The Night My Number Came Up (1955)

Article 2129 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 1-13-2007
Posting Date: 6-11-2007
Directed by Leslie Norman
Featuring Michael Redgrave, Sheila Sim, Alexander Knox

A man relates to a group of people a dream of his in which some of them are involved in a plane accident. The people begin to get nervous when the details of the dream start coming true in a flight to Tokyo.

I really have to give credit to this neat little thriller; it takes one of the hoariest of foreshadowing plot devices (the precognitive dream) and breathes new life into it. What makes this one special is that it is deeply concerned with how knowledge of the dream affects the behavior of those that have it. The cast is uniformly excellent, with special praise going to Alexander Knox as the man who feels most nervous about the dream coming true. The various reactions of the characters to the knowledge helps make it interesting; there are those who don’t know, those who don’t believe but still are hedging their bets, and those who do believe, and those who see it as a joke. A party scene on the ground after the first leg of the trip is especially memorable, as the departure of two characters makes it seem as if the dream won’t come true only to have two new characters enter that make it seem all the more likely; take note of the song being sung when Knox’s character discovers this. It’s a wonderful and suspenseful movie, with a great ending line. Highly recommended.



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