Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5. United Kingdom, 1945. Ealing Studios. Screenplay by John Baines, Angus MacPhail, E.F. Benson, based on stories by H.G. Wells, E.F. Benson, John Baines, Angus MacPhail. Cinematography by Stanley Pavey, Douglas Slocombe. Produced by Michael Balcon. Music by Georges Auric. Production Design by Michael Relph. Costume Design by Marion Horn, Bianca Mosca. Film Editing by Charles Hasse.
When a British architect is invited to a country home to consult on a remodelling plan, he enters in the middle of an afternoon party and announces that, strangely enough, he has viewed the scene before. When the guests ask him what he means, he tells them that he has had a terrible nightmare of exactly this same setting, with all the guests appearing exactly as they do now in real life. His announcement is met with incredulity by some and mystified belief by others, but none shake it off completely. Instead, each guest tells a different story that relates to matters of the supernatural; as the evening progresses, the stories get creepier and creepier. Googie Withers telling about a mystical mirror in her house is a particular highlight, and a story about a ventriloquist (Michael Redgrave) and his decidedly independent dummy is a horror classic. Marvelously written, it’s one of the best results to have come from a collaboration of so many directors and writers on a single project.