Movie Mirrors Index

Dead of Night

(1945 b 103')

En: 6 Ed: 5

A man goes to a gathering and says that he dreamed about all of them before. They each tell a story about a supernatural experience.

Walter Craig (Mervyn Johns) comes to the house of Eliot Foley (Roland Culver) and says he dreamed of the people there before. Hugh Grainger (Anthony Baird) tells of how he was injured in a car race. In the nursing home he looks out the window and sees a hearse with room for one. When he leaves, a bus driver says there is room for one. He does not get on the bus that runs off a bridge.

Young Sally O'Hara (Sally Ann Howes) tells of children at a party playing hide and seek. She learns the house is haunted and sees a little boy crying and discovers he was murdered. Craig says that he will hit Sally. Her mother comes in and takes her away.

Joan Cortland (Googie Withers) tells how she gave her fiancé Peter Cortland (Ralph Michael) a mirror in which he sees another room. She asks him what he sees, and he does not see her until she holds his hand. She learns that a dominant man owned the mirror and jealously cut his wife's throat. Peter becomes jealous too and tries to strangle her until she breaks the mirror.

Dr. van Straaten (Frederick Valk) tries to explain these stories. Craig wants to leave, but Eliot persuades him to stay and tells of two men who play golf to see who gets Mary. Larry Potter (Naunton Wayne) wins, and George Parratt (Basil Radford) walks into a lake. Larry becomes engaged to Mary. Larry has trouble playing golf by the lake and is haunted by George, who says Larry cheated to win. He says Larry must give up Mary and golf; but George is unable to leave Larry. After Larry weds Mary, Larry disappears, and George takes his place.

Dr. van Straaten tells of the ventriloquist Maxwell Frere (Michael Redgrave), who was accused of murder. Frere says that his dummy Hugo was to blame. Frere performs in a nightclub with Hugo, who reads minds and flirts. Hugo wants another ventriloquist and bites Frere's hand. At a bar a lady asks Harry Parker to defend her, and he knocks down Frere. The ventriloquist Sylvester Kee (Hartley Power) puts drunk Frere to bed. Frere comes to Kee's room looking for Hugo, finds him, and shoots Kee. Dr. van Straaten listens to Frere and Hugo in the jail cell. Frere says that Hugo made him do it and suffocates Hugo. Dr. van Straaten takes the wounded Kee to see dazed Frere, who talks like a dummy. Dr. van Straaten explains the case, and his glasses are broken. Craig hits Sally and asks to be alone with Dr. van Straaten. Craig feels compelled to strangle Dr. van Straaten. Craig tries to hide in the other stories and is choked by Hugo. Craig wakes up in bed, and his wife tells him that he is invited to Eliot's house.

These ghost stories of the paranormal mostly horrify and sometimes amuse, but they indicate that life has many unexplained mysteries and that the consequences of actions in life may continue after death.

Copyright © 2005 by Sanderson Beck

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