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 »
Someone missed the boat here, but I'm not sure where it all went wrong. Ronald Reagan, Viveca Lindfors, Broderick Crawford, Rosemary DeCamp and Osa Massen star in "Night Unto Night," a 1949 psychological drama directed by Don Siegel.
The story concerns a scientist, John Galen (Reagan) who rents a house in South Florida owned by a widow, Ann (Lindfors) who believes she hears her husband's voice. She continues to mourn her husband and can't embrace life; Galen has been told he has epilepsy and has taken the house to work and try to deal with his situation.
Filmed mostly on sets, despite the beautiful cinematography, a lot of scenes look fake. The photography does give the film a brooding atmosphere.
There are some interesting metaphysical, "today" ideas tossed around in the script, but the dialogue is pretentious, not at all like normal people speak. Also, epilepsy here seems to be treated as almost a death sentence or at least a communicable disease. Perhaps back in 1949 that's how it was viewed.
Reagan, a pleasant actor, didn't have a great range and was much better in comedy. He seems miscast here, and the role didn't play to his main assets, which were charm and a genial presence.
Viveca Lindfors was brought over from Sweden as the next Ingrid Bergman; it came as a surprise when husband Don Siegel made a name for himself when he directed "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" when she was supposed to be the star. Despite being beautiful and a wonderful actress, she never made it to the top tier. The actresses who were part of the foreign influx post-war: Alida Valli, Valentina Cortese, Maria Schell, Hildegarde Knef, Mai Zetterling -- all met similar fates. Of all of them, Lindfors was the only one who stayed in America and worked, in film, television, and on the stage - until her death in 1995.
A bizarre film, with spirited performances by Lillian Yarbo, Rosemary DeCamp, Osa Massen, and Broderick Crawford.
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