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History Is Made at Night (1937)

 -  Drama | Romance  -  5 March 1937 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 850 users  
Reviews: 22 user | 16 critic

Divorcee Irene Vail falls for a charming Parisian, but her insanely jealous ex-husband will do anything to get her back...

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(screen play), (screen play), 3 more credits »
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Title: History Is Made at Night (1937)

History Is Made at Night (1937) on IMDb 7.5/10

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Paul Dumond
...
Irene Vail
Leo Carrillo ...
Cesare
...
Bruce Vail
Ivan Lebedeff ...
Michael Browsky
George Meeker ...
Mr. Norton
Lucien Prival ...
Private Detective
George Davis ...
Maestro
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Storyline

The obsessive and jealous shipowner Bruce Vail does not accept the divorce his wife Irene Vail achieved in London, and he hires his driver Michael Browsky to forge adultery with Irene in Paris to make the decree null. However, she is rescued by the headwaiter Paul Dumond, who punches Michael and locks Bruce and his private eyes in a locker, and they spend a wonderful night together in the restaurant Chateau Bleu, where Paul and his best friend Chef Cesare work, and they fall in love for each other. Meanwhile, Bruce kills Michael and blackmails Irene, blaming Paul and forcing her to return with him to New York. But Paul does not give up on Irene, and moves to New York with Cesare trying to find her love. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

5 March 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

History Is Made at Night  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"The Screen Guild Theater" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on November 10, 1940 with Charles Boyer reprising his film role. See more »

Quotes

Bruce Vail: [referring to a painting of Irene] Well, what do you think of your portrait? I had it painted from a cherished photograph, and I'm going to hang it in the royal suite of The Princess Irene.
Irene Vail: By the neck until it dies?
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Connections

Referenced in Smash: Chemistry (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Adios Muchachos (I Get Ideas)
Written by Julio Sanders
Played by the band at Cesare's
Danced to by Charles Boyer and Jean Arthur
Reprised from a record on the ship to Paris
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User Reviews

Seamless blend of romantic drama, comedy, and even tragedy with breathtaking finale.
26 November 2002 | by (Fairfax, Virginia) – See all my reviews

Film critic Andrew Sarris once said that HISTORY IS MADE A NIGHT is the most romantic title in all of film history, and I'm happy to report that this movie lives up to its reputation. An independent production made by former MGM producer Walter Wanger, the film reputedly cost nearly a million dollars

  • a huge sum in 1937 - and the money really shows on the screen. Leads
Charles Boyar and Jean Arthur have such a wonderful screen chemistry between them that it's surprising that they never made another film together. Director Frank Borzage was a specialist in romantic films and here he adroitly blends romantic drama, comedy and even tragedy into a seemless garment.

The plot is surprisingly complex but unfolds in a logical manner. A theme running throughout the story is mistaken identity and characters relying on mistaken information. Boyar thinks he's killed a man, but we know he didn't. Jean Arthur thinks he's thief, but we know he isn't. Arthur's husband thinks she's cheating on him, but we know she isn't. If you wonder how these and other plot points make any sense, you just have to see this film.

Composer Alfred Newman provided a charming theme for the film and I am surprised that it has never been issued in a modern recording of movie mood music. Leo Carrillo supplied hilarious support as Boyar's friend and the ill-fated Colin Clive gave a haunted, tormented performance as the villain. Clive is remembered today as the first Dr. Frankenstein in the first two of Universal's series, FRANKENSTEIN (1931) and BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1935). By the time he made this film, a frail-looking Clive was only months away from his own death in June 1937 caused by alcoholism. His performance is all the more poignant as a result.

The film is climaxed by a Titanic-like shipwreck (huge ocean liner on its maiden voyage collides with an iceberg) leading to a final misunderstanding that results in an ironic but satisfying conclusion. The special effects work by James Basevi, while primitive by today's computer graphics standards, is nonetheless impressive. My only complaint is the relatively poor quality of the film print that is available on video today. Considering the fine restoration work that has been done on other films such as HIS GIRL FRIDAY, a restored HISTORY IS MADE AT NIGHT should be on some company's priority list.


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