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Female Fiends (1958)

The Strange Awakening (original title)
Approved | | Crime, Drama, Thriller | 28 April 1960 (USA)
A man, awakening with no memory, is told he is an heir to millions, but he suspects he is an heir to trouble instead.


Montgomery Tully


J. McLaren Ross (screenplay), Hugh Wheeler (novel) (as Patrick Quentin)


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Cast overview:
Lex Barker ... Peter Chance
Carole Mathews ... Selena Friend
Lisa Gastoni ... Marny Friend
Nora Swinburne ... Mrs. Friend
Peter Dyneley ... Dr. Rene Normand
Joe Robinson ... Sven
Malou Pantera Malou Pantera ... Isabella
Richard Molinas Richard Molinas ... Louis
John Serret ... Commissaire Sagain
Stanley Maxted Stanley Maxted ... Mr. Moffat
Monica Grey Monica Grey ... Iris Chance
Yvonne Andre Yvonne Andre ... Nun
Raf De La Torre Raf De La Torre ... Mr. Petheridge


Peter Chance, a motorist, is stopped and attacked by a hitchhiker somewhere in the south of France. He is left unconscious by the roadside with no identification. He regains his senses in a strange room but can not recall anything of his past. The house owner, a Mrs. Friend, tells him he is her son and has had an accident, and also that his father has died and he is heir to two million dollars. When the hitchhiker turns up, Chance begins to suspect something is rotten in the south of France. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

heir | france | motorist | death | violence | See All (27) »


Their motive Greed! Their Method Murder!


Crime | Drama | Thriller


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

28 April 1960 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Female Fiends See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Merton Park Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Released in the UK in April 1958 as the supporting film for 6.5 Special. See more »

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User Reviews

Forgettable movie about amnesia? Yes!
1 August 2011 | by secondtakeSee all my reviews

Strange Awakening (1958)

First off: this is a bad B-movie with some fun quirks. That will thrill a few of you and chase the rest away. Good!

The plot, as improbable as it is, has some curious elements, the main one being, what would you do if you woke up and remembered nothing? And started to suspect that the people around you were creating a false history for you? And a few cracks in their story started to show? And you had two or even three attractive women loitering about? And there was a lot of money attached to it all? And your life was in danger?

Well, this movie comes at the nadir of Hollywood and British movie-making, and it's a horribly contrived formula movie that pales next to Twilight Zone and other B-movie dramas with psychological twists. Even the main character's last names are pushy: Friend and Chance, not to mention the burly Swede name Sven. The opening sequence where our hero picks up a hitchhiker and then gets whacked in the head by him is irrelevant, except for the whack. And the amnesia. Then the hospital scene, the mother (so-called) at bedside, and the realization that all is not right. But hey, there are those pretty girls, and one of them is bound to sympathize with you and fall into your arms, right?

And it's only an hour long. You might think of it as just an old t.v. episode where your expectations are different. It bustles along with mediocre acting, reasonable filming, crack editing, and some cool and brief montage effects (including an airplane propellor merging into a tabletop fan). And the original title, Female Fiends, is pretty good, though there are Male Fiends on hand, too (remember Sven).

Director Monty Tully isn't about to have a boxed set of his work, but it's great fun just to read the titles of all the movies he made this same singular year, 1958: The Diplomatic Corpse, The Electronic Monster, Female Fiends, Print of Death, Crime of Honour, The Crossroad Gallows, The Long Knife, Man with a Gun, and I Only Arsked! What a year.

Strange Awakening, here before you, isn't all bad!

But mostly. Enjoy it in proportion.

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