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Fear in the Night

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: DeForest Kelley
  • Directors: Various
  • Format: Black & White, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All RegionsAll Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: Alpha Video
  • Release Date: July 15 2003
  • Run Time: 72 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B000098ZT0
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #23,037 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

A man suffers hallucinations of murder and mayhem.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

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
From 1947 a dark , sinister , spooky , suspenseful mystery with DeForest Kelly ( Bones , the Doc on the original Star Trek ).
DeForest wakes one morning to find evidence that he may have committed , or at the very least , been involved in a murder.
It seems to him like a dream , but the physical evidence cannot easily be explained. He thinks he remembers a room with multiple mirrors. After trying some avenues of investigation that only result in more frustration and confusion for him he is on a picnic with his brother and their dates when a storm comes up and they take shelter in a nearby house and he finds the mirrored room. This provides no answers , only more questions , but now his brother is finally starting to believe him. Not to reveal how it works out , but in the end the bad guy dies in a car crash while fleeing from the police. Just for fun take note that the car he is driving magically turns from a forties sedan to a thirties junker when it crashes into the gully! A great example of film noir , and in Glorious Black & White.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Great movie and in excellent condition.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars 55 reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful print of classic poverty-row Cornell Woolrich adaptation April 11 2015
By Joe Smart - Published on Amazon.com
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A man has a vivid and bizarre nightmare of committing murder in an octangular mirrored room then wakes up drenched in sweat with the strange looking key from the dream clenched in his hand. Is it possible the dream was real and he actually murdered a man he didn't know in a room he had never seen before?

Fear in the Night isn't the most high profile film adaptation of prolific writer Cornell Woolrich's work--Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window was inspired by a Cornell Woolrich story and many were adapted as episodes of the television series Alfred Hitchcock Presents. The 1940's also saw many big screen versions of his work including The Window, The Night Has A Thousand Eyes, Phantom Lady, Deadline at Dawn, Black Angel and others. But if Fear in the Night was a poverty-row B movie with no stars (lead Deforest Kelly would have an anonymous career until landing the role of Dr McCoy on Star Trek 19 years later) it also captures the flavor of Cornell Woolrich's pulpy prose better than any other adaptation before or since. Cornell Woolrich was a disreputable author who wrote so quickly that he had to adopt two pseudonyms in order to get all of his work published (William Irish and George Hopley). Fear in the Night lacks polish and production values but it goes for the throat with some wild visual effects, a lean 72 minute running time and a bizarre premise that the film embraces completely.

Cornell Woolrich had an unrealistic understanding of certain things like the effects of marihuana (Reefer Madness seems to have been his primary source of information) and the power of hypnotism, so reading his stories today sometimes requires a healthy ability to suspend disbelief. Woolrich frequently came up with irresistible hooks for his stories which is why so many of them were filmed for the big screen or television. But his work was so grounded in the period in which he wrote that adaptations trickled down to virtually zero after the 1950's--the only notable adaptation of a Cornell Woolrich story in the 1960's was Francois Truffaut's The Bride Wore Black in 1968.

Fear in the Night has one of those irresistible set-ups but the explanation for what's going on turns out to be pretty ridiculous so modern viewers who are unable to swallow the outrageous and bizarre, frequent elements in vintage pulp fiction, will likely find Fear in the Night to be a very silly waste of time. But fans of poverty-row B movies and Cornell Woolrich consider Fear in the Night to be a genuine classic.

There's an interesting factoid concerning Fear in the Night that people might not know--United Artist released a bigger budget nearly scene-for-scene remake in 1956 called Nightmare starring Edward G Robinson and Kevin McCarthy. Maxwell Shane who wrote the screenplay for Fear in the Night directed the remake himself using the same script. Despite bigger name acting talent and a more generous budget Nightmare has been almost completely forgotten while Fear in the Night has developed a well-deserved cult audience over the years.

One final note about the quality of the Amazon streaming print--having only seen fuzzy public domain copies of Fear in the Night over the years it was a shock to see the movie restored in a gorgeous new black and white print. The Amazon version is from the Wade William Collection--the same company that restored Plan Nine From Outer Space, White Zombie, Detour, D.O.A. and many others--their specialty is creating pristine restorations of movies that were previously only available in terrible looking public domain copies. While that likely isn't terribly profitable my understanding is that Wade Williams collected films for many years and that the restored prints come from his personal collection. Anyone familiar with the Wade Williams Collection knows what to expect quality-wise and they won't be disappointed.
2.0 out of 5 stars a little dull visually and narratively Aug. 13 2016
By Max Durbin - Published on Amazon.com
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A dutiful and totally uninspired adaptation of a classic Cornell Woolrich short story (the film credits him as William Irish, which was one of the pseudonyms he used to get more work published in the pulp magazines). Another film adaptation of the story was "Nightmare" (1956), which starred Edward G. Robinson and Kevin McCarthy. Anyway, Woolrich is all about paranoia and suspense, but except for the scene where the protagonist hangs on a ledge outside his building, there's little here of either. It's very low budget, a little dull visually and narratively, and some of the mystery tropes used are a bit dated. Still, it's a cool premise (maybe even iconic) and the film is pretty faithful to the text of the story, if not the spirit. And it's short, which doesn't hurt.
1.0 out of 5 stars DULL AND DREARY Aug. 18 2016
By John Modell - Published on Amazon.com
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What little interest this feature has is that it was based on a story by Cornell Woolrich ("Nightmare") writing as William Irish. Very low budget B Paramount (looking more like a Poverty Row production) with uninspired acting, writing and direction. The image streamed lacked clarity, sharpness and contrast. What was the source? Don't waste your time with this one.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice film noir March 9 2005
By spiderorchid - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
As it has been mentioned before, the quality of this movie isn't very good. It's only a B-movie and it looks like they saved money by not using enough light and cutting the film with an axe.

But - the actors are great. I bought the movie because I'm a DeForest Kelley fan and interested in his early work. I was impressed. He's very believable as a man who doesn't know if he's commited murder. Paul Kelly gives a solid performance and the story is unusual. The movie is not as good as "Laura" or "The Woman in the Window" but has it's moments. If you like old fashioned movies or want to know what Kelley did before he made westerns and science fiction, "Fear in the Night" is worth your time and money.
4.0 out of 5 stars good suspense Aug. 7 2016
By ghosthunter phoenix az - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
great talents and effects deforest Kelly great acting