NIGHTMARE. Universal, 1942. Diana Barrymore, Brian Donlevy, Henry Daniell, Arthur Shields, Gavin Muir, Ian Wolfe, Hans Conried, and John Abbott. Screenplay by Dwight Taylor, from a story by Philip MacDonald. Directed by Tim Whelan. Currently available here on YouTube.

   A fast-moving “B+” from Universal.

   Brian Donlevy headlines as an American in London who finds himself blitzed out of his gambling club (This is 1942, remember.) leaving him homeless and penniless, with nothing but the tuxedo he stands in. In a fit of casual desperation, he breaks into an empty-looking town house, only to find it occupied by Diana Barrymore, and, to a lesser extent, by her estranged husband Henry Daniell, who sits slumped over his desk with a knife in his back.

   Diana asks him to help dispose of the corpse and he agrees, which leads to a whole mess of complications involving the Police, Nazi Saboteurs, attack dogs, and Ms Barrymore, who may not be what she seems.

   This was made concurrently with Universal’s updated Sherlock Holmes series (It was released two months after Voice of Terror) and shares some of the regular players, sets, and background music, albeit in service of a higher budget. Henry Daniell, then a contract player at Universal, doesn’t get much to do, playing a corpse except for a short flashback, but Hans Conried makes the most of a nearly wordless bit part as a Nazi Goon.

   Overall, Nightmare is nothing really special, but Director Whelan moves Dwight Taylor’s screenplay along with a snappy pace that makes up for the lack of any discernible style, and the players take it seriously even when the viewer (this viewer anyway) can’t.