Nightmare (1964 film)

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Nightmare 1964.jpg
Film poster for Nightmare
Directed byFreddie Francis
Produced byJimmy Sangster
Written byJimmy Sangster
StarringDavid Knight
Moira Redmond
Jennie Linden
Music byDon Banks
CinematographyJohn Wilcox
Edited byJames Needs
Distributed byRank Organisation (UK)
Universal Pictures (US)
Release date
  • 19 April 1964 (1964-04-19) (UK)
  • 17 June 1964 (1964-06-17) (US)
Running time
83 mins
CountryUnited Kingdom

Nightmare is a 1964 British horror film directed by Freddie Francis and written by Jimmy Sangster who produced the film for Hammer Films.[1][2] The film focuses on a young girl in a finishing school who is plagued by nightmares concerning her institutionalized mother.


Janet (Elizabeth Dear & Jennie Linden), a girl at finishing school who 6 years ago saw her mother (Isla Cameron) stab her father to death, is plagued by nightmares. (Her mother, following the tragedy, was committed to an asylum.) Miss Lewis (Brenda Bruce), a teacher, takes Janet home; and in the absence of Henry Baxter (David Knight), Janet's guardian, they are met by John (George A. Cooper), the chauffeur; Mrs. Gibbs (Irene Richmond), the housekeeper; and Grace Maddox (Moira Redmond), an attractive nurse-companion hired by Henry. Miss Lewis leaves Janet in Grace's care. The nightmares continue: a white-shrouded woman (Clytie Jessop) roams the corridors, inviting Janet to burst into her parents' room where she finds the same woman on the bed with a knife in her chest. When Henry returns he finds Janet under sedation; her doctors recommend psychiatric care; but he refuses, and Janet tries to commit suicide. Henry's wife comes to tea, and because she seems to be the woman in Janet's nightmares, Janet stabs the woman to death and is promptly committed to an institution. The woman in white is revealed to be Grace, disguised with a wig and mask and in cahoots with Henry. They marry, but Grace begins believing that Henry is trying to drive her mad. Under the impression that Janet has escaped from the asylum, Grace stabs Henry to death, expecting Janet to be blamed. Janet, however, never left the asylum, and Grace is brought to justice.


Production and release[edit]

Jennie Linden was an 11th hour casting choice replacing Julie Christie who dropped out to do the film Billy Liar. The film was shot with the working title Here's the Knife Dear: Now Use It.[3] This was the final film performance of American actor David Knight who subsequently focused on theatre work.

Nightmare was released in the United Kingdom on 19 April 1964,[4] and received a release in the United States on 19 June 1964.


AllMovie called the film an "effective little chiller that packs a surprising punch for a film of its age."[5]

Home media[edit]

In the United States, the film received a DVD release through Universal Pictures in an eight-film set titled The Hammer Horror Series on 6 September 2005.[6] This set was re-released on Blu-ray on 13 September 2016.

The film was released on 28 November 2016 in the United Kingdom on a Region B Blu-ray disc.[7]


  1. ^ "Nightmare (1964)". British Film Institute (BFI). Retrieved 29 December 2016.
  2. ^ Meehan 2010, p. 195.
  3. ^ Huckvale 2014, p. 113.
  4. ^ Roscoe, JP (2 October 2014). "Nightmare Review". Basement Rejects. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  5. ^ Guarisco, Donald. "Nightmare (1963) - Review - AllMovie". AllMovie. Retrieved 16 August 2012.
  6. ^ Erickson, Glenn. "DVD Savant Review: The Hammer Horror Series". DVD Talk. Retrieved 16 March 2017.
  7. ^ Coffel, Chris (19 October 2016). "Hammer Films' 'Nightmare' to Make Blu-ray Debut!". Bloody-Disgusting. Retrieved 9 March 2017.


  • Huckvale, David (2014). Hammer Films' Psychological Thrillers, 1950-1972. McFarland. ISBN 978-0-786-47471-4.
  • Meehan, Paul (2010). Horror Noir: Where Cinema's Dark Sisters Meet. McFarland. ISBN 978-0-786-44597-4.

External links[edit]