Endless Night (1972)

35mm format, colour
mono, English

A British borderline horror film directed by Sidney Gilliat. Production began on 7 June 1971.

Plot Summary

An American heiress and a London chauffeur marry and move into their dream house which has been designed for them by a famous architect. But their wedded bliss soon turns to a nightmare as strange things start to happen – a mad woman is issuing dire warnings and the bride's resentful family are moving in, haranguing her new husband. Could one or both of the newlyweds be the victim of a conspiracy? And if so, who's involved and who can they trust?


Directed by: Sidney Gilliat
© MCMLXXII [1972] National Film Trustee Company Limited
A Frank Launder-Sidney Gilliat production. Made in association with British Lion Films Limited and EMI Film Productions Limited
Produced by: Leslie Gilliat
Screenplay by: Sidney Gilliat
Based on the novel by: Agatha Christie
Director of Photography: Harry Waxman
Film Editor: Thelma Connell
Music by: Bernard Herrmann
Sound Recordists: Paul Le Mare, Bill Rowe
Costume Designer: John Furniss
Make-up: John O'Gorman, Alan Brownie
Hairdressing: Allan McKeown
Production Designer: Wilfrid Shingleton
Produced at: EMI-MGM Elstree Studios, Herts, England
Auction filmed at Christie's, London
Italian scenes filmed at the Albergo San Pietro Positano

Hayley Mills (Ellie)
Hywel Bennett (Michael Rogers)
Britt Ekland (Greta)
George Sanders (Andrew Lippincott)
Per Oscarsson (Santonix)
Aubrey Richards (Dr George Philpott)
Peter Bowles (Reuben)
Lois Maxwell (Cora)
Madge Ryan (Michael's mother)
David Bauer (Uncle Frank)
Helen Horton (Aunt Beth)
Walter Gotell (Constantine)
Geoffrey Chater (coroner)
David Healy (Jason)
Windsor Davies (Sgt Keene)
Patience Collier (Miss Townsend)
Ann Way (Dorothy Philpott)
Robert Keegan (Innkeeper)
Robert O'neil (broker)
Mischa De La Motte (Maynard)

Alternative Titles

Champagne per due dopo il funerale – Italian title
Endelrs nat – Danish title
Hyytävä yö – Finnish title
Mord nach Mass – West German title
La noche sin fin – Spanish title
Oändlig natt – Swedish title


Marjorie Bilbow, writing in Today's Cinema 1Today's Cinema no.9997 (9 September 1972) p.21, called Endless Night “enjoyable hokum lifted way out of the cheap and cheerful class by virtue of the many highly professional talents involved in the making of it” and praised its “strong cast.” David McGilllivray was rather less impressed, writing in Monthly Film Bulletin 2Monthly Film Bulletin vol.39 no.465 (October 1972) p.209 “what little there is of a mystery is sluggishly developed, even though Sidney Gilliat's dry humour is an adequate substitute for the improbable dialogue of the original novel. But be oversteps the mark in trying to pep up the proceedings with a lovemaking scuffle on the floor (which should, under the circumstances, have taken place behind a discreetly closed bedroom door) and a pointlessly ambiguous fade-out.” The climax was singled out for criticism by David Robinson 3Financial Times 6 October 1972 who noted that “murder is left dangerously late in the plot; the whodunnit is all sorted out in a characteristic Christie denouement which is a good deal too sprightly for the tedium of the preparation” while John Coleman 4New Statesman 6 October 1972 complained that the mystery was “guessable” and that Per Oscarsson's performance “should be padlocked to Scandinavia” and “[ruins] the film's only asset, the English landscape.” Oscarsson and the rest of the cast impressed Alex Stuart more in Films and Filming 5Films and Filming vol.19 no.4 (January 1973) p.51 who praised the performances, “Harry Waxman's restrained photography” and Sidney Gilliat's direction, noting that he'd “captured something of the humour of Miss Christie's books, but it's doubtful whether his compromise in updating the story and adding just a soupcon of sex will please either the novelist's large following or fans of the thriller film.”



Films and Filming vol.19 no.4 (January 1973) p.51 – review (by Alex Stuart)
Kine Weekly no.3336 (18 September 1971) p.10 – note (Endless Night ends… by Rod Cooper)
Monthly Film Bulletin vol.39 no.465 (October 1972) p.209 – credits, synopsis, review (by David McGillivray)
New Statesman 6 October 1972 – review by (John Coleman)
Today's Cinema no.9912 (8 June 1971) p.4 – credits
Today's Cinema no.9920 (6 July 1971) p.4 – credits (In production)
Today's Cinema no.9997 (9 September 1972) p.21 – review (by Marjorie Bilbow)


Daily Express 3 October 1972 – review (by Ian Christie)
Daily Mail 3 October 1972 – review (by Cecil Wilson)
Daily Mirror 6 October 1972 – review (by George Shaw)
Daily Telegraph 6 October 1972 – review (by Patrick Gibbs)
Evening News 4 October 1972 – review (by Felix Barker)
Evening Standard 5 October 1972 – review (by Alexander Walker)
Financial Times 6 October 1972 – review (by David Robinson)
The Guardian 5 October 1972 – review (by Derek Malcolm)
The Morning Star 6 October 1972 – review (by Virginia Dignam)
The Observer 8 October 1972 – review (by George Melly)
The Sun 6 October 1972 – review (by Ken Eastaugh)
Sunday Express 8 October 1972 – review (by Richard Barkley)
Sunday People 8 October 1972 – review (by Kenneth Bailey)
Sunday Telegraph 8 October 1972 – illustrated review (by Tom Hutchinson)
Sunday Times 8 October 1972 – review (by Dilys Powell)
The Times 6 October 1972 – review (by Ronald Hayman)


Bernard Herrmann, Hollywood's Music-dramatist by Edward Johnson pp.36
Film Review 1973-74 by F. Maurice Speed (ed) p.218
A Heart at Fire's Centre: The Life and Music of Bernard Herrmann by Steven C. Smith pp.312-313
Horror and Science Fiction Films II by Donald C. Willis p.120
Uneasy Dreams: The Golden Age of British Horror Films, 1956-1976 by Gary A. Smith pp.93