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Tonight at 8:30 (1952)

Meet Me Tonight (original title)
Approved | | Comedy | 6 May 1953 (USA)
An omnibus featuring three Noel Coward tales, long on Coward humor which is to say very little at all, with the first, " The Red Peppers", featuring Kay Walsh, Ted Ray, Martita Hunt, Frank ... See full summary »



(play) (as Noel Coward)


Cast overview, first billed only:
Stella Cartwright: Ways and Means
Toby Cartwright: Ways and Means
Jack Warner ...
Murdoch: Ways and Means
Olive Lloyd Ransome: Ways and Means
Michael Trubshawe ...
Professor 'Chaps' Chapsworth: Ways and Means
Mary Jerrold ...
Nanny: Ways and Means
Elena: Ways and Means
Jacques Cey ...
The Fence: Ways and Means
Kay Walsh ...
Ted Ray ...
Frank Pettingell ...
Bill Fraser ...
Toke Townley ...
Stage Manager - Red Peppers
Call Boy - Red Peppers


An omnibus featuring three Noel Coward tales, long on Coward humor which is to say very little at all, with the first, " The Red Peppers", featuring Kay Walsh, Ted Ray, Martita Hunt, Frank Pettingell and Bill Fraser, about a bickering vaudeville couple who form an alliance when some of theie company start to needle the, and ends up in some non-amusing slapstick. The second episode is "Fumed Oak" (with Stanley Holloway, Betty Ann Davies, Mary Merrall and Dorothy Gordon)is about a squabbling, middle-class family where Holloway has to contend with a ghastly mother-in-law, a selfish wife and a whining, complaining child and, after 17 years, tells each of them off and departs their company; the third segment is "Ways and Means" (with Valerie Hobson, Nigel Patrick, Jack Warner and Jessie Royce Landis) about a pair of parasite who go from city to city as non-paying guests of wealthy acquaintances. A wealthy American widow is trying to quietly kick them out of her French Rivera home, and the ... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Smash Stage Hit...Now a Wonderful Movie!




Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

6 May 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tonight at 8:30  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Version of We Were Dancing (1942) See more »


Men About Town
Written by Noël Coward
Sung by Ted Ray and Kay Walsh
See more »

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User Reviews

the good, the bad and the awful
5 December 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Unfortunately for Noel Coward, the filming of three of his 1936 playlets was delayed for sixteen years and the coming of a new era in western civilization. Luckily, "Brief Encounter," based on the1936 playlet "Still Life," made it to the screen several years earlier more or less intact and went down in history as a classic. The three in this omnibus presentation survive only in tattered form. The best is the first – "Red Peppers," about a married song-and-dance team who constantly carp at one another offstage. It's an entertaining look behind the scenes of that bygone British institution, the music hall – second-rate variety thereof - which was already fading when Coward originally penned the piece. There is a sense of reality to it, for this was familiar turf to Coward and he probably encountered many individuals like the ones portrayed here in his youth as a journeyman actor on the English stage. Martita Hunt is a standout as an alcoholic veteran performer whose ego is far greater than her talent. The second segment is a straight-on filmed play of the domestic comedy "Fumed Oak." What was cartoonishly funny onstage is just awkward on screen. It lacks punch entirely. Even the redoubtable Stanley Holloway as the fed-up man of the house surrounded by jabbering suburban females cannot rescue it. The third, "Ways and Means," is an almost total disaster. More than the other two, this one tries to look like a movie but drowns in chatter. Nigel Patrick and Valerie Hobson are charming but they are not enough to make this slender tale of social parasites on the Riviera entertaining. Throughout all three the Coward wit pokes through often enough to hold the interest, but generally speaking this is a disappointing trio of adaptations.

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