Fear In The Night (1947)

DVD Cover (Film Chest)
Genres: Film Noir, Mystery, Psychological Thriller, Thriller
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Maxwell Shane Maxwell Shane
Paul Kelly Paul Kelly
DeForest Kelley DeForest Kelley
Ann Doran Ann Doran
Kay Scott Kay Scott
Charles Victor Charles Victor

6.4 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Bill Wolford
Added: October 09, 2014
Sometimes, we have to go back to older films to find some of the charm that's missing in today's world, and some of the technology that was missing in the past. Some of the language used in these movies is almost quaint, innocent even. In this particular movie, a man is wearing a wire to get a confession. The fun part is that it is being recorded on a phonograph record, not a cassette, or computer. This is part of the joy in watching older films, and I'll never understand why younger people think that the only good movies have to be in color. Film Chest Restoration company brings us Fear In The Night.

In this 1947 film, Vince (a pre-Star Trek DeForest Kelly, looking a little like Gary Sinise) is haunted by a dream in which he kills a man he doesn't know, when he is accidentally handed the murder weapon by the dead man's female accomplice. After waking from this dream,, he finds that he has the closet key in his pocket in which he hid the body in, and also a button from the dead man's coat. He calls in sick to work in order to talk to his brother-in-law detective Cliff (Paul Kelley). At first, Cliff just brushes this off as a bad dream, and the key and the button were just things Vince happened to have and forgot about. As the film progresses though, things become clearer and Cliff is starting to wonder if Vince truly is a murderer, and using the dream angle just to try to get sympathy. As the story plays out, you'll find that there are surprises and red herrings in store for everyone involved, including the viewer.

Being a 1947 ultra low budget film, you have to wonder how this is even still a watchable print. Well, we can thank the good folks at Film Chest Restoration for that to a degree. I still wonder what the source print was that they had to work with. This restored print still has a lot of damage, dirt and debris. There is also a faint humming sound in the background throughout the duration of the film. The print is also quite dark in places, and I wonder if that could have been improved. All of these questions will have to go unanswered as this film is a bare bones release with no extras whatsoever. I was hoping at the very least for a feature on the restoration process, but there is nothing but chapter stops and the film itself on the disc. It's shot in the regular aspect ratio 1.33:1 and the sound is a sometimes muffled mono. If you're a fan of this film, I'd advise you to try to find a way to see it first to see if this upgrade is worth a purchase. If you've never seen the film before, a rental is still advised before spending the money for a copy.

Tired Tigress #1: Tired Tigress - added 10/09/2014, 11:15 PM
Why do you feel this movie deserved a 6?
Bill Wolford #2: Bill Wolford - added 10/10/2014, 12:05 AM
DeForest Kelley. I'm an old school star trek fan and it was fun to watch him play something else. And very young too.
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