The foreman of a jury asks questions that send a woman to the electric chair for a murder committed in the heat of passion. On the night of the execution, his actions come back to haunt him.

Director:

(as Chester Erskin)

Writers:

(play), (play)
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Love Affair (1932)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Heiress Carol Owen learns to fly from aeronautical engineer Jim Leonard who begins neglecting his work as their affair progresses. Things get complicated when she learns her father died ... See full summary »

Director: Thornton Freeland
Stars: Dorothy Mackaill, Humphrey Bogart, Hale Hamilton
Up the River (1930)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

When paroled trustee Steve and former inmate Judy who try to put their criminal lives behind them are blackmailed, two career criminals come to their rescue.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Claire Luce, Warren Hymer
A Holy Terror (1931)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Eastern millionaire's son Bard finds his father murdered and flies west to see rancher Drew who may know something about it. En route he crashes his plane into Jerry's bathroom; she falls ... See full summary »

Director: Irving Cummings
Stars: George O'Brien, Sally Eilers, Rita La Roy
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Martha Carstairs was charged with murder twenty years earlier. Now, as her daughter Edith is about to be married to Malcolm Sims Jr., son of a wealthy industrialist, a sensationalistic ... See full summary »

Director: William C. McGann
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Beverly Roberts, Linda Perry
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

With his newspaper about to be sold, crusading editor Ed Hutcheson tries to complete an exposé on gangster Rienzi.

Director: Richard Brooks
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Ethel Barrymore, Kim Hunter
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Although Vivian Revere is seemingly the most successful of a trio of reunited schoolmates, she throws it away by descending into a life of debauchery and drugs.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Joan Blondell, Warren William, Ann Dvorak
Body and Soul (1931)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Andress, Watson and Johnson are with a Royal Air Force squadron in France. When Watson is killed in combat, Andrews tries to return the letters Watson received from a girl called "Pom-Pom."... See full summary »

Director: Alfred Santell
Stars: Charles Farrell, Elissa Landi, Humphrey Bogart
Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Soldier of fortune Maxton is stranded in a Central American country. He and Tom, the nephew of the country's richest man, try to end Morloff's banditry but just barely escape a firing squad. They become rivals for Rosita.

Director: Irving Cummings
Stars: Victor McLaglen, Mona Maris, Humphrey Bogart
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

After Police Captain Dan McLaren becomes police commissioner former detective Johnny Blake knocks him down convincing rackets boss Al Kruger that Blake is sincere in his effort to join the ... See full summary »

Director: William Keighley
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Joan Blondell, Barton MacLane
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Young man from small town moves to New York City looking for better life.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Joan Blondell, Eric Linden, Jobyna Howland
China Clipper (1936)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Dave Logan takes his regional Pan American airline and with vision and sometimes ruthless determination establishes pan-American and trans-Pacific routes.

Director: Ray Enright
Stars: Pat O'Brien, Humphrey Bogart, Beverly Roberts
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A by-the-book patrolman who cares more about the letter of the law than justice feels guilty when his inflexibility sends a family man to prison.

Director: William Dieterle
Stars: Pat O'Brien, Humphrey Bogart, Sybil Jason
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
Joe Biggers (as Lynn Overman)
Katherine Wilson ...
Richard Whorf ...
...
...
...
Moffat Johnston ...
Dist. Atty. Plunkett (as Moffat Johnson)
...
Ingersoll (as Henry O'Neil)
Helen Flint ...
Edit

Storyline

The foreman of a jury asks questions that send a woman to the electric chair for a murder committed in the heat of passion. On the night of the execution, his actions come back to haunt him.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 March 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Call It Murder  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Wide Range Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The earliest documented telecast of this film in the New York City area occurred Tuesday 18 October 1949 on the DuMont Television Network's WABD (Channel 5). See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Ethel Saxon: You see, I loved him. I mean I loved him when... when he didn't love me anymore, day in and day out watching him get further and further away from me. I could see in his eyes when he looked at me... I could see he hated me, hated me because I needed him. Oh, I was so frightened, so mixed up. It's so horrible to see someone who's become part of you slipping away, slowly. To feel helpless and empty, lonely and frantic, wanting to do something, anything, anything to bring him back! To...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Queer as Folk: Liberty Ride (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Nola
(uncredited)
Music by Felix Arndt
Played on the radio as Nolan is demonstrating the set to Joe.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Crime of Passion
26 May 2001 | by (Kissimmee, Florida) – See all my reviews

MIDNIGHT (Universal, 1934), directed by Chester Erskine, based on a stage play, is reproduced as such in this screen adaptation reportedly filmed and produced in New York City. Headed by Sidney Fox, in one of her final screen roles and last for Universal, she plays Stella, the daughter of Edward Weldon, a jury foreman (O.P. Heggie, the actor most famous today for his role as the blind hermit in THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1935)) at a trial where a woman, Ethel Saxon (Helen Flint) is accused of murdering a man who betrayed her. Because Weldon is solely responsible for the verdict that convicts Saxon to be later executed at midnight in the electric chair, his personal life changes dramatically. Weldon is not only hounded by reporters after the trial, particularly one named Nolan (Henry Hull, the future WEREWOLF OF London also in 1935) who manages to be a guest at his home on the night of Saxon's execution, but he must stand firm with his decision regardless. Stella, who had become acquainted with a man at the trial named Garboni (Humphrey Bogart), becomes interested in him, unaware that he is a gangster, but learns about him later on in the story when she notices that he carries a gun. When Garboni finds himself having to be forced to leave town, Stella wants to go away with him, but he refuses to let her do so, but agrees on meeting her one last time before he goes. On the very night of Ethel Saxon's execution, Stella and Garboni have a farewell meeting in his car. As the switch is being pulled on Saxon, a gun shoots off on Garboni. Returning home to her father with the gun in her hand, Stella admits to shooting Garboni, which puts the old man into a real predicament as to what to do. Should he stand by his own merits and have his own daughter arrested for the crime, or find a way to violate the law and shield her?

Although the story premise is very interesting, especially the subject about a man who feels a murderer must pay the price, only to have his own daughter commit the same kind of crime of passion, MIDNIGHT fails to deliver mainly because of stiff, stagy production with not so convincing dialog. Under capable hands of a more suitable director, for instance, William Wyler, for example, MIDNIGHT might have worked as a tense and moving drama. Sidney Fox, who usually gives a satisfactory performance, seems to be the weakest link here, talking somewhat shaky at times for no reason. She's not very convincing, especially during her emotional scenes. Occasionally the camera shots moving at different angles keeps the pace moving, but not enough to hold one's interest at 73 minutes.

Other capable members of the cast include Margaret Wycherly as Mrs. Weldon; future director Richard Wholf as Stella's brother, Arthur; Lynne Overman and Katherine Wilson as Joe and Ada Biggers, tenants of the Weldon household; Granville Bates, Cora Witherspoon, Henry O'Neill, and Moffatt Johnston as a district attorney who is called to the Weldon home to solve the mystery to Garboni's murder.

To capitalize on the success of future film star Humphrey Bogart, MIDNIGHT was later reissued in 1946 as CALL IT MURDER with Bogey being given star billing, the very print available to video cassette and DVD. It's the former Blackhawk Video Company of Davenport, Iowa, that distributed the movie on videotape with it's original "Midnight" title, opening credits headed by SIdney Fox, O.P. Heggie and Henry Hill, with Bogart's name listed eighth in the cast, as initially presented in theaters in 1934.

MIDNIGHT will never be listed in Hollywood's Top Ten Best list, but it's worth viewing for being an early screen appearance of future superstar Humphrey Bogart or a rediscovery of Sidney Fox, whose movie career (mostly at Universal) lasted only three years. Fox and Bogart had worked together earlier in THE BAD SISTER (1931), which not only became Fox's movie debut, but the future two-time Academy Award winning actress, Bette Davis. (***)


22 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page