Remake of "To Have and Have Not" based on Hemingway short story. Plot reset to early days of Cuban revolution. A charter boat skipper gets entangled in gunrunning scheme to get money to pay... See full summary »
Marsha Mitchell, a traveling dress model, stops in a southern town to see her sister who has married a Ku Klux Klansman. Marsha sees the KKK commit a murder and helps District Attorney Burt Rainey in bringing the criminals to justice.
Producer Walter Wanger, who had just been released from a prison term after shooting a man he believed was having an affair with his wife, wanted to make a film about the appalling ... See full summary »
Sam Burton's second wife Neddy is Indian, their son Pacer a half-breed. As struggle starts between the whites and the Kiowas, the Burton family is split between loyalties. Neddy and Sam are... See full summary »
Danny and Steve are migrant farm workers who wind up in Cat Tail, Florida. Cat Tail is run by Madden Packing and Danny works for Madden while Steve works for the underdog farmer named Nick.... See full summary »
Budding actress Sally Middleton agrees to a date with Bill Page, a soldier on a weekend pass, after he's stood up by her worldly friend, Olive. When Bill has a problem getting a hotel room,... See full summary »
This short, produced at the end of WWII, warns that although Adolf Hitler is dead, his ideas live on in the German people. The world must stay ever vigilant, so that Germany cannot make war... See full summary »
An American army officer, troubled by reports of brutality, volunteers to investigate conditions inside North Korean POW camps. He parachutes behind enemy lines and infiltrates a group of ... See full summary »
Offbeat, brooding drama with metaphysical yearnings ultimately reaches too far
A curious, brooding drama with metaphysical airs, Night Unto Night holds interest by its very oddity (and to some extent as an early directorial effort by Don Siegel). It's set in pre-boom, primitive Florida near the Everglades and takes its redemptive close during a purging hurricane, along the way touching on transcendent themes - though it seems to confuse spirituality with spiritualism. These are its dramatis personae:
. Ronald Reagan plays a biochemist (!) come to coastal Florida seeking a simple, reclusive life; he's been diagnosed with epilepsy and, man of science or not, he views his condition as a mysterious and terrible curse. So he rents a gloomy old pile of a house from a young widow where he sets up a laboratory to fiddle with his molds and spores. He's a disturbed, perhaps suicidal man, but, Kings Row notwithstanding, Reagan is an actor who leaves the impression of never having been troubled a day in his life.
. Viveca Lindfors is the widow, who must vacate the house because in it she keeps hearing the voice of her dead husband, whose boat was torpedoed just offshore. Lindfors was imported to Hollywood in an attempt to recreate the mystique of Ingrid Bergman, whom she resembled in voice and visage, but the imposture never quite worked. Still, she's as good here as she ever was and gives a glimpse into the thinking that brought her from Sweden.
. Broderick Crawford is a friend and neighbor. In a drastic stretch, he plays a painter who earns his living doing commercial art but saves his talent for vast murals in what looks like the Socialist-realism school. Nonetheless, he serves as the spokesman for faith, which he carries like a chip on his shoulder, waylaying the scientists and psychiatrists he meets with harangues about their puny rationalism.
. Osa Mussen, though a Dane not a Swede, plays Lindfors' twisted sister, a spiteful hedonist who throws herself at Reagan and does not suffer rebuff kindly. She drinks too much and ignites the volatile gases of the plot's alchemy.
The story, from a novel by Philip Wylie (whose 15 minutes of notoriety would come in the mid-1950s with his book Generation of Vipers), has a reach which far exceeds its grasp. While it does hold interest - thanks chiefly to Siegel's shifting but steady pace - it raises questions which it does not bother to (or cannot) resolve. Too many of its strands (the spirit of the dead man, the murderous enmity between the sisters, Crawford's ill-packed intellectual baggage) start to flap in the winds of the concluding hurricane and fly off, never to be seen again. At the end, all that we're left with of the ineffable is plain old guy-meets-gal chemistry.
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