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Dead of Night$
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Jez Conolly and David Owain Bates

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780993238437

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9780993238437.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 28 November 2021

‘A nightmare of horror’

‘A nightmare of horror’

(p.15) ‘A nightmare of horror’
(p.3) Devil’s Advocates

Jez Conolly

David Owain Bates

Liverpool University Press

This chapter illustrates the antecedents of Dead of Night and charts its line of influence. In many respects, Dead of Night was more a cinematic pinnacle of a storytelling tradition than a forebear of a new form. Fundamentally, the frame narrative is a device that dates back to some of the earliest known examples of recorded storytelling, which were frequently collections of even earlier tales originating in oral storytelling cultures. Beyond these early ancestral highpoints of the frame story form, there are more direct forerunners to Dead of Night to be found in nineteenth-century literature, particularly Victorian Gothic literature. The chapter then looks at the anthology format. During the decade after Dead of Night, British cinema may have been dark at times — there were numerous British noir films made in that period, several of which were produced by Ealing Studios — but it rarely delivered full-blown scares. It would take Hammer Films' move into the horror genre for this to recommence.

Keywords:   Dead of Night, frame narrative, recorded storytelling, oral storytelling, nineteenth-century literature, Victorian Gothic literature, anthology format, British cinema, Hammer Films, horror genre

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