6.4/10
160
5 user 1 critic

Midnight Alibi (1934)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Crime, Romance | 14 July 1934 (USA)
A gambler hides out for some gangsters in an old lady's house. Later he's arrested for murder but the old woman provides him with an alibi by saying he was with her on the night of the murder.

Director:

Writers:

(screen play), (story "The Old Doll's House")
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Comic-Con 2017: All Aboard the IMDboat

 | 

July 20 to 23, 2017

Get entertainment news, trailer drops, and photos with IMDb's coverage of 2017 San Diego Comic-Con featuring host and IMDboat captain Kevin Smith, including Saturday's live event.

Browse Our Guide to Comic-Con

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Massacre (1934)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Joe Thunderhorse, a Sioux Indian who has become the wealthy star of a Wild West show, returns home to his reservation after years away and finds that his father is dying and his people are being abused by corrupt white officials.

Director: Alan Crosland
Stars: Richard Barthelmess, Ann Dvorak, Dudley Digges
Drama | Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A German spy ring plans to publicize a false rumor that Russia, who is fighting Germany, plans to invade neutral Turkey in order to ally them with the Nazis.

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: George Raft, Brenda Marshall, Sydney Greenstreet
Cornered (1945)
Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Canadian flyer Laurence Gerard finds that his wife has been murdered by a French collaborator. His quest for justice leads him to Switzerland and Argentina.

Director: Edward Dmytryk
Stars: Dick Powell, Walter Slezak, Micheline Cheirel
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A British agent is sent to Berlin to receive a Communist defector, but the true situation turns out to be rather more complicated.

Director: Guy Hamilton
Stars: Michael Caine, Oskar Homolka, Paul Hubschmid
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Blackie tracks down a wrongly convicted prisoner who escapes during a Christmas magic show.

Director: Lew Landers
Stars: Chester Morris, Adele Mara, Richard Lane
Arsène Lupin (1932)
Crime | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A charming and very daring thief known as Arsene Lupin is terrorizing the wealthy of Paris, he even goes so far as to threaten the Mona Lisa. But the police, led by the great Guerchard, ... See full summary »

Director: Jack Conway
Stars: John Barrymore, Lionel Barrymore, Karen Morley
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

During World War II, an American destroyer meets a German U-Boat. Both captains are experts, and so begins a deadly game of cat-and-mouse.

Director: Dick Powell
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Curd Jürgens, David Hedison
Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A German submarine is sent to the Orkney Isles in 1917 to sink the British fleet.

Director: Michael Powell
Stars: Conrad Veidt, Valerie Hobson, Sebastian Shaw
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A young painter stumbles upon an assortment of odd characters at an English estate where he has been hired to give art lessons to beautiful Laura Fairlie. Among them are Anne Catherick, a ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Godfrey
Stars: Alexis Smith, Eleanor Parker, Sydney Greenstreet
Hold Your Man (1933)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Ruby falls in love with small-time con man Eddie. During a botched blackmail scheme, Eddie accidentally kills the man they were setting up. Eddie takes off and Ruby is sent to a reformatory for two years.

Director: Sam Wood
Stars: Jean Harlow, Clark Gable, Stuart Erwin
Comedy | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A quirky British secret service man named Major Hammond tries to discover who is using a secret weapon to steal experimental planes.

Directors: Tim Whelan, Arthur B. Woods
Stars: Laurence Olivier, Ralph Richardson, Valerie Hobson
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A stay-at-home husband and his businesswoman wife plan separate vacations, but he doesn't go fishing. He masquerades as a barber on her pleasure cruise.

Director: Frank Tuttle
Stars: Genevieve Tobin, Roland Young, Ralph Forbes
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Lance McGowan / Robert Anders
...
Joan Morley
...
Abigail Ardsley (Young)
Helen Lowell ...
Abigail Ardsley (Old)
...
Jonathan Ardsley
...
Angie Morley
...
Senator
...
Wilson
...
Hughie
...
Babe the Butcher
...
Louie the Blind Man
...
Black Mike
Edit

Storyline

A gambler hides out for some gangsters in an old lady's house. Later he's arrested for murder but the old woman provides him with an alibi by saying he was with her on the night of the murder.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 July 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Old Doll's House  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

When Lance (Richard Barthelmess) wants to visit Joan (Ann Dvorak), he tells his driver to go to the Crosland Apartments. Alan Crosland is the film's director. See more »

Goofs

When Joan is prone on the couch talking to Lance, the position of her arms, folded in front of her, changes between shots. See more »

Soundtracks

Excerpt from 'The Chimes of Normandy'
(1877) (uncredited)
Music by Robert Planquette ("Les cloches de Corneville")
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Midnight Alibi Is Swan Song For Richard Barthelmess' Career At Warner Bros. Studio
27 January 2008 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

Midnight Alibi is a contrived movie, but it is a chance to see Richard Barthelmess one last time as the star of a Warner Bros. movie. Midnight Alibi is the last of 23 movies (if the IMDb listing is correct) Richard Barthelmess starred in under his contract with First National Pictures. For his first movie under contract in 1927, the 150 minute long The Patent Leather Kid, Barthelmess earned an Oscar nomination. By 1934, Jack Warner was his boss, Warner Bros. having taken over First National and Barthelmess' contract.

In 1933, Hal Wallis was running First National as a separate production company with its own slate of movies. After Darryl Zanuck left as head of studio production in 1933, Wallis got Zanuck's job. Zanuck disagreed with how Warner was imposing "temporary" cuts of studio staff salaries while leaving the salaries of top executives untouched. Jack Warner combined First National with Warners Bros. in 1934, so all that remained of First National was just the name that followed, after a dash, Warner Bros. under the Warners logo.

During filming, Barthelmess must have known Jack Warner was not renewing his contract, a contract which expired in March 1934. Midnight Alibi is only 58 minutes long, made cheaply to get one more movie out of an actor who was still on salary. The movie's director, Alan Crosland, like Barthelmess, was on his way out. Warner seems to have let Crosland go within a year of cutting loose Barthelmess, a pretty shabby way to treat the director of The Jazz Singer and Don Juan. For that matter, Ann Dvorak, the co-star, was having problems, trying to avoid appearing in bad movies she thought would ruin her career, and going on suspension as a result. Until Jack Warner put her on permanent suspension.

Over 70 years later, it seems pretty incredible that Jack Warner would get rid of his stars, his production head (Zanuck) and much of the creative talent behind the camera while his studio was turning out about 48 movies a year in the pre-Code years of 1931-1933, movies made on shoe string budgets but with quality production values.

Richard Barthelmess movie fans did not figure into Jack Warners' equation. Barthelmess had a contract that paid him around $250,000 a year and allowed him to act like a producer in choosing the subject and script of his movies. His run of independence ran out when his contract was up. The same went for Ruth Chatterton, who was let go the same time as Barthelmess. William Powell, like Chatterton another actor Warners had raided from Paramount in 1931 (when Paramount was going into receivership), didn't renew his expiring contract, claiming he wanted to take roles on his own, at $60,000 per picture. Powell then signed with MGM, where he stayed on contract for 15 years. Warner Bros. was not a nice studio to work for, it was run like a sweatshop unless you had an ironclad contract like Barthelmess had.

The subject matter of Midnight Alibi, dealing in part with the old lady's dream of happiness lost, is an appropriate subject in one way. At Warners in the early 30s, the studio had a repertory company of actors turning out movies that have stood the test of time, directors Roy Del Ruth, Mervyn LeRoy and William Wellman were turning out 3 or 4 movies a year. Yet, in the space of year, from when Zanuck left Warners, Warners lost directors, actors (Loretta Young is another one who left) and writers. Much of the talent that left stopped working in Hollywood. Roy Del Ruth continued directing for 25 years but did not make movies again like those pre-Code classics he directed rapid fire at Warner Bros.

IMDb shows the release date of Midnight Alibi as July 15, 1934. From a recent article I read, Sunday, July 15, 1934 was the effective date when Production Code Administrator Joe Breen actually started censoring movies to conform with his rigid and puritanical views on life, completely detached from reality. One great movie career effectively ends at Warner Bros. with the release of Midnight Alibi, while the career of Joe Breen, an enemy of degenerate art (degenerate art is the term Nazis applied to art, especially from Jewish artists, not in conformance with Nazi beliefs), begins.


22 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?