing to steal the sinister secret for himself. When fortunes are won and lost with the turn of a card, will one man wager his very soul on a final twist of fate? Yvonne Mitchell (DEMONS OF THE MIND) co-stars in this brilliant British chiller directed by Thorold Dickinson (GASLIGHT), featuring extraordinary cinematography by Otto Heller (PEEPING TOM, THE IPCRESS FILE) and based on the celebrated short story by Russian poet Alexander Pushkin. Includes a 8-Page Collector's Booklet
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Top Customer Reviews
Anton Walbrook's talent, like Vivien Leigh's, was ineffable. His choices, as an actor, are so outlandish sometimes that you think he will never pull off the moment - then he stops right at the edge and leaves you gasping at the utter uniqueness and danger of his choice. Dame Edith Evans, in her film debut, playing a woman forty years her senior, is all remarkable, twisted, bitter, frightened restraint. (Rosie mentioned that Edith Evan's key moment of reaction, in the film, had so frightened the audience at the time that everyone screamed out loud. Not difficult to understand, even today...)
The lighting and camera direction are at once solid and ethereal; dreamy like Cocteau's LA BELLE ET LA BETE, and brutally unforgiving like Welles' CITIZEN KANE.
Much has been said about DEAD OF NIGHT and deservedly so. This genuinely is the grandfather of all psychological horror films. What seems so innocuous, almost gentle at first, develops into a disturbingly laden freight train barrelling straight towards you. There will be no way to escape. You will be knocked squarely off your tracks. Completely and utterly disorienting. Warning: do not watch this film alone at night. Don't even watch this film alone on a sunny day.
The picture and sound on each are very good and rich.Read more ›
It's the QUEEN OF SPADES that proved the surprise to me - I had never seen this film, relagating it to 'second fiddle' after DEAD OF NIGHT, when it does in fact hold it's own remarkably well.
Slow moving, but to it's benefit, the story see's Anton Walbrook, a German engineer in the Russian army, envious of the wealth & title that are automatically bestowed upon his comrades. After learning that a Russian noblewoman posesses the secret of winning at cards, he manipulates her lady-in-waiting to gain access to this secret. things go slightly awray and although he gains the secret, the aged noblewoman dies of fright.
This part of the story takes up most of the film, with the 'haunting' of the engineer forming the final act.
Although lacking any actual 'horror', this film has a definate atmosphere of unease and of meddling with things that should be left alone. Superb performances again, with the key being the utter conviction of the cast.
A film like this could not be made today, which makes it all the more important that productions like this and DEAD OF NIGHT should be cherished by fans of what the term 'horror film' really means as opposed to what it was eventually twisted into in the '80's & '90's.
Most recent customer reviews
One of the all-time great scare anthologies, DEAD OF NIGHT (Anchor Bay) is a classic collection of freaky supernatural stories told by strangers at a remote estate. Read morePublished on Oct. 24 2003 by Robin Simmons
I first saw this film on a PBS series CINEMATIC EYE over 20 years ago and have never forgotten it nor had the chance to see it again. Until now. Read morePublished on May 20 2003 by Chip Kaufmann
The thriller genre has seldom been so intelligently exploited as in Dead of Night, a collection of bizarre tales that are loosely linked, but that leave you with a feeling of... Read morePublished on May 19 2003
Two of my favorite all-time films, together in one package and with almost top-notch presentation ! DEAD OF NIGHT never looked better, but the sound is more muffled than the... Read morePublished on May 18 2003 by shureman