Nightmare (1956)

nightmare 1956

Good one based on the story by Cornell Woolrich. Kevin McCarthy is a musician who is having a nightmare. Edward G.Robinson is his cop brother-in-law.

Music notes: Band leader Billy May portrays himself. He’s no acting threat. There’s a good quick cameo from piano great Meade Lux Lewis. On the negative side, singer Connie Russell has some terrible vocals on a couple awful songs.

New Orleans musician Stan Grayson (Kevin McCarthy) has a nightmare in which he kills a man. He’s in a mirrored room and a woman hands him an ice pick as he’s being strangled. He stashes the body in a closet. In the struggle he tears a button off the man’s coat. When he wakes up he has thumb prints on his neck and blood on his wrist. He finds a button and a key.

In a recording studio Billy May is getting ready to fire Stan for being out “sick.” The vocalist Gina (Connie Russell) is Stan’s girlfriend who tries to cover for him.

He goes to his brother-in-law Renee Bressard (Edward G.Robinson) for help. Renee thinks it’s all a result of overwork and maybe too much booze. Stan spills some of his sister Sue’s nail polish. He thinks it’s blood and passes out. Stan is also haunted by a few notes from a melody he can’t identify.

He goes to all the clubs and asks his musician friends if they can identify it. No one can. In one club he asks Meade Lux Lewis. He doesn’t know either. He spots a woman at the bar he thinks is the one from his dream. It’s not. With Lewis’ piano in the background he sits down next to her. He gives her a phony name and they end up at her place. He looks in the mirror and the image gets fuzzy. He walks out.

The next day Renee and Sue take Stan and Gina to the country for a picnic. After a while it starts to storm. Sue is afraid of thunder. Somehow Stan knows where there’s a house up a long road. He gets a key from a flower pot and opens the door. The furniture is all covered up. Stan seems to know his way around.

A record is put on the turntable. Gina backs into it and it slows down. Stan realizes that’s where the notes are from. He goes upstairs. It’s the mirrored room. Renee comes up. He opens a closet with Stan’s key. Inside is a safe. He opens the opposite closet. His attitude changes.

I’ll invoke my no spoiler policy. Character actor Gage Clarke has a good performance along the way. This was singer-actress Connie Russell’s last movie role.

Connie Russell

Connie Russell


About vintage45

I'm a big fan of vintage books,movies,TV shows and music. I encourage everyone to patronize your local used book/record store and pick up some of the good stuff. My posts are capsule reviews of some favorites that you may want to investigate. The albums posted aren't really reviews but items from my collection that are still available. I try and point out highlights of each one and let the music speak for itself. Thanks to all for checking out the blog.
This entry was posted in Crime-Mystery-Spy, vintage movies and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s