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Fear in the Night (1947) [Film Noir] [Drama]

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Fear in the Night is an American low budget black-and-white film noir directed by Maxwell Shane and starring Paul Kelly and DeForest Kelley (in his film debut). It is based on the Cornell Woolrich story "And So to Death" (retitled '"Nightmare" in 1943). Woolrich is credited under pen name William Irish. The film was remade by the same director in 1956 with the title Nightmare this time starring Edward G. Robinson playing the cop and Kevin McCarthy.

Bank teller Vince Grayson (DeForest Kelley) dreams that he stabs a man in an octagonal room of mirrors and locks the body in a closet. When he wakes up, he discovers marks on his throat, a strange key and a button in his pocket, and blood on his cuff. Cliff Herlihy (Paul Kelly), his police officer brother-in-law, tries to convince him it was just a dream. A few days later, while trying to find cover from the rain, the pair finds themselves taking shelter in the strange house from Vince's dream. They discover that the police found two bodies in the house, one in the mirrored room and one run over in the driveway. Mrs. Belknap, who was run over by a car, gave the police a description matching Vince before she died.

At first Vince is hopeful that he is innocent because he does not know how to drive, but he recognizes the victims from his dream. Overcome with remorse, he attempts suicide, but is rescued by Cliff. The detective uncovers clues that point to an evil hypnotist (Robert Emmett Keane) manipulating Vince. They realize that the hypnotist is actually Mr. Belknap in disguise and try to trap him by pretending that Vince wants hush money. Belknap puts Vince under hypnosis and tries to get him to drown himself. Cliff rescues him from the lake and Mr. Belknap is killed in a car accident as he is trying to evade the police. It is implied that Vince will be acquitted of all charges since he killed the man in the mirrored room in self defense.

"The Amazing Mr. X", also known as "The Spiritualist", is a film noir directed by Bernard Vorhaus with cinematography by John Alton. Like "Nightmare Alley" (1947), this film tells the story of a phony spiritualist racket. The film is prominently featured in Alton's book on cinematography "Painting with Light" (1949). The film stars Turhan Bey, Lynn Bari, Cathy O'Donnell, and Richard Carlson. Eagle-Lion Films signed a contract with Carole Landis for the part played by Bari, but Landis committed suicide a few days before shooting began.

Two years after her husband's death, Christine Faber (Lynn Bari) thinks she hears her late husband (Donald Curtis) calling out of the surf on the beach one night.
She meets a tall dark man named Alexis (Turhan Bey) who seems to know all about her. After more ghostly manifestations, Christine and her younger sister (Cathy O'Donnell) become enmeshed in the strange life of Alexis; but he in turn finds himself manipulated into deeper cruelness than he had in mind.

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Directed by Maxwell Shane, produced by William H. Pine and William C. Thomas, written by Cornell Woolrich (story Nightmare as William Irish) and Maxwell Shane, starring Paul Kelly, DeForest Kelley, Ann Doran and Kay Scott.

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Source: "Fear in the Night (1947 film)" Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.. 9 March 2013. Web. 12 March 2013. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fear_in_the_Night_(1947_film).

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