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The Horn Blows at Midnight (1945)

 -  Comedy | Fantasy | Music  -  28 April 1945 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 814 users  
Reviews: 30 user | 19 critic

Falling asleep during the Paradise Coffee ("The Coffee that Makes You Sleep") Program, the band's third trumpeter dreams he's Athanael, an angel deputized to blow the Last Trumpet at ... See full summary »

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(screen play), (screen play), 1 more credit »
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Airs Sat. Sep. 20, 7:00 AM on TCM

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Dolores Moran ...
Violinist / Fran Blackstone
Allyn Joslyn ...
Second Trumpeter / Osidro
Reginald Gardiner ...
Composer / Archibald 'Archie' Dexter
Guy Kibbee ...
Radio Director / The Chief
John Alexander ...
First Trumpeter / Doremus
Franklin Pangborn ...
Radio Engineer / Sloan - House Detective
...
Mme. Traviata / Miss Rodholder
...
Junior Pulplinsky (as Bobby Blake)
...
Lady Stover
Paul Harvey ...
Hotel Manager Thompson
...
Bass Player / Humphrey Rafferty
Truman Bradley ...
Radio Announcer
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
John Alvin ...
Angel (scenes deleted)
Edit

Storyline

Falling asleep during the Paradise Coffee ("The Coffee that Makes You Sleep") Program, the band's third trumpeter dreams he's Athanael, an angel deputized to blow the Last Trumpet at exactly midnight on Earth. But Osidro and Doremus, two fallen angels enjoying the physical pleasures of an earthly existence, try to steal Athanael's trumpet, enlisting the aid of suave jewel thief Archie Dexter. Athanael fumbles his first try when he saves Archie's accomplice, Fran, from suicide. His second chance seems doomed when he's forced to leave his trumpet as security for a meal he can't pay for. But he gets it back just in time for a final confrontation with his desperate adversaries, dangling with them from the roof, only seconds from Midnight. Written by Paul Penna <tterrace@wco.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

trumpet | angel | midnight | coffee | band | See more »

Taglines:

Benny's from Heaven and the laughs are out of this world!!! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Fantasy | Music

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 April 1945 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Engel mit der Trompete  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (original cut)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The sequence toward the end, where the cast is at the side of the building and Benny battles the Paradise Coffee moving ad, was scored by Warmers composer Carl W. Stalling, using his trademark violin string up-slide twang sound and his paraphrasing of the work of Raymond Scott. Stalling was used to give the scene a Warner Brothers cartoon feel. See more »

Quotes

Athanael: Hey... I'm getting wet!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Jack Benny Program: The Jam Session Show (1954) See more »

Soundtracks

The Gold Diggers' Song (We're in the Money)
(1933) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Played when Osidro and Doremus pay off Dexter
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Just What Do They Put In That Paradise Coffee, Anyway?
24 April 2005 | by (Biloxi, Mississippi) – See all my reviews

In his long running radio and television show, Jack Benny often built jokes around THE HORN BLOWS AT MIDNIGHT--a movie described as so awful that it put an end to his movie career. These jokes always got a laugh, but rumors of the film's failure were really only comic exaggeration; true, it had not been a major hit, but neither was it a major failure. And if Benny's film appearances were few and far between after 1945, this was more a matter of his incredibly popular radio and television series than with a lack of offers.

THE HORN BLOWS AT MIDNIGHT is not a great film, but it is a very interesting one and quite often a very entertaining one. The story concerns a trumpet player (Benny) in love with a harpist (Alexis Smith)--who gets him a radio job on the "Paradise Coffee Program," which advertises a coffee that promises a gentle sleep and sweet dreams. And dream he does, but one would not call it sweet: he dreams he is an angel sent to earth to blow the trumpet that will destroy the world.

Although the script is a bit weak, it has some really great concepts. Heaven is a bureaucracy beset by an endless orchestra and a shortage of angel-power. Elevators take angels to earth, right to the lobby of a New York hotel--and tie up elevator traffic, much to the annoyance of guests. And fallen angels lie in wait to trip Ethanael up! The art direction is extremely fine, dribbling comic surrealism with tremendous flair. In perhaps the film's most memorable scene, Ethanael finds himself drowning in a gigantic cup of coffee. Paradise Coffee, no doubt! Benny, co-star Alexis Smith, and such memorable characters as Franklin Pangborn, Margaret Dumont, and Guy Kibbe perform the show with as much energy as they can muster, and at it's best the movie is hilariously over-the-top. The script lets them down once too often for comfort, but even so the whole thing makes for an entertaining show. Recommended as imaginative, often extremely clever fluff.

Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer


25 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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