IMDb > History Is Made at Night (1937)

History Is Made at Night (1937) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

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7.4/10   1,142 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Up 17% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Gene Towne (screen play) &
C. Graham Baker (screen play) ...
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Contact:
View company contact information for History Is Made at Night on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
5 March 1937 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
Divorcee Irene Vail falls for a charming Parisian, but her insanely jealous ex-husband will do anything to get her back... Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
NewsDesk:
(23 articles)
Daily | Anderson, Verhoeven, Ferrara
 (From Keyframe. 23 September 2015, 1:03 PM, PDT)

Three 1930s Capra Classics Tonight: TCM's Jean Arthur Mini-Festival
 (From Alt Film Guide. 5 January 2015, 8:11 PM, PST)

Mindy Newell: EW Does Sdcc
 (From Comicmix. 21 July 2014, 5:00 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Seamless blend of romantic drama, comedy, and even tragedy with breathtaking finale. See more (25 total) »

Cast

  (Complete credited cast)

Charles Boyer ... Paul Dumond

Jean Arthur ... Irene Vail

Leo Carrillo ... Cesare

Colin Clive ... Bruce Vail

Ivan Lebedeff ... Michael Browsky

George Meeker ... Mr. Norton
Lucien Prival ... Private Detective
George Davis ... Maestro
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
97 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)
Certification:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
This was one of two dozen Walter Wanger films re-released theatrically in the 1940s by Masterpiece Productions, and ultimately sold by them for USA television syndication in 1950. It was first telecast in New York City on WCBS Saturday 6 May 1950.See more »
Quotes:
Irene Vail:You're right, Bruce. This time you're right. This time there *is* another man. You set a trap to catch me with one... and another came instead, to tell me that he loves me, and for me to tell him I love him too. And *you* did it! You did it all by yourself! Isn't that funny? Don't you think that's funny? Before he came, I never even looked at another man. But you wouldn't believe me! So you created one, and you sent him right into my arms...See more »
Soundtrack:
Adios Muchachos (I Get Ideas)See more »

36 out of 36 people found the following review useful.
Seamless blend of romantic drama, comedy, and even tragedy with breathtaking finale., 26 November 2002
Author: rfells@icfa.org from Fairfax, Virginia

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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