Dead of Night

1945 British film

Dead of Night is a 1945 anthology horror film about an architect who senses impending doom as his half-remembered recurring dream turns into reality, and the guests at the country house encourage him to stay as they take turns telling supernatural tales.

Directed by Alberto Cavalcanti, Charles Crichton, Robert Hamer, and Basil Dearden. Written by John Baines and Angus MacPhail.

Peter Cortland edit

  • [about the mirror] But in a queer sort of way, it fascinates me. I feel as though that room, the one in the mirror, were trying to... to claim me. To draw me into it. It almost becomes the real room, and my own bedroom imaginary. [He takes a drag off his cigarette with a shaking hand] And I know that there's something waiting for me on the other side of the mirror. Something evil. Monstrously evil. And if I cross that dividing line, something awful will happen.

Joan Cortland edit

  • [about their upcoming wedding] The cake's under control. Oh, and I've had a lot more answers. The Laughtons can't come, thank Heaven. And we've got some perfectly frightful presents. You know, darling, I really think we'll have to turn that spare room of ours into a Chamber of Horrors.

Larry Potter edit

  • It's entirely your fault: you can't cheat a ghost!

Sally O'Hara edit

  • You're dead? How about a nice cup of tea?

Mrs. Foley edit

  • Really, Eliot! That story is totally incredible and decidedly improper!
  • Oh, Mr. Craig. Now that you've met us, I sure that you wouldn't dream of dreaming about us again.

Dialogue edit

Eliot Foley: Ah! Walter Craig?
Walter Craig: How do you do? You're Eliot Foley.
Eliot Foley: That's right. So glad you were able to come, let's have your bag. [takes Craig's bag] We'll put the car away afterwards. You know it struck me after I'd telephoned you, rather a cheek on my part asking a busy architect like yourself to come down and spend the weekend with a set of complete strangers.
Walter Craig: Not a bit.
Eliot Foley: You see we're pretty cramped for space here, we need at least two more bedrooms.
Walter Craig: And with only one living room.
Eliot Foley: Yes, only one living room. However, we'll go into all that in the morning shall we?

[they enter the house]
Eliot Foley: Know this part of the world at all?
Walter Craig: No. I've never been here before. No. Not actually.
Eliot Foley: Well, let me take your things.
[He notices that Craig is already hanging up his hat and coat on a coat-rack in an alcove]
Eliot Foley: Ha ha, fancy your spotting that. Trained professional eye, eh?
Walter Craig: Yes, of course.
Eliot Foley: Well, we have seven other guests, so I've put you in the barn. But don't get worried...
Walter Craig: ...It has central heating and every modern convenience.
Eliot Foley: The very words I was going to use! Well, this way; I expect they've started tea.
Walter Craig: Yes. Yes, they have.

Walter Craig: Of course! Dr. van Straaten. You're a psychiatrist. You always treat me. You'll treat me now, won't you?
Dr. van Straaten: You must forgive me; I don't quite understand the joke.
Walter Craig: It isn't a joke. I only wish it were. I've seen you in my dreams. Sounds like a sentimental song, doesn't it? I've dreamt about you over and over again, Doctor.
Dr. van Straaten: That hardly turns you into a mental case. After all, recurring dreams are quite common.
Walter Craig: But how did I come to dream about you? I've never set eyes on you in my life.
Dr. van Straaten: It's very likely you've seen my photograph in the papers. That's why my face seems familiar to you.
Walter Craig: I don't think so. And even if it were, is that any reason why I should keep on dreaming about you? After all, you don't mean anything to me.
Dr. van Straaten: Huh. Well, maybe an association of ideas. I may be linked with something that means a great deal to you.
Walter Craig: Such as?
Dr. van Straaten: I should have to psychoanalyze you to find that out.
Walter Craig: But it doesn't end there. You see, everybody in this room is part of my dream. Everybody.
[the guests burst into exclamations]

Dr. van Straaten: Mr. Craig, can you describe what happens in your dream?
Walter Craig: Well, not in detail. But it always starts exactly the same as when I arrived, just now. I turn off the main road into the lane. At the bend in the lane, the house comes into view, and I stop as I recognize it. Then I drive on again. And Foley meets me at the front door. I recognize him, too. And then, while I'm taking off my coat, I have the most extraordinary feeling. I nearly turn and run for it, because I know I'm going to come face-to-face with the six...
Sally O'Hara: Well, you've only come face-to-face with five of us so far, not counting Eliot.
Walter Craig: That's right, five of you. There is a sixth person who comes in later.
Dr. van Straaten: Can you describe this late arrival?
Walter Craig: It's an attractive girl with dark hair.
Dr. van Straaten: [laughing] Is that all you can tell us about her?
Walter Craig: She comes in quite unexpectedly and says something about not having any money.
Eliot Foley: A penniless brunette, eh?
Sally O'Hara: How romantic! Do you fall madly in love with her, Mr. Craig?

Dr. van Straaten: Well, if I am a puppet and Mr. Craig's pulling the strings, the least he can do is to tell me a little bit more about the part he's giving me to play.
Walter Craig: I wish it were as easy as that. But trying to remember a dream is like, how shall I put it, being out at night in a thunder-storm. There's a flash of lightning and, for one brief moment, everything stands out: vivid and startling.
Dr. van Straaten: And what have the lightning flashes illuminated so far?
Walter Craig: One thing is very vivid and very horrible. I hit Sally savagely, viciously.
Sally O'Hara: Oh, no you won't! I shall stick close to Mr. Grainger. He's bigger than you.
Walter Craig: Well, anyway, it isn't consistent. I shan't have a chance to, 'cause you leave here quite soon, quite suddenly.

Peter Cortland: Well, you know that mirror you gave me? You didn't get it at one of those joke shops, by any chance?
Joan Cortland: Of course not, why?
Peter Cortland: Well, when I was dressing this evening, just as I was tying my tie, I suddenly realized that the reflection was all wrong.
Joan Cortland: What do you mean, wrong?
Peter Cortland: It wasn't my room I was seeing; it was some other room.
Joan Cortland: Darling!
Peter Cortland: I told you it sounded silly. It only lasted for a moment, but I could have sworn I saw it. Some sort of optical illusion, I suppose.
Joan Cortland: [chuckles] All done with mirrors, in fact.

Dr. van Straaten: [removes his eyeglasses] Ah. No doubt you thought it would be very amusing to watch my cherished disbeliefs being shattered.
Eliot Foley: [sarcastically] Mm, very clever of us, I must say. I wonder if we have any more surprises up our sleeves.
Walter Craig: That's it - your glasses!
Dr. van Straaten: What about my glasses?
Walter Craig: It's later on. We're having drinks. You break those glasses of yours, and then, quite suddenly, the room goes dark. And then, Foley, you say something, something about the death of a man I've never heard of. And that's where my dream becomes a nightmare. A nightmare of horror.
Joan Cortland: Horror? What sort of horror?
Walter Craig: I feel my will power draining away. I feel I'm in the grip of a force that's driving me towards something unspeakably evil.
Dr. van Straaten: It shows that you have some heavy weight on your conscience. Now, in my opinion...
Walter Craig: I'm no longer interested in your opinion, Doctor. You shook me at first, with your ingenious theories. I thought perhaps the whole thing was a delusion. But Mrs. Grainger's arrival has altered all that. I have been here before, in my dreams. For some reason, I was given foreknowledge of the future. Why? I don't know. I want to know! I must know!

Eliot Foley: Apart from my bit of nonsense, the curious thing is that all of you, even Sally, seems to have had one of these extraordinary experiences
Joan Cortland: Well, perhaps they aren't so extraordinary. Perhaps they happen to most people.
Eliot Foley: Oh, you mean there's a ghost as well as a skeleton in everyone's cupboard. [laughs] That's a pretty thought!
Walter Craig: And what's the ghost in your cupboard, Doctor?
Dr. van Straaten: Well, there was one occasion in my professional career that made me wonder. Made me wonder quite a lot.

Walter Craig: Eliot Foley, Pilgrim's Farm... I wonder why that sounds so familiar.
Mrs. Craig: A weekend in the country? I should go
Walter Craig: Mmm. I'll toss for it. [Mrs. Craig laughs] Heads I go, tails I don't. [tosses coin]
Mrs. Craig: Heads.
Walter Craig: I go.
Mrs. Craig: That's just what you need darling, it'll help you get rid of those horrible nightmares.

Cast edit

External links edit

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