One of several low-budget mellers directed by scriptwriter Maxwell Shane, Fear in the Night
was based on the short story Nightmare
by William Irish (pseudonym for Cornell Woolrich
). In his first starring role, DeForest Kelley plays Vince Grayson, a young man who has a terrible nightmare wherein he sees himself killing someone. When he awakens, Vince finds a couple of pieces of evidence indicating that his dream was no dream. Detective Cliff Herlihy (Paul Kelly) doesn't believe that Vince has killed anyone, but agrees to investigate. While taking shelter from a storm in a remote mansion, the detective and the young man stumble upon a mirrored room -- just like the one in Vince's dream. The frenzied Vince is nearly driven to suicide, but Detective Herlihy deduces that his friend's nightmare was the handiwork of Lewis Belnap (Robert Emmett Keane), the mansion's owner, who is a dabbler in hypnosis. Fear in the Night
was remade in 1956 as Nightmare
, with Kevin McCarthy and Edward G. Robinson.