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Nightmare (1964)

Not Rated | | Horror, Mystery, Thriller | 17 June 1964 (USA)
Janet is a young student at a private school; her nights are troubled by horrible dreams in which she sees her mother, who is in fact locked in an insane asylum, haunting her. Expelled ... See full summary »


Freddie Francis


Jimmy Sangster
1 nomination. See more awards »


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Complete credited cast:
David Knight ... Henry Baxter
Moira Redmond ... Grace Maddox
Jennie Linden ... Janet
Brenda Bruce ... Mary Lewis
George A. Cooper ... John
Clytie Jessop ... Woman in White
Irene Richmond Irene Richmond ... Mrs. Gibbs
John Welsh ... Doctor
Timothy Bateson ... Barman
Elizabeth Dear ... Janet as a Child


Janet is a young student at a private school; her nights are troubled by horrible dreams in which she sees her mother, who is in fact locked in an insane asylum, haunting her. Expelled because of her persistent nightmares, Janet is sent home where the nightmares continue. Written by Wheeler Winston Dixon

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


THREE SHOCKING MURDERS...did she DREAM them? ...or DO them? See more »


Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

17 June 1964 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cilada Diabólica See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hammer Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Jennie Linden was 11th hour casting choice replacing Julie Christie, who dropped out to do John Schlesinger's "Billy Liar.". See more »


Janet: You found me out there, didn't you? That part of it wasn't a dream! Where does the dream finish and reality begin?
See more »


Featured in 31 Days of Horror: "Hysterical" Women (2018) See more »

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User Reviews

It finally happened – She's slightly mad.
11 March 2007 | by CoventrySee all my reviews

The legendary British Hammer Studios perhaps spent most of their time exploiting classic horror stories through numerous sequels (EIGHT entries in the "Dracula"-series, SEVEN misadventures of Baron "Frankenstein") and serving up other grotesque monster-mash movies, but they also produced a handful of genuinely convoluted psychological thrillers in the likes of "Diabolique" and even Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho". These obscure films (apart from "Nightmare", there's also "Hysteria", "Paranoiac" and "Fanatic") may not be very popular by today's standards, because they're not that bloody and don't have highly recognizable names in the casts, but their scripts are extremely engaging and often give insightful information regarding the darkest corners of the human mind. "Nightmare" is basically another simplistic story about greed and conspiracy, but the imaginative elaboration – courtesy of Hammer regulars Freddie Francis and Jimmy Sangster – makes it a compelling mystery oozing with a Gothic atmosphere. The intro alone is quite petrifying, as it shows an uncanny lady luring her own daughter into a morbid asylum. We then learn this is a recurring dream young Janet suffers from ever since, on her eleventh birthday, she witnessed how her mother killed her father with a kitchen knife. Since Janet's fear of inheriting her mother's mental illness becomes uncontrollable, her teachers at the boarding school decide to sent her back to the parental home under the supervision of the family's attorney Henry Baxter and the charming young nurse Grace. Back at the estate, someone deliberately intends to push the emotionally vulnerable young girl over a mental edge by carefully re-enacting the events of that traumatizing night. Whoever it is attempting to harm Janet; they may succeed but they will also be punished for it! Jimmy Sangster neatly divided his screenplay into two equally strong chapters, one revolving on the conspiracy against poor Janet and the other focusing on the well-deserved downfall of the villains. Especially the second half of the film is terrific, since it's dealing with a fairly new and innovative theme. Usually in these psychological thrillers, the screenplay just builds up towards one complex climax, but there's two in "Nightmare". The plot twists and red herrings are cleverly executed and there are several moments of genuine suspense. The film also benefices from a superb black and white photography as well as excellent locations, like the old country house and the aforementioned images of the eerie asylum. The acting performances are a bit wooden, though. David Knight fails to impress and Moira Redmond is unable to carry the film on her own as soon as the other female lead – Jennie Linden – disappears from the set. Highly recommended to the more experienced Hammer fan.

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