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Night Editor (1946)

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"Night Editor" was based on the already existing radio program in which a newspaper editor would recount the 'inside story' of some bit newspaper story, and later became a television series... See full summary »



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Title: Night Editor (1946)

Night Editor (1946) on IMDb 6.8/10

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Cast overview:
William Gargan ...
Tony Cochrane
Janis Carter ...
Jill Merrill
Jeff Donnell ...
Martha Cochrane
Coulter Irwin ...
Charles D. Brown ...
Crane Stewart
Paul E. Burns ...
Ole Strom
Harry Shannon ...
Capt. Lawrence
Douglas Loring
Robert Kellard ...
'Doc' Cochrane (as Robert Stevens)


"Night Editor" was based on the already existing radio program in which a newspaper editor would recount the 'inside story' of some bit newspaper story, and later became a television series: This time, a night editor of a newspaper is telling a story to a young reporter, who is neglecting his job and wife and beginning to drink too much. The story begins as a police detective, although devoted to his wife and young son, has entered into an affair with a society girl, also married, and while they are parked out in the boonies on a lonely road, they witness a murder. The detective, because of the circumstances of being where he is for the reason he is there, does not attempt to catch the killer and does not report the crime. He is later assigned the case and soon realizes that an innocent man is about to take the blame, and the only way he can clear him is to arrest the killer and become a witness against him. The story-teller also has a vested interest in the old case. Written by Les Adams <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


In the middle of a kiss...Murder!


Crime | Film-Noir | Drama


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

29 March 1946 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Night Editor  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Though majority of movie is a prolonged flashback set in the early Thirties, absolutely nothing (with exception of vintage cars) - hairstyles, wardrobe, music, decor - would have seemed out of place in a contemporary story set in mid-Forties. See more »


Jill Merrill: I don't need you, I can buy and sell you.I don't know why I bother seeing you.
Tony Cochrane: You don't know why? I'll tell you. You're rotten through and through.Like something they serve at the Ritz,only its been laying out in the sun too long.
Jill Merrill: That's right, Tony, you're not my kind. The clean cut type.Little tootsie-wootsie loves her great big stupid peasant.
Tony Cochrane: Yeah, for all your dough, like a ton of bricks!
Jill Merrill: How picturesque. And you were totally unresponsive?
Tony Cochrane: You're like a sickness. I was sick!
Jill Merrill: No, Tony it ...
See more »

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User Reviews

Graveyard Shift is Right
19 October 2010 | by (Cincinnati, OH, United States) – See all my reviews

Night Editor should not be considered a noir. Yes, it has many trappings of the noir narrative: the detective in a moral quandary, a femme fatale, heroic figures giving in to temptations, smoke-filled night-time offices and cars parked in lonely ditches. But this story is told via flashback by a seemingly unrelated "night editor" of a newspaper, playing cards and attempting to enlighten an employee who's been giving in to temptations himself. It turns into a plodding, oversimplified morality play, like one of those original stage productions about depression or quitting drugs in non-profit houses performed by non-actors reading their scripts in hand in front of an audience purely comprised of friends and family. Its ending is painfully trite and manipulated, and the only reason it's considered a noir is because it's a B film from the 1950s with the trappings listed above, not because any fatalistic themes or challenging drama comes organically from the material.

Though the majority of the movie is a prolonged flashback set in the early 1930s, absolutely nothing would have seemed out of place in a contemporary story set in the mid-1940s, from music to décor to hairstyles to wardrobe. I guess it doesn't matter. I don't think we're supposed to feel the time is important, so no attention is really paid to its details. There's a different, though, between playing with narrative time and ignoring it. The difference is not absolute. Nothing is, in my opinion, when it comes to making a good movie. Sometimes we love certain movies for the same reasons that other ones disappoint us, so here the issue could easily lie more squarely in the realm of the drama's believability than technical points.

The cliché portrayed in so many impressions of old-movie acting seem epitomized in Night Editor. The characters so frequently come off as if they've prepared to change their minds, prepared to feel a new emotion, prepared to experience a big realization, act in response, comprehend, when if the actors and filmmakers want us to be with them on those feelings, they need to be completely instinctive, natural things, particularly in a life-or-death state of affairs involving murder or the outing of devastating secrets. The acting feels so affected and put on, indicating changes instead of allowing them. Janis Carter is intriguing regardless, because she perfectly befits the calculating society dame who gets her thrill by being exceedingly cold and injurious. She's devious, hardhearted and knows how to employ sex to get what she wants.

Based on a radio series, it was designed to launch a film series that never materialized. My guess is that the aim was to create a string of hour-long B films like this one, each a different story our eponymous editor would impart. But what of this editor? What does this outer story have to do with the inner one? William Gargan is the noir protagonist who has everything he wants and is not happy in spite of it all, until he tumbles and sees what he'll lose. That's interesting, but having his story surrounded by a moral present-tense waters it all down, and all the dark austerity of the night scenes and the dimension of cheap, tawdry lives is all rendered insignificant, because by the end, it's as if we've played the parts of children being told an old wives' tale about what naughty things not to do or else.

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