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Midnight (1939)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Romance | 24 March 1939 (USA)
A chorus girl stranded in Paris is set up by a millionaire to break up his wife's affair with another man.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Carl Bellairs and Lindsey Lane, his daughter, meet many years after he deserted her and her mother. They don't much like each other, but wind up working in the same nightclub. Bellairs ... See full summary »

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Stars: John Barrymore, Helen Chandler, Donald Cook
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Jacques Picot
...
...
Simone
...
Stephanie
...
Marcel
...
The Judge
Armand Kaliz ...
Lebon
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Storyline

Showgirl Eve, stranded in Paris without a sou, befriends taxi driver Tibor Czerny, then gives him the slip to crash a party. There she meets Helene Flammarion and her gigolo Picot, who's attracted to Eve. Helene's scheming husband Georges enlists Eve's aid in taking Picot away from his wife. It works well... at first. Meanwhile, lovestruck Tibor searches for Eve. But then he learns she's calling herself Baroness Czerny! Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

24 March 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La baronne de minuit  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When John Barrymore was cast, it was well known that his alcoholism would necessitate some accommodation. This accounted for the presence in the cast of his young wife, Elaine Barrie. When he could not remember some of his lines, they were written out on blackboards just off camera, and both his irascibility and sense of humor were well in evidence. At one point one of the female assistants on the set went into the ladies room, only to be confronted with the sight of Barrymore, his back turned, relieving himself. "You can't be here," she protested, "it's just for ladies." He turned around and retorted, "So's this!" See more »

Goofs

When Eve attends the concert (c. 15 minutes) she is completely dry despite her roaming the streets in the rain previously. See more »

Quotes

Georges Flammarion: The ground has just opened under our feet.
Eve Peabody: Well... and me all set to jump for that tub of butter.
Georges Flammarion: We've landed in something, all right, but it's not butter.
Eve Peabody: Here they come.
Georges Flammarion: I'll stand by you as best I can.
Helene Flammarion: Ladies and gentlemen, may I have a word, please. I want to tell you something which I think will both interest and amuse you. Under our roof tonight, we have, as a guest, a person claiming one of the oldest names in the Almanach de Gotha.
[Crowd mutters]
Helene Flammarion: I don't know how many of you are ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in Visions of Light (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Étude No.12 in C minor Op.10-12: Revolutionary
(1829-32) (uncredited)
Written by Frédéric Chopin
Played on piano at Stephanie's party
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A night at the Ritz
4 January 2005 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

"Midnight" was one of the best pictures released in 1939. This delightful comedy was directed by Mitchell Leisen, based on a screen play by Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder. One can see the influence of Wilder in the way the story is presented. Mitchell Leisen had a keen eye in the styles of his times, being an art director, as well as a costume designer, as he shows in the film.

Claudette Colbert, one of the most accomplished comediennes of her time, shows why her presence in any project was an asset for the director wanting to employ her. If one adds the immensely talented Don Ameche to play opposite of Ms. Colbert, then success was almost guaranteed. These two actors are perhaps, the best reason for watching "Midnight'.

This screwball comedy of manners will enchant anyone willing to be seduced by its star. It's almost an implausible story, but why ask questions about what we suspect will happen. We just go along and have a great time for an hour and a half watching this movie.

John Barrymore makes an appearance, but he seems so out of character, at times, that we realize he must have been doing this picture out of necessity, rather than artistic duty. In fact, he appears to be reading his lines on cue cards. Not one of Mr. Barrymore's best movies.

The rest of the cast is excellent. Mary Astor, makes an elegant Helene, the woman deceiving her husband. Francis Lederer cuts quite a figure as the lover, who has a roving eye for whatever he could conquer. Rex O'Malley, Monty Woolley, and Hedda Hopper are also seen.

The ultimate triumph for Mr. Leisen seems to be the opulent sets that he and his team have created to give us the feeling we are in the Paris of that time. The women's costumes by Irene reflect the fashions of the sophisticated world where the movie takes place.

Watch the film and enjoy one of the best comedies from that period.


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