Night Without Sleep
Theatrical release poster
Directed byRoy Ward Baker
Screenplay byElick Moll
Frank Partos
Produced byRobert Bassler
StarringLinda Darnell
Gary Merrill
Hildegarde Neff
CinematographyLucien Ballard
Edited byNick DeMaggio
Music byCyril Mockridge
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
Running time
77 minutes
CountryUnited States

Night Without Sleep is a 1952 American film noir mystery film directed by Roy Ward Baker and starring Gary Merrill, Linda Darnell and Hildegarde Neff.[1] It was produced and distributed by 20th Century Fox.


A composer, Richard Morton experiences blackouts and cannot account for his actions. He seems to recall a woman's screams and a conversation with his wife, Emily, but it's all a blur.

Morton goes to see his friend John Harkness and is introduced to a film actress, Julie Bannon, and is attracted to her. He also apparently has made a date with Lisa Muller, who is angry when Morton shows up two hours late. He loses his temper and threatens her.

Julie goes out with Morton and attempts to seduce him, but something in him resists. He returns to Lisa and begins to menace her again, only to suffer another blackout. When he wakes up, Morton is in his own home by himself and isn't sure where he has been or what he has done.

He phones Lisa and learns she is all right. Concerned, he contacts Julie as well, but she also has not been harmed. Morton is glad that his violent temper did not cause him to lose control and that the woman's screams are all in his mind, until he goes to his own bedroom for the night and finds his wife there, dead.



Critical response

Film critic Bosley Crowther was caustic in his review of the film, "As hopeless a bout with insomnia as ever you want to endure is pictured in wearying progression in Twentieth Century-Fox's Night Without Sleep, which landed yesterday at the Palace with the Walcott-Marciano fight pictures and eight acts of vaudeville ... Without spark, without inspiration, without intelligence and without suspense, this bleak exercise in morbid mooning moves slowly and barely, if at all."[2]


  1. ^ Night Without Sleep at the American Film Institute Catalog.
  2. ^ Crowther, Bosley. The New York Times, film review, September 27, 1952. Accessed: August 14, 2013.