IMDb > Midnight (1934)
Midnight
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Midnight (1934) More at IMDbPro »


Overview

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5.7/10   516 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Paul Sifton (play) and
Claire Sifton (play)
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Contact:
View company contact information for Midnight on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
7 March 1934 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
Jury foreman Edward Weldon's questioning leads to the death sentence for Ethel Saxon. His daughter Stella claims to have killed her lover... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Crime of Passion See more (23 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Directed by
Chester Erskine  (as Chester Erskin)
 
Writing credits
Paul Sifton (play "Midnight") and
Claire Sifton (play "Midnight")

Chester Erskine  uncredited

Produced by
Chester Erskine .... producer (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
William O. Steiner (photography) (as William Steiner)
George Webber (photography)
 
Film Editing by
Leo Zochling 
 
Set Decoration by
Sam Corso (settings)
 
Makeup Department
Eddie Senz .... makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Arthur Cozine .... assistant director
Ray Cozine .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
C.A. Tuthill .... sound
 
Music Department
Victor Alix .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
R.H. Bassett .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
James F. Hanley .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Will Jason .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
William Spielter .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Karl Stark .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Egbert Van Alstyne .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
J.S. Zamecnik .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Carl Laemmle .... presenter (uncredited)
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Call It Murder" - USA (reissue title)
See more »
Runtime:
76 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Wide Range Sound System)
Certification:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
An independent production, release was being considered through RKO Radio Pictures before deal made to release through Universal.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...
[...]
See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
NolaSee more »

FAQ

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18 out of 18 people found the following review useful.
Crime of Passion, 26 May 2001
Author: lugonian from Kissimmee, Florida

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. (***)

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