Article #181 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 9-13-2001
Posting date: 1-27-2002
A man wakes up from a nightmare in which he kills another man, and then finds evidence that leads him to believe that it wasn’t just a nightmare.
If you’ve seen FEAR IN THE NIGHT, you’ve seen this movie; both versions were directed by the same man, Maxwell Shane, and I see very little difference between the two. This one has a slightly bigger name cast than the other (Edward G. Robinson and Kevin McCarthy play the leads), and there are a few changes in the details. In this one, the main character is a musician in a jazz combo rather than a bank teller, and instead of putting out an ad in the paper to find the house with the room of mirrors from his dream, he goes to a bar and almost picks up a lady; both differences seem to make the movie a little more “Hollywood”, IMO. Despite the fact that I really like Robinson, his presence really doesn’t add a whole lot extra to the movie, and I really don’t consider this one an improvement over the original. In fact, if anything it lacks the earlier film’s “B-Movie” charm.