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This movie is a great, low-budget film with on-location shots of New York. The plot is timeless and the performers good all round. Frederic March is the 56 year-old widower who owns a sweatshop in New York and falls for one of his workers, Kim Novak - one of the leading ladies of the day - who just finished her role as Madeleine in Hitchcock's Vertigo. March's love for Betty (Novak) reawakens in him a spirit that has been missing since his wife died several years before. His sister, who moved in with him, is trying to match him with someone his age but March has no use for her efforts. Then, when he falls for a very young woman, he brings down the wrath of both his sister and his beloved daughter.
Like Marty, another film by director Delbert Mann, the plot involves the lovelorn trying to find love only to be restrained by the expectations of family. The one person who takes his side is his son-in-law, played by Martin Balsam. The movie also features the stalwart New York actor Lee Grant, as a friend of his daughter. Paddy Chayefsky wrote the script which was originally a teleplay. It is greatly enhanced by the street scenes. Contemporary audiences might find it lacking because it is not an action movie. However, it translates very well to the screen and the location shooting of Manhattan in the snow and rain fits the mood. The dialogue, acting and the brooding atmosphere are enhanced by the music of George Bassman. Middle of the Night is still a watchable film that has aged well. I look forward to seeing it again.
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