A terrified wife tries to escape from her insanely jealous husband who is bent on killing her.




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Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Julie Benton
Lyle Benton
Cliff Henderson
Det. Lt. Pringle
Jack (co-pilot)
Doctor on Flight 36
Det. Mace
John Gallaudet ...
Det. Sgt. Cole
Airport control tower official
Ed Hinton ...
Captain of Flight 36
Harlan Warde ...
Det. Pope
Aline Towne ...
Denise Martin
Eddie Marr ...
Airline Official


Her new husband's behaviour convinces Julie Benton that his jealousy is dangerous, and when he admits he killed her first husband she realises she has to get away. A long-time friend helps all he can, but even in a town the size of San Francisco, Benton seems able to track them down. The police can do nothing despite a death threat, so the next move is up to Julie. Written by Jeremy Perkins <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Mystery | Thriller


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

17 October 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mord in den Wolken  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Doris Day did not want to do this film. The character of Lyle Benton was painfully reminiscent of her first two husbands, Al Jorden and George Weidler. See more »


In the opening scene, Julie is constantly turning the steering wheel, even when the rear projection shows the car to be moving in a straight line. See more »


Referenced in Magnum, P.I.: On the Fly (1987) See more »


Midnight On The Cliffs
Composed and Performed by Leonard Pennario
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User Reviews

May Day!! This film is dangerous! (dangerously funny)
15 January 2003 | by (Cincinnati, OH) – See all my reviews

Most comedy movies could only hope to be this amusing. An airy, drippy title song plays, setting up the audience for some sort of romantic drama. No such luck. Immediately (and hilariously at odds with the opening music), Day comes running on, desperately trying to avoid her husband (Jourdon), who has apparently made a scene over her attention to another man. She hops in her car and he joins her. Even though the road is almost perfectly straight, Day spins the hell out of her steering wheel, furiously wielding it back and forth on a straight road! This overwrought and overheated beginning is merely a prelude for the wildly illogical and melodramatic story that follows. Jourdon turns out to be a crazed, obsessive danger to Day and the film involves her repeated attempts to get away from him before he kills her. Ms. Day is a delightful screen presence and is certainly capable, in the right hands, of delivering a terrific dramatic performance (i.e.--Hitchcock's "The Man Who Knew Too Much".) Here, however, she is up against a heinous script (astonishingly nominated for an Oscar!) and contrived, silly situations which make her look foolish. Worst of all is her (hysterically funny) series of dramatic voice-overs. The production feels the need to have her breathlessly describe all her feelings and state what is clearly happening on screen! The wording is often fall down funny and her despairing delivery paired with the stark visuals pair up to create several moments of screaming laughter. One scene has her "desperately" trying to get away from Jourdon, but she still manages to pack her favorite outfits and even seemingly make sure she selects the right purse to go with her shoes. Another has her running from him in a snug skirt until she falls on a big rock and lays there. The whole movie is filmed with a crisp, clinical detachment since this was a bold new subject and all the happenings were so bleak and gripping. This makes for some really dry viewing today, especially when the (inept) police do their thing and during the climax when realistic (but uninteresting) air traffic controllers communicate with Day. Day, a stewardess, gets a breather midway through to scramble some eggs and sashay around in a kicky one piece lounge suit (and act as if nothing is wrong with her life!) In this section, the demure, twice-married character even refuses to come out and meet a gentleman her makeshift roomie is dating because she's not dressed (even though her full-length nightgown comes down to her knuckles and almost reaches her ears! Yes... women just didn't DO that, but it's still amusing!) Stay tuned for the really kooky climax in which she and one other stewardess work a flight in which Day doesn't even realize that Jourdon in ON board! (Like a person wouldn't immediately pick out someone who they know is out to kill them!) Situations eventually warrant that Day has to fly and land the plane herself (Karen Black fans will be disappointed to learn that she wasn't the first woman in this predicament. Cross-eyed Black did it in "Airport 1975", but Day beat her by 19 years....and she flies a significant portion of the trip with her eyes CLOSED!! Notably, with regards to sexism, little had changed in those two decades, for the men call Day "honey" the whole time while in Black's case, they continuously called her "honey" and "baby"...) So many other ripe moments have been left out, but in any case, the film is a scream. Jourdon is indeed surprisingly menacing and Day tries very hard (and found the filming very difficult in real life.) Also fun is a glimpse at how dressy and glamorous airports used to be and how much air travel has changed. Don't miss the amateur actress playing an apartment resident who, when asked about Day's character, pronounces "Julie" as "Julah".

26 of 42 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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