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With: Michael Redgrave, Mervyn Johns, Googie Withers, Basil Radford, Naunton Wayne, Sally Ann Howes, Roland Culver, Frederic Walk
Written by: John V. Baines, Angus MacPhail
Directed by: Alberto Cavalcanti, Charles Crichton, Basil Dearden, Robert Hamer
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 103
Date: 09/04/1945

Dead of Night (1945)

4 Stars (out of 4)

Dummy Aches

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Directed by Alberto Cavalcanti, Charles Crichton, Basil Dearden, and Robert Hamer, the compilation film Dead of Night from Ealing Studios is absolutely one of the spookiest films ever made. A man arrives at a house full of people he remembers from a dream. They proceed to tell one great horror story after another -- including a humorous one about golfers and scary ones about a haunted mirror and a ventriloquist dummy -- followed by an amazing conclusion. Mervyn Johns, Googie Withers and Michael Redgrave star. A Christmas party sequence that was cut from the original American release has now been restored.

For many years, this was available only in Anchor Bay's beautiful -- but sadly out of print -- 2-disc set, which also included a second full-length second feature, Queen of Spades (1949). In 2019, Kino Lorber released an excellent, essential Blu-ray edition, restored from archival materials and mastered in 4K. It looks crisp and bright with details I'd never seen before. Tim Lucas provides a commentary track, and the disc includes a feature-length documentary about the film, and a selection of horror/thriller trailers.

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