Greetings, and welcome to VIEWING THE CLASSICS. Here you'll find capsule reviews of vintage movies from the early days of cinema through the 1970s, with a special emphasis on sci-fi, horror, and mystery movies. Be sure to check out the Pages links, where you can find a Film Index of all my reviews, links to the reviews organized by cast members, directors, and other contributors, and links to my reviews of the films of talented young director Joshua Kennedy.

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Thursday, August 31, 2017

Fear In The Night (1947)

Starring Paul Kelly, DeForest Kelley, Ann Doran, Kay Scott, Charles Victor
Directed by Maxwell Shane
(actor & director credits courtesy

A mild-mannered bank teller dreams of committing a murder, and becomes shaken after awakening when he finds evidence from the crime in his room.

A low budget film noir of sorts, it's nonetheless a very good one, with an interesting role for a young Kelley, twenty years before being cast as the irascible Dr. McCoy on the classic Star Trek TV series. For those who haven't seen him as anything but McCoy, this is a very different role, and he's earnest and believable as a meek but shaken young man who thinks his life is over.  I'm a person of the same temperament, so I really identified with his character.  Paul Kelly is very good as his detective brother-in-law who's character is cut more from the hard-boiled characters of film noir, and he and Kelley have a compelling on-screen relationship that I found fairly unique.  Maxwell Shane adapted Cornell Woolrich's story and also directed, and employs some interesting visual transitions that echo some higher-budgeted noirs but also make it distinctive on its own.

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