Note: This fourth Halloween entry in the classic Allan Fish Bonanza Encore series is the twenty-fifth in the series overall to post over the past weeks at WitD.
by Allan Fish
(UK 1945 105m) DVD1/2
Just room for one more inside, sir…
p Sidney Cole, John Croydon d Alberto Cavalcanti, Robert Hamer, Basil Dearden, Charles Crichton w John Baines, Angus MacPhail stories Angus MacPhail, John Baines, H.G.Wells, E.F.Benson ph Douglas Slocombe, Stan Pavey ed Charles Hasse m Georges Auric art Michael Relph
Mervyn Johns (Walter Craig), Roland Culver (Eliot Foley), Judy Kelly (Joyce Grainger), Mary Merrall (Mrs Foley), Anthony Baird (Hugh Grainger), Sally Ann Howes (Sally O’Hara), Frederick Valk (Dr Van Straaten), Ralph Michael (Mr Courtland), Googie Withers (Joan Courtland), Esmé Percy (antique dealer), Renee Gadd (Mrs Craig), Basil Radford (George Parratt), Naunton Wayne (Larry Potter), Michael Redgrave (Maxwell Frere), Miles Malleson (hearse/bus driver), Elisabeth Welch (Beulah), Hartley Power (Sylvester Kee), Peggy Bryan (Mary Lee), Michael Allan (Jimmy Watson),
Considering their incredible reputation as a producer of classic British comedies, it would be easy to forget that Ealing also produced various classic dramas, among them Went the Day Well?, The Next of Kin, The Captive Heart, It Always Rains on Sunday, Mandy and The Cruel Sea. But it is this truly disquieting ghost story compendium that remains their non-comic masterpiece. Considering that it has been parodied and pilfered in numerous other films and TV plays, it’s quite surprising how fresh it still remains after sixty years. Even the use of several directors doesn’t harm it, adding a different style to each of the individual stories that adds to the dreamlike texture.
Architect Walter Craig drives out to spend the weekend with a potential customer, Eliot Foley, who wants extra bedrooms added to his country house in Kent, Pilgrim’s Farm. Once he arrives he acts strangely around everyone who is there, until he admits to the other guests that he has seen them all in his nightmarish dreams and that each one plays a part in his dream. Only the visiting psychologist, Dr Van Straaten, refuses to believe this psychological phenomenon, but when each of the guests relates a spooky tale of their own, everyone’s preconceptions are eradicated. (more…)