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Shadow of Fear (1955)

Before I Wake (original title)
A woman travels to England to attend her parents' funeral. She is told by officials that they died of natural causes together, but she doesn't buy it. She comes to suspect that the nurse ... See full summary »


Albert S. Rogell


Brett Halliday (novel) (as Hal Debrett)


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Cast overview:
Mona Freeman ... April Haddon
Jean Kent ... Florence Haddon
Maxwell Reed ... Michael Elder
Hugh Miller Hugh Miller ... Mr. Driscoll
Gretchen Franklin Gretchen Franklin ... Elsie
Frederick Leister Frederick Leister ... Dr. Elder
Alexander Gauge Alexander Gauge ... Police sergeant
Josephine Middleton Josephine Middleton ... Mrs. Harrison
Frank Forsyth ... Jack Storey
Stanley Van Beers Stanley Van Beers ... Harry
Frank Atkinson Frank Atkinson ... Taxi driver
Philip Ray ... Station master
Robert Sansom Robert Sansom ... Parson
Phyllis Cornell Phyllis Cornell ... Dr. Elder's receptionist


A woman travels to England to attend her parents' funeral. She is told by officials that they died of natural causes together, but she doesn't buy it. She comes to suspect that the nurse who took care of her parents was involved in their deaths, but since the nurse is well thought of in the town, no one believes her. What she doesn't know is that her parents' killer has selected her as the next victim. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

female protagonist | See All (1) »


If I die before I wake this note will reveal The Killer...









Release Date:

7 March 1958 (Ireland) See more »

Also Known As:

Shadow of Fear See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Gibraltar Films Ltd. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

Would-Be Hitchcockian Thriller
1 April 2019 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

Mona Freeman comes home for her father's funeral in England -- her American accent explained by four years in college in California -- to find ice-cold Jean Kent her new stepmother. Jean purports to want to be chums, but Mona comes to the conclusion that Kiss Kent had killed her father, and her mother earlier, and now intends to kill her, the principal heir of her father's estate.

Hitchcockian? Yes, indeed it is. Like NORTH BY NORTHWEST, it's filled with bits and bobs of oft-used Hitchcockian plot points. Miss Kent with her Mrs. Danvers coldness from REBECCA; the near-accident of the car going off the road, and the glass of milk from SUSPICION, the evil lurking in a nice market town, the blonde heroine... Choose your own tropes. they all reek of Hitchcock. Even the title is Hitchcockian.

However, director Albert Rogell never was Hitchcock, and the only suspense is supplied Miss Kent's veneer, which the audience sees through immediately. It was his last movie as director. Neither does the shooting script permit cinematographer Jack Asher much in the way of the dazzling camerawork that Hitchcock used, beyond some tracking shots; even the murder attempts are shot conventionally. The result is a watchable thriller that does not extend the art of cinema, as Hitchcock so often did, nor the imagination of the audience.

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