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  • #16
    Originally posted by Allen Leighton View Post

    That's a point of view, but personally I think it breaks up the flow of the thing, having the light-hearted bit so close to the end; it would have fitted better earlier on. Of course it may have been a deliberate move, to give the audience a breather before the scary last segment, but I still think it's too disruptive at that point.

    Still one of my all-time favourite films though!
    Well, I always need that breather. You do have a point about its placement, it could have gone a little earlier. Incidentally, when I was younger, I always used to confuse this film with Halfway House (Basil Dearden)...it has many similarities and the two seem to give each other more resonance, if you know what I mean.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Supernova Pilbeam View Post

      Well, I always need that breather. You do have a point about its placement, it could have gone a little earlier. Incidentally, when I was younger, I always used to confuse this film with Halfway House (Basil Dearden)...it has many similarities and the two seem to give each other more resonance, if you know what I mean.
      Yes, Halfway House always feels like a precursor to Dead of Night. And given that Dearden and Cavalcanti were heavily involved in both, I think it's fair to suppose that one led more or less directly to the other.

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      • #18
        I always wondered especially going by the content and poster if these films were promoted as "horror" films in the first place. With the Halfway house it falls neatly into the fantasy realm whereas Dead of Night is plainly horror and has some shocking moments. Just to add I love these films and when I come across a rarity I've never heard off I'm delighted, much like The House on Marsh Road which I only knew about until a few years ago.

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        • #19
          One of my favourite films, so well done. It's also just about the only horror anthology film I like. The ones that came from Hammer, Amicus etc are IMO cheap and pretty darn poor.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by tv horror View Post
            I always wondered especially going by the content and poster if these films were promoted as "horror" films in the first place.
            Good question. I may be mistaken but I seem to remember that horror films as such were banned during WWII, for the sake of public spirits. So would that make Ealing or whoever more likely to herald the film as “horror”, or less, when it came out just after the war, I wonder?

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            • #21
              Originally posted by googiefan View Post
              I love the story with Michael Redgrave and Hugo, the ventriloquist. Wouldn’t I, wouldn’t I wouldn’t I. A great few words from Hugo.
              This film inspired Richard Attenborough to make Magic -1978 with Anthony Hopkins and Ann Margaret which is about

              A failed magician finds sudden stardom as a ventriloquist when he comes across a foul-mouthed dummy named Fats. But as the pressures of stardom mount, something strange begins to happen as the dummy takes control of his human.

              https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0077889/?ref_=tttr_tr_tt

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Seaton View Post
                Good question. I may be mistaken but I seem to remember that horror films as such were banned during WWII, for the sake of public spirits. So would that make Ealing or whoever more likely to herald the film as “horror”, or less, when it came out just after the war, I wonder?
                You're right Seaton that 'horror' films were 'banned' during WWII. Dead of Night was released just after the end of the War (VJ day being in August) in September 1945. The original poster (shown here: the correct classification & original distributor proves this)

                Click image for larger version  Name:	dead-of-night.jpg Views:	0 Size:	862.5 KB ID:	95185
                clearly shows it to be originally advertised as of a 'horror' nature, but note it was given the lesser 'A' rating (children under 12 had to be accompanied by an adult) rather then the horror specific 'H' rating (only 16 or above allowed entry). Apparently the advertising tag-line was "Even GREATER than Seventh Veil", Britain's no.1 film of the year, and famous for another of James Mason's sadistic brute roles, but not exactly a horror film.

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                • tv horror
                  tv horror commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Great poster and I'm sure that it would have drawn the crowds.

              • #23
                Strange that Roland Culver's name is mis-spelt as Rowland.

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                • #24
                  Originally posted by Nick Dando View Post
                  Strange that Roland Culver's name is mis-spelt as Rowland.
                  Thankfully, he's "Roland" in the main and end credits on the film itself.

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                  • #25
                    Thanks for that agutter. I regularly show this film to young and old students as a British classic, around Halloween or Christmas, and it always gets a good discussion going. And there’s no general agreement about which bit is best, which is nice.

                    I don’t get on here as much as I did, so while I’m here let me just say that I really hope you’re all well. Strange times - hopefully we’re turning a corner.
                    Cheers.

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