Night and Day (1946) Poster


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Short on fact and long on great music...
Neil Doyle31 May 2001
If you want a biography of Cole Porter you better go to the library, you won't find it here. This is a highly entertaining but strictly fictional version of his life--played by no less than Cary Grant, in his usual debonair style, perhaps just a shade understated so as to appear more like Porter. Whatever, he's still Cary Grant (playing himself in a minor key) and since the music is what makes this film tick, you'll forgive whatever liberties the scriptwriters have taken. It all looks wonderful in glowing technicolor.

Alexis Smith never was able to make a warm presence on the screen despite her talent and striking good looks. She seems even more remote here as the woman Porter woos and marries. Monty Woolley has a fine time playing himself. The musical moments are handled nicely by some talented people: Ginny Simms, Eve Arden, Jane Wyman and Mary Martin doing her "My Heart Belongs to Daddy" routine. All of the Porter standards are nicely done.

Interesting tidbit: Was Oscar nominated for "Best Scoring of a Musical" but lost to "The Jolson Story".

Relaxing entertainment. Just don't expect a truthful bio.
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Music is the High Point
gftbiloxi29 March 2005
One of Broadway's most brilliant songwriters, Cole Porter (1891-1964) worked hard to present an unflappable image to the world--but in truth he was a tremendously complex man, a homosexual who lived with wife Linda Lee Thomas in a marriage of convenience, subject fits of depression, and suffering horrific pain in the wake of a horseback riding accident which left him crippled at the peak of his career. Add to this the fact that his lyrics were often censored for film, radio, and records and it seems very odd that 1940s Hollywood would attempt a biography. What they did, of course, was fictionalize it to the max, reducing the story of his life to a mix of backstage musical and domestic drama--and transforming the tiny and waspish Porter and his icy bride Linda into handsome Cary Grant and lovely Alexis Smith. The result is pure nonsense, of course, but when you tack in a host of Porter classics--fantasy it might be, but it is entertaining enough to watch.

Grant is no singer, but he has considerable charm, and Smith is as always extremely attractive. The supporting cast is remarkably strong, featuring the likes of Jane Wyman, Eve Arden, Dorothy Malone, and Alan Hale--and rare screen appearances by Monty Woolley and Mary Martin, who deliver knockout performances of "Miss Otis Regrets" and "My Heart Belongs To Daddy" respectively. The DVD transfer is reasonable, and although the bonuses are pure fluff they are amusing. While it may be short on fact with a story little more than pure melodrama, the music and performers make NIGHT AND DAY a reasonably pleasant way to spend a rainy afternoon.

Gary F. Taylor, GFT, Amazon Reviewer
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Cole Porter Bio
harry-7611 April 1999
Have you ever liked a film you knew wasn't all that great, yet one you simply enjoyed watching? That's the way I feel about "Night and Day," a musical bio with a large dose of fantasy mixed in on that great American songwriter Cole Porter. Perhaps it's the pleasure of watching Cary Grant having a ball playing the composer, and even singing a few tunes to boot. Or maybe it's the youthful Alexis Smith as a perfect "Mrs. Porter," coping with challenges as a famous songwriter's spouse. Certainly Monty Woolley is amusing as himself, playing a role he reportedly lived with the real-life composer. Then there's that honey-coated contralto Ginny Simms looking gorgeous in Technicolor and beautifully singing some of Porter's most expressive music and lyrics. In the supporting cast is a sprighty Jane Wyman (before she became laden with heavy dramatic roles) doing several comic-singing turns, and even a surprise bit from Eve Arden as a French cabaret star, "Gabrielle," performing an early, lesser-known show number. The screen has only one bio of this outstanding American songwriter, one who is respected by both popular and "serious" composer-peers, as well as by the critics and general public alike. Surely the scripters "did a job" on Porter's factual life, yet at least we have this elaborate effort, with a gung-ho cast that's ready & willing to give it their all. They all look like they're having a great time, and I for one have fun with them. Until a better Porter bio comes along, this one will have to do.
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Glamor and Drama in a Gorgeous Film
Jeanne_de_M11 November 2005
This is a beautiful, entertaining film with clever dialogue and a bit of drama. Though Cole Porter himself said that there was little reality in it, his professional career was featured here in a most winning fashion, with both negative and positive elements of it featured fairly. It is appropriate that the film concentrated upon the career rather than the seedier side of the protagonist's private life. It is all too common these days to have to suffer through presumptuous exposés of the most-private affairs of famous people who are no longer with us. At least this film was produced while its subject was alive. The Irwin Winkler "remake" or retelling, "Delovely", was nothing but an outrageous, shallow outing that concentrated on negativity, while subjecting us to the most boring, flaccid dialogue ever--ironic, I think, for a story about one of the most clever American lyricists of the twentieth century! The 2004 outing starring Kevin Kline also featured some hideous modern renditions of Cole Porter's music that did no justice to the genius of the composer. Movies can accentuate the positive while minimizing the negative and still have value. This is one of the most visually appealing films I have ever seen, but it has moments of disturbing realism as well as glamor. The rigors of life as a prolific artist, as well as the trials of an artist's spouse are portrayed with an adequate degree of grim reality. It does not so much ignore the homosexual activities of the subject as it does allude to them very delicately, and that is all that is required if one has good taste and an active imagination. I'll take an original over a remake any day, and this production, co-starring the hilarious Monty Woolley and the lovely Alexis Smith as Linda Lee Porter, is a good example of that preference.
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Cary Grant in the life story of Cole Porter.
TxMike18 January 2004
Thanks to the TCM channel, we can easily view old classics like this. Although nicely shot in Technicolor, the print is just a shade pastel, and looks better with the TV's color cranked up just a little bit. The movie starts in 1914, with Porter at Yale and already writing songs, even though he was a law student. However, at Christmas break, after he told his mother that he wasn't going back, he was going to focus on writing music instead, 'Oh, I could be a lawyer, but not a very good one. When I look at a lawbook I think of a song. When I read a legal case, I hear a melody.' Like almost any biographical movie, certain parts are fictionalized, and many things have to be left out. But this movie gives us the pleasure of many Cole Porter classics and a glimpse into the man behind the songs. A good movie for anyone who is a fan of Porter's, or American musical history in general.

Cary Grant was 41/42 when this was filmed, so it is a bit of a stretch imagining him, in the beginning, as a college student. This movie came out the same year (1946) as 'Notorious', and one year before one of my favorite Cary Grant movies, where he plays an angel in 'The Bishop's Wife (1947).'
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kenandraf5 July 2002
Good musical that could have been even better if it had better editing.Starts slow and then builds momentum.The directing style was inconsistent where in there are scenes that are top quality and then there are scenes that are just done in a rushed and sloppy way which is weird because those bungled scenes are those that are easily done.Despite these faults,the MUSIC here to any big music fan will certainly encourage you to forgive and enjoy.Grant is very stiff here but this is due to his capturing Porter's mannerisms.The biography is toned down/adjusted to Porter's version for the mainstream audience,so if one really wishes to dig into his real life which is very x-rated stuff,read his bio books instead.The production of this film coupled with it's great music will be great for one who wants uncontroversial musical entertertainment.I love the 1940's color technique here too.Only for early 2oth century POP music fans and big fans of the lead actors......
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Skip Delovely and Catch this One again
bobilene9 February 2005
After suffering through "Delovely", I had to feel good again about Cole Porter's music. Where Delovely focuses on Porters Homosexuality, a subject that Night and day ignores, Night and day performs his music in brilliant fashion. Forget the corny fictionalized screenplay and just sit back and enjoy:

Mary Martins version of My Heart Belongs to Daddy.

Cary Grant singing "Your The Tops".

Cole Porter's stirring "Night and Day", "Begin the Beguine". A song that Delovely totally butchers.

"It was Just One of Those Things" The Haunting "In the Still of the Night"

And so many more.

This is strictly for Cole Porter's music. If your interested in how he enjoyed his spare time, Delovey is for you. For me, I just enjoy his music.
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The cold, dark, beautiful prince.
tjonasgreen8 July 2004
I haven't seen DE LOVELY, the new musical biopic about Cole Porter's life -- the movie trailer convinced me it would be as terrible as the reviews say it is. But Stephen Holden's pan in the N.Y. Times caused me to want to see NIGHT AND DAY again since he thought that for all its fraudulence, it caught something right about Porter's life and times. Having seen it recently for the first time since childhood, I can see what he meant. Evidently everything in it is a lie. Okay. Standard for Hollywood biopics.

The more important thing it gets wrong is the music, which for the most part is not handled well. In this period, Warner Bros. did not have talented singer/dancers under contract and it shows here. Ginny Simms is an accomplished if mechanical singer, Jane Wyman a passable one, but neither dances and neither dazzles. Mary Martin had talent and charm but not the looks nor the sparkle to come across well on film. When dancing is called for we get dull, pretentious ballroom/acrobatic routines from anonymous performers. This film needed the kind of musical talent MGM had under contract, and that lack of talent and zip makes for a musically mediocre film despite the fantastic Porter song catalog.

What the film got weirdly right was the casting of Cary Grant because either by his choice or director Michael Curtiz's design, Grant's withholding, enigmatic performance is intriguing, and does most of the work of spelling out 'the gay thing' for audiences in the know then and now. DE LOVELY may well be frank about the fact that Porter was gay, but gay audiences would have gotten the point in NIGHT AND DAY anyway. Lovely, elegant, chilly Alexis Smith does all the pursuing in the film, as do the other women, and yet Cole is charmingly evasive with all of them. They want him -- who wouldn't want to sleep with Cary Grant at the peak of his beauty? -- but he doesn't seem to care about anything but his music. Hmmmm. Where have we heard that before? Even when Linda/Alexis lands him, he's never really hers, he always seems to have his mind and heart elsewhere. There is absolutely no suggestion anywhere in this film that there was intense passion, emotion or love on his side of this relationship, which is unusual in this period. Rather their marriage seems to be a companionable one of mutual respect, which was apparently the case in real life. When Linda/Alexis gets fed up with being neglected in favor of Cole's work, we can also imagine that an endless supply of bellmen, sailors and chorus boys may have had something to do with it as well. The movie can't say this, but it leaves enough space and question marks for the audience to fill in the blanks. And we do.

Even at the end, with Porter being honored back at Yale with the (all male) glee club singing the glorious "Night and Day" and Linda walks in and she and Cole meet again on the brick patio in the moonlight, Grant doesn't kiss her except for a chaste peck on the cheek. Once again, as throughout the film, he is the passive object of her desire and he hardly seems to care. This performance as much as his work in the excellent NOTORIOUS suggests the coldness and misogyny that sometimes lurk in his screen persona. It's explicit in SUSPICION and NOTORIOUS, Hitchcock was exploring it there, but it's actually implicit in NIGHT AND DAY in every closeup where Grant looks simultaneously gorgeous and conflicted. How hard it must have been to be this beautiful and this uneasy about it.

I concur with those here who find the print currently on view on TCM as sub-par. A new DVD is out on NIGHT AND DAY and TCM would do well to show this in future. Meanwhile, feel free to check this picture out to see an example of screenwriters, a director and a star who work hard to suggest what they cannot actually say.
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should be viewed by all Cary Grant fans
ragamullin22 February 2006
I enjoyed seeing Cary Grant in a movie that I had not seen this movie before. I noticed a lot of good actors as well. I understand Cole Porter wished Cary Grant to be cast to play the famous composer. It's impossible to anticipate if you will like this movie, those who wish to be more critical always find fault in every movie, but fans of Cary Grant, Cole Porter, and the many other fine actors found in this movie may be quite happy watching it. I recommend watching it to judge for yourself. You will find Monty Woolley, whose fine personality is not in enough films. Always beautiful Alexis Smith is never more beautiful. Jane Wyman plays a substantial role worth viewing. Keep an open mind and enjoy the movie!
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My Heart Belongs To Cole
bkoganbing18 February 2007
Unlike film biographies of George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, and Sigmund Romberg or for that matter Rodgers&Hart, those artists were gone by the time the silver screen told their stories. But Cole Porter was very much still with us when Night and Day was released in 1946 and some of his best work was yet to come.

If Cole Porter had his druthers Cary Grant would never have played the part of himself. Porter fancied himself as more the Fred Astaire type. But given the nature of what happened to Porter in his life, a dancing Cole Porter was out of the question.

There's not too much that's accurate in this film. Cole Porter was born and raised in Indiana in affluent surroundings. Yes he went to Yale and his best and lifelong friend that he acquired from Yale was Monty Woolley. Yes he did marry the older and glamorous Linda Lee Thomas. And yes he composed some of the most beautiful and sophisticated songs ever done.

Of course his marriage to Linda Lee was a sham. In the vernacular of the time Linda served as his beard, his cover as it were because Cole Porter was gay. As was his lifelong friend Monty Woolley.

Were they ever involved with each other. Maybe as youths, but from what I've heard their tastes were different. Porter liked his male partners as sophisticated as he was and as beautiful as his songs were. Monty on the other hand was known for picking up street kids from Maine to California until he died.

One thing that was true although glamorized for the film, Porter did serve in the French army during World War I. No wounds however, no hearing of African rhythms from Senegalese troops were he got the idea for Night and Day.

Night and Day sure jumbles up even the order of his shows. Porter was writing songs from before Yale, but he did not score a commercial musical comedy hit until the show Paris in 1928 where the song Let's Do It was featured. I sure didn't know that In the Still of the Night was originally done as a Christmas Carol way back in his youth for instance.

In fact Where the Still of the Night, along with I've Got You Under My Skin, Rosalie, and Easy to Love were all written for MGM musicals. You can take it to the bank that Louis B. Mayer soaked Jack Warner for plenty to get those songs heard in a Warner Brothers film. Similarly the title song Night and Day, heard in The Gay Divorce on Broadway first, made its screen debut in RKO's The Gay Divorcée. Jack Warner must have paid RKO plenty for that one also.

The other true thing is the fall from a horse that Porter suffered in the late thirties, the constant pain he was in all of his life. It took 28 operations to save his legs back in the thirties. In 1958 long after the story in the film ended, Porter did eventually lose a leg and from then on lived as a recluse in his suite at the Waldorf Towers. Linda Lee Thomas Porter had passed away about a decade before.

Alexis Smith plays Linda Lee here and the cast of Night and Day also includes Jane Wyman, Dorothy Malone, Selena Royle, Tom D'Andrea, Henry Stephenson, Donald Woods. Playing themselves are Mary Martin and Monty Woolley. Singer Ginny Simms of the Kay Kyser band sang many of the Porter tunes for the film.

Night and Day certainly captures Porter's sophistication. Of course the gay lifestyle and a pretty hedonistic one at that which Porter led would not be shown at all back in the days of the Code. Some might complain about that pleasure driven pursuit that Porter had his whole life. If he sought beauty and pleasure in the world, Cole Porter certainly gave enough of it back to the world to justify it.

After Night and Day, Cole Porter had still yet to write such film scores as The Pirate, High Society, and Les Girls and such Broadway shows as Kiss Me Kate, Out of this Wolrd, Can-Can, and Silk Stockings. You could score a film with just the material he had yet to write.

It's not a great biographical film, but Night and Day provides as good an excuse as any to listen and appreciate the art that was Cole Porter.
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a great great experience...
michel boudot19 March 2006
saw the new d.v.d.of Cole Porter life Night and Day and relive the wonderful time of watching IT in 1946 in Ottawa...the film is all what Iremember..great music....great cast..and wonderful dancing very 4o very kitsch but how entertaining....Jane Wyman doing 2 Porter song was wonderful..Ginny SIMMS playing Merman for sure was beautiful and very stylized...the choreography is simply to cherished...Leroy Prinz did a great job..Cary Grant plays it aloof and Iwould say ambivalent...Alexis Smith was a joy to watch..wonder how a meeting with the great Alfred Hitchcook would have been...the supporting role are beautifully done...Selena Royle and Henry Stephenson give it great class...Eve Arden is strange as a french cabaret lady..but does a good job with her french accent and pronunciation....understand why Mary Martin never reach big height in film..despite great talent....Dorothy Malone must have been 16 at the time...unrecognizable......Iwill watch this film till IKICK the bucket and bring all that heaven allows with it...Michel boudot e.mail ..barbara.boudot
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How Biographical is this really?
XweAponX22 February 2006
As an 'avid, rabid' fan of Archie Leech aka "Cary Grant," my favourite films of his are his rather silly films where he used his famous English Rhyming Slang and other witticisms- For example "His Girl Friday," "Operation Petticoat," or "The Philadelphia Story" - But there were a few films "Cary Grant" starred in that were more "serious" roles- Which Hollywood demanded of him, unfortunately, as he was better as a witty loudmouth. But the ladies I suppose loved this guy, and so, how can a film about Cole Porter which starred Archibald "Grant" give us anything but a fictional romanticized "image" of Cole Porter? That is what we are given here.

In the beginning of the film, there are certain things that beg the question: DID this happen this way? I find myself asking "Did he really do this," or "Did this really happen?" We see that in the film, he writes the song "Night and Day" while he was recovering from a "war injury"- and that he mostly was inspired by his wife, Linda. At this point I had to start asking questions: The film takes the song Night and Day and frames it around Alexis Smith, who is actually absolutely lovely... She filmed rather well in this, Technicolor just made her utterly ravishing.

This film uses the life of Cole Porter as a platform for Archibald Leech to be as charming as he ever is. If we remove the fact that this film is allegedly "about" Cole Porter, a real person, and imagine that it is just a fiction story... Well then the film succeeds as a story, and a romantic story, which normally give me the jitters. But this film does not, it is not really, ah, "Mushy"- And as a matter of fact Grant tones down his sensuality a bit, which is actually fitting for the person he is playing. In 1946 it was utterly impossible to deal with the fact that Porter was in fact gay, and that his marriage was a marriage of convenience. But I did not know this at all until I looked here today.

There are some actual "real" autobiographical things in this film: Porter DID write songs for Yale, and especially about that Dog mascot. And of course he wrote the songs that he wrote. As for how and why he wrote them, I think that this is fictionalised. It is only the fact that Cary Grant is playing the part of Porter that we can accept the fictionalisation, but only as an enjoyable story.

Now, in fact, the song "Night and Day" was part of "The Gay Divorce" which, when finally put to film with Astaire and Rodgers, all Porter songs except "Night and day" were removed from the soundtrack: And after seeing this film, I think that was probably a kick in the teeth to Porter. And a bigger kick in the mouth, was the song "The Continental" which is basically an inferior song, actually WON an academy award. But it was not so much the song "The Continental" that won it, but the camera-work, the dancing, and the set. And of course, "The Continental" was set in the film "The Gay Divorcée" as the big musical number of the film. I wonder, if they had used whatever song Porter had written for that part of the show, and given it the treatment that they gave "The Continental" - I believe it would have won the award.

Because after seeing this quaint film - And hearing the wonderful songs Porter has written, I consider that he was one of the great songwriters of the 20th century. So, the biographical aspects of this movie fall way short of accuracy, but that does not affect the enjoyment of watching a well directed film, and a musical at that, with Cary Grant, and a lot of other very good actors, including Jane Wyman, a very smart-looking Ginny Simms, many very good specialty dancers, and of course, "Introducing Mary Martin" even though it was a small part.

Now, someone elsewhere, thought it was an oddly cast film, especially having Archie in a Musical... He is not a singer really. Other comments were that "Grant" did not resemble Porter at all, in lifestyle OR looks.

I don't know if any of this bothered the real Cole Porter, who appears to have had something to do with this film, but it does not really bother me that much. I agree with the strangeness of the cast, but in this case, it works for the film not against it. So, well mostly cos I enjoy films with "Cary Grant"/Archie Leech in them, I'll rate this a 10 but not out of generosity: I think the film, if I can break it down:

1) Looks good- the film stock is great, the colour is very good.

2) Sounds good: Very enjoyable: The music sounds very good, the dialogue is nice and clear, and does not have that "Canny" sound of studio echo. The orchestrations are very clear.

3) Well directed and acted.

So, I do not know what else to say about this: Other than, I just watched this, I actually like it a lot, and I'll watch it again next time I get a chance: And as I do not like musicals that much at all, this is the highest compliment I can give and my Hat goes off to all the people who had a hand in the production those that are still living and those who are not, and of course my hat is forever off to Cole Porter- This film makes me very interested in his literal biography.
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For Music It's Divine - For Biographical film, paging DELOVELY
theowinthrop18 February 2007
Warning: Spoilers
If Cole Porter were to be shown in any film accurately you need a Don Knotts type with a bit more polish. Unlike his friend and rival Irving Berlin (who did not mind showing up in one movie as himself: THIS IS THE ARMY) Porter had this image as a sophisticate that physically he fit if you recall that not all sophisticates look like Fred Astaire or other Hollywood types. As a matter of face, if Porter did not look physically like Astaire (an old friend) or Cary Grant, he also did not look like Kevin Kline, in the interesting recent film DELOVELY which opened up more about Porter's homosexuality and his co-dependent relationship with his wife Linda.

That said, Porter is on record as having loved the musical film NIGHT AND DAY. When his friends pointed out all the errors he brushed them aside with the comment that any film where Cary Grant portrayed him had to be good. No fool our Cole.

Although it gives the barest outline of Porter's career, and makes some whopping errors, it does give a basis for further study into his life for anyone interested in the most sophisticated American song writer of the period from 1928 - 1958. His music was not as remarkable as George Gershwin, but George required brother Ira to do his lyrics, as much as Richard Rodgers required Lorenz Hart and Oscar Hammerstein, or Jerome Kern needed Hammerstein, or Frederick Loewe needed Allan J. Lerner. Only Berlin and Porter did words and music solo (Rodgers would do one musical by himself - NO STRINGS - after Hammerstein died).

He was born in Peru, Indiana, his grandfather being a multi-millionaire in the lumber trade who wanted him to be a lawyer (and sent him to Yale for that reason). His years in Yale were pleasant and even artistically sound. He composed "Eli, Eli Yale" and "We Are Poor Little Lambs" which are still sung by their glee clubs.*

*"We Are Poor Little Lambs" is a rare exception in Berlin's career of total song writer. He retouched the original lyrics, which are from the BARRACK ROOM BALLAD "Gentleman Rankers" by Rudyard Kipling. Kipling, by the way, was not too thrilled about it.

After service in World War I (as said on another comment, he was not wounded), Porter began trying to break into Broadway. Oddly enough his first serious work was in 1921 when he did a musical satire about American life from the point of an immigrant. But the musical did not succeed, and the music is now lost. He spent the rest of the decade only composing music for friends on the Riviera (yes his was a very hard life). It was not until 1928 that he began to try his hand on Broadway, and remained for three decades.

By now he was also married to Linda (Alexis Smith in the film) who appreciated his personality and wit, and his talent. It appears to have been what is called a "white marriage" where they stuck it out loyally together from mutual respect and affection, but not sex - each went separately there, but always returned to each other.

This of course is not in the film. But the 1938 horse riding accident is in it - which left him in actually constant pain for the rest of his life. For a pampered sybarite Porter was quite a brave man.

The parts about this film that enable one to enjoy it are such musical bits as Mary Martin returning to do the "Siberian Railroad" Sequence from a musical that she introduced "My Heart Belongs to Daddy", or the dramatic moments like the death of grandfather Henry Stephenson. Grant and Smith are smashingly good as Cole and Linda (at least as Cole liked the public to think of them). And Monty Wooley does his best playing his charming and straight talking self (note how he uses the same speech to sell Cole's Broadway shows to potential backers and producers). For a film that one knows is not true as a biography, it remains the best fictional biography of a popular composer made in Hollywood in the Golden Age of film making.
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Fictionalized Bio of Cole Porter with a Fine Cast and Good Production Numbers
silverscreen88822 December 2008
There are perhaps two things that set "Night and Day" apart from most musicals for me. One is the realistic way in which characters talk to and relate with one another; the writers have made their motivations very clear at all points. Then there is Michael Curtiz's sensitive and innovative camera-work. In my opinion, he brings out the story very strongly in appropriate and elaborate settings. Writing credit goes to Charles Hoffman, Leo Townsend, and William Bowers, who used material from the life of Cole Porter adapted by Jack Moffitt; the result is perhaps very poor biography but a very good thinking man's musical about an uncompromising composer. Jack Warner and line producer Arthur Schwarz deserve credit seeing the potential in this for this intelligent film. Difficult cinematography by Peverell Marley and William V. Skall, award level Art Direction by John Hughes, extraordinarily successful set decorations by Armor Marlowe and costume designs by Travilla and wardrobe by Milo Anderson only increase the believability and effectiveness of the film's colorful scenes. A comparison of this more realistic film to a similar "An American in Paris" is deserved and perhaps enlightening. "Boy strives for art career; boy avoids temptation of woman trying too hard to help; boy wins girl after professional success and some troubles"- -there's nothing new in this, perhaps, but the large and talented cast I say plays the story as if it had just been invented. Familiar faces such as Alan Hale, Tom D'Andrea, Selena Royle, Eve Arden, Henry Stephenson, Sig Ruman, Victor France, Paul Cavanagh, Herman Bing and Nick Stewart appear and disappear, but every one adds a jewel to the film's rich design in the form of a scene well-acted. Only Donald Woods and Dorothy Malone among the supporting players continue throughout the film. Monty Wooley has one of his best Hollywood parts here as himself; while Alexis Smith makes a marvel out of her part as the long suffering fiancée. Cary Grant tries hard and brings an earnestness to his Cole Porter that is finally surprisingly effective. Jane Wyman is very attractive and well-cast; Ginny Simms has four numbers, all inimitably sung, and shows talent as a romantic, comedic and character actress--none of capabilities which moguls ever let her do much of anywhere else. Mary Martin has single number, "My Heart Belongs to Daddy", and does well as both actress and singer. Other highlights of this long well-paced dramatic musical include Monty Wolley's "Miss Otis Regrets", "Begin the Beguine" presented as a tropical extravaganza, several fine versions of "Night and Day", and a dozen other songs that are familiar and given intelligent staging. Leroy Prinz's choreography is spot on as period work for the 1930s, featuring many arm movements, intricate turns. A scene in a New York music shop is for me one of the best scenes in the film, for dialogue, camera angles, acting and Ginny Simms' rendition of "What is This Thing Called Love". Other songs featured in the film include "In the Still of the Night", "Let's Do It", "You're the Top", "You Do Something to me', "I've Got You Under My Sin", "Don't Fence Me In", "Rosalie", "Anything Goes", "Just One of Those Things" and "I Get a Kick Out of You". This is a fine winter movie, one of the best musicals of all. "

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* * out of 4
Bleeding-Skull13 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
The fictionalized biography of composer Cole Porter from his days at Yale in the 1910s through the height of his success to the 1940s. The film's attempted biography matches many public myths surrounding Cole at the time, despite its lack of relationship with truth. For instance, truth and movie are different in regards to: his sex life (he was a gay man in a marriage of convenience with a divorcée friend), his relationship with his wife, Monty Wooley was a contemporary (not Professor), and his French military experience was a hoax.

Slow-moving romance-musical with a good biography and not bad acting. It takes place in color and it's awesome in color. The ending is really a Heartbreaker.

Rated PG for a curse word.
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Accentuate the Positive!
dbcooper-33 January 2007
One of the most enjoyable films I have seen in years, even if it was at least somewhat fiction. There is a lot to be said for focusing on the positive aspects of Cole Porter's life, even if his homosexuality was only hinted at in this film. Had this film been made today (and it was - the despicable De-Lovely) Porter's homosexuality would be the focus of the film rather than the music. The music and style make this film work. Even if the dance numbers aren't up to Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers standards, there is still a lot of entertainment here. You leave this film with a nice feeling about life, which is more than can be said for most movies made since the Hayes Office went out in the 1960s.
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Good movie, accuracy aside.
ndw6 March 2001
If you are familiar with the life of Cole Porter, you soon become aware that this film, a fictional, musical biography, is heavy on the "fictional". It takes much greater license than "Rhapsody in Blue", a very good, similar genre film of the life of George Gershwin. On the other hand, it boasts a cast of characters who not only give good individual performances, but also interact very well together. Add to that a score that is a wonderfully performed cross section of those incomparable Cole Porter songs and what's not to like?
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Hollywood Loves to Fictionalize
Enrique Sanchez1 July 2004
The only reason to watch this is:


Hey.....I am a big fan of Cary Grant, but the only reason to watch this is:


The musical productions are pretty, the musical arrangements are enjoyable. And the only reason to watch this is:


Most of this story was completely fabricated because Hollywood just didn't deal with gay life then. It was verbotten...everything had to be glazed over. Hollywood made such an industry of Fictionalized Biographies that I must choose my favorite of these genre: the George Gershwin "story" called RHAPSODY IN BLUE.

So, if you haven't guessed yet what the only reason to watch this movie's:

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Enjoy this movie for what it *IS*
Joel Sloane24 February 2011
To criticize this movie for glossing over Cole Porter's homosexuality is very naive. If you expect a biopic made in 1946 to be a truthful, out-of-the-closet version of Cole Porter's life, you either don't know much about American social history, or are living in an alternate universe. However, if you are a fan of Cole Porter's music, relax and enjoy this flick for what it is, namely a great Hollywood musical. If you accept the movie on those terms, you are in for a most enjoyable experience. As a musical "Night and Day" is in a class with the best of the genre: "Golddiggers of 1933," "Anchors Aweigh," "Bathing Beauty," "Singin' in the Rain," "The Band Wagon," etc. It is a treat to see and hear every great Porter tune rendered with the delightful kitsch that defined Hollywood musicals of that Classic Era
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Hollywood's view of Cole Porter.
Michael O'Keefe24 December 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This mid 40's musical is a fictional biography of one of America's most famous and prolific songwriters/composers, Cole Porter(Cary Grant). This is a showcase for just some of his classics that garnered accolades from millions, that even includes other gifted artists like Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern and the Gershwins. The lovely Alexis Smith portrays Porter's wife Linda. And one of his best friends, Monty Woolley. Many of his standards are here: 'I Get A Kick Out of You', 'You're The Tops', 'In The Still of the Night', Anything Goes', 'Let's Do It' and of course, 'Night and Day'. Mary Martin cameos her polite striptease number. 'My Heart Belongs to Daddy'.

The legendary Michael Curtiz directs. Also featured in the cast: Dorothy Malone, Jane Wyman, Ginny Hill, Tom D'Andrea and Eve Arden.

Note: Being a lush Technicolor song and dance musical from a more innocent age; there is no hint of Porter's deep rooted homosexuality.
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A good, but not great, biopic
rdfarnham29 July 2005
The movie is enjoyable for the music though the facts of Porter's life are fictionalized heavily. For one thing, though Porter is shown as something of a ladies man, he was actually gay. Knowing the moral climate of the time (1946) it is understandable that they would downplay this aspect of his life. While this doesn't spoil the picture, it does take away a little of the believability. According to legend Porter actually requested that Cary Grant play him in the movie. Grant seems somewhat preoccupied and his acting is not up to his usual standard. Jane Wyman turns out to be a very good singer and a decent dancer, but the highlights are provided by Ginny Simms and Mary Martin. The idea of having Monty Woolley and Mary Martin portray themselves was interesting. Not the greatest biopic, ever made, but well worth watching.
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See it for the music
blanche-216 March 2009
Cary Grant plays Cole Porter in "Night and Day," a biography of sorts of the great composer and lyricist. Alexis Smith plays his wife Linda, Monty Woolley plays his best friend, as he was in real life, and performers include Ginny Simms, Jane Wyman, Mary Martin and Eve Arden.

Most of this biography is pure fiction, except for a few details. Porter was indeed injured while riding and endured something like 30 operations. I don't believe he and Linda ever separated, and by all accounts were quite devoted, despite Porter's same sex dalliances. His family did want him to be a lawyer, and he did drop out of law school. He apparently did serve in the French Foreign Legion during World War I.

However, the important part of this movie is Porter's gorgeous music, which shines throughout. Certainly he wrote some of the most beautiful music and lyrics ever, including the title song, "I Get a Kick Out of You," "Begin the Beguine," "Let's Face the Music and Dance," and countless others.

This is an unusual film for Cary Grant. It calls on his class and sophistication, but not the humor he brought to a role. He looks very handsome and is very convincing with the piano fingerings. He does a little singing, surprisingly, and his voice was pleasant, with a fast tremelo. Alexis Smith is stunningly beautiful and elegant as Linda. Both roles are somewhat wooden, just a backdrop really for the singing and dancing.

"Night and Day" doesn't have a great script, but it's definitely worth seeing for the music and musical performances, particularly by the silky-voiced Ginny Simms, Mary Martin doing her breakout number, "My Heart Belongs to Daddy," and Eve Arden as a French entertainer.
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Another Good Grant Film
grandpagbm3 November 2008
What a great movie! I'm sure I enjoyed it as much as I did, at least partially, because I appreciate Cole Porter music. This is a movie about the life of Cole Porter, and Cary Grant (one of my favorite actors) is excellent in the lead role. There is a strong support cast, with terrific singing and dancing. Mary Martin plays herself with a great performance in a small role. The colors are brilliant in the sets and costumes. I see this production as an excellent example of the modern musical film. Porter's music is the outstanding highlight. Although the script is mostly fiction, not the true story of Porter's life, the film is outstanding. I expect to watch this movie fairly often.
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"Every time I pick up a law book, I hear a tune. Every contract I read turns into a lyric."
slymusic5 January 2008
Warning: Spoilers
"Night and Day" is part of "Cary Grant: The Signature Collection," a five-DVD boxed set, the other four films being "Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House" (1948), "The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer" (1947), "My Favorite Wife" (1940), and "Destination Tokyo" (1943). Given my musical background, I figured that "Night and Day" (a biographical film of one of the world's favorite composers/songwriters: Cole Porter) would be my personal favorite of the five; instead, it turned out to be the film I liked the least. True, it has the look of a multi-million-dollar Technicolor production, featuring many favorite Cole Porter standards such as "I Get a Kick Out of You," "What Is This Thing Called Love?", "Just One of Those Things," "I've Got You Under My Skin," and, of course, "Night and Day." But there are a few major flaws with this movie. Most notably, the various prolonged lavish production numbers cause this two-hour picture to drag considerably. Plus, it is my understanding that the events in this pictorial biography of Cole Porter could hardly be deemed accurate. To top it off, Cary Grant (one of my favorite actors) was a curious choice to play the role of the great composer. Question is, does he indeed FIT that role? Hard for me to tell, but he at least plays the part with his usual charm and suavity. The story of Cole Porter, as depicted in this movie, traces through his final year at Yale as he neglects his law studies, to the consternation of his grandfather; his early struggles as a composer, including a show that closed after one performance because of the sinking of the Lusitania; his getting wounded in action during the First World War while writing his popular "Begin the Beguine"; his writing of "Night and Day" in seclusion (influenced by rain and a grandfather clock) while being nursed by the woman who would eventually become his wife, Linda Lee (Alexis Smith); his eventual successes with show after show after show, to the detriment of his marriage; his losing the use of both legs from a fall off a horse; and his valedictory performance back at Yale.

Despite the film's weaknesses, "Night and Day" contains quite a few memorable scenes, all of them musical. Cole's close friend, Yale law professor Monty Woolley (playing himself), summons Cole from playing piano in a theatrical show to rush back to the Yale campus and lead the singing of his "Bulldog Song" at a football rally. At a rehearsal hall owned by the pompous Wilowski (Sig Ruman), Cole and his friend Gracie (Jane Wyman) perform a swinging arrangement of Cole's "Let's Do It (Let's Fall in Love)". The French star Gabrielle (a flashy role for Eve Arden) sings Cole's "I'm Unlucky at Gambling"; not much of a hit, but *I* think it's a catchy tune. One of the more humorous scenes in the picture involves Monty singing/reciting Cole's "Miss Otis Regrets" for a couple of theatrical producers (one of them played by Alan Hale). At a sheet music store, Cole and his friend Carole (Ginny Simms) perform "What Is This Thing Called Love?", which generates quite an auspicious response from the customers. Cary Grant actually lends his own voice to Cole's singing/playing of his "You're the Top" with Carole. And finally, when Cole returns to Yale to perform a most beautiful rendition of "Night and Day" with an orchestra and a male choir, he is quite surprised to see Linda in the audience after a lengthy separation; Cary Grant again lends his own voice to the very soft "You, you, you" lyric during the introductory verse, and before the piece ends, Cole and Linda step outside and, without a word spoken, embrace.
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If you think a biopic of Cole Porter can't miss, you under estimate Hollywood
FISHCAKE15 November 1999
You might think that, with 27 of Cole Porter's songs to exploit and a large cast of top-flight singers and dancers to present them, Hollywood couldn't possibly miss. You just don't know Hollywood. This purported biography of the composer-lyricist responsible for possibly the best popular music of the 20th century sinks to a level of mediocrity, so far as the "dramatic" material is concerned, rarely equaled in the long history of bad films about real people. The music comes off great, no question, and the best way to enjoy this movie on tape is to remaster it, keeping only the music and dance. Some real facts about Porter are treated, sort of: (1) he really had a wealthy family, but the grandfather was a very lucky speculator, not a legal light; (2) he really did go to Yale, but also to Harvard, which is not mentioned; (3) his first broadway musical was a failure, but probably not because of Lusitania; (4) he went to North Africa shortly afterward to entertain troops there and served in the U.S.armed forces in 1917, 1918 (references say nothing about the French army or a wound); (5) he did marry in 1931; and (6) he was injured in a horseback accident in 1937. Cary Grant looks very uncomfortable in the role, handling his scenes with Alexis Smith as if she was a carrier of the Eboli virus! Cole Porter is said to have "loved it", as well he might, remembering the royalties on those 27 all-time hits of his that are showcased. I rate this a "7" solely on the basis of the music.
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