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Night of Passion (1960)
"During One Night" (original title)

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Mike, the co-pilot of a US, England-based World War II bomber, is injured aboard. Although an almost complete recovery is likely, the loss of his 'manhood' drives him to suicide. For Mike's... See full summary »

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Title: Night of Passion (1960)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Don Borisenko ...
David
Susan Hampshire ...
Jean
Sean Sullivan ...
Major
Joy Webster ...
Prostitute
Graydon Gould ...
Mike
Tom Busby ...
Sam
Alan Gibson ...
Harry
Barbara Ogilvie ...
Mother
...
Girl
Michael Golden ...
Constable
Roy Stephens ...
Driver
Colin Maitland ...
Gunner
Pamela Barney ...
Nurse
John Bloomfield ...
M.P. Sgt.
Sean McCan ...
M.P.
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Storyline

Mike, the co-pilot of a US, England-based World War II bomber, is injured aboard. Although an almost complete recovery is likely, the loss of his 'manhood' drives him to suicide. For Mike's skipper, captain David, a gentle, well-educated Pittsburgh virgin, this seems a wake up-call that he must start his sexual life. After a ghastly failure with one on the airbase's women, David goes AWOL. The he bumps into even shyer, charming English barmaid Jean. She not only hides him from the MP's, but falls in love with the handsome officer even more desperately. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Drama | Romance | War

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Release Date:

1 December 1961 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

Night of Passion  »

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(RCA Sound Recording)
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Don Borisenko and Susan Hampshire both receive "introducing" credits. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sidney J. Furie: Fire Up the Carousel! (2015) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Furie's ode to male anxiety
14 September 2008 | by (London) – See all my reviews

Furie's little seen DURING ONE NIGHT is another of the director's striking early studies in male anxiety. In his THE LEATHER BOYS of 3 years later such anxiety would be explicitly situated around the lure of homosexuality while in THE IPCRESS FILE, still further on in the director's career, concerns would be more centred around male loyalty. In DURING ONE NIGHT air force captain David is part of an airborne male group, first seen with military and sexual camaraderie intact, flying on their 24th mission - leaving only another before their tour of duty gratefully ends. Things change however when one of their number is badly injured during a flight, an injury which emasculates him. After an emotional bedside description of the injury, then later hearing of the later suicide of his flying companion, David goes temporarily AWOL with a view to proving his own manhood before his number comes up.

As written, produced, and directed by Furie DURING ONE NIGHT was at its recent airing briefly dismissed by a UK listings critic as dated, but in fact is a very interesting piece of work, if handicapped by the sentimentality of an ending which suggests that the only fulfilment of sexual desire between a man and a woman can be achieved by romantic love. But perhaps this unconvincingness is the point, as Furie's script repeatedly refers to a lack of male fulfilment through the traditional routes up until this point, while the unspoken alternative lurks in the background. Both David and his dead companion are virgins despite appearances to the contrary, while during the night in question David fails to perform (or "enjoy the product" as it is expressed) with three women in succession: a prostitute, a sexual hustler and finally the innocent Jean (Susan Hampshire, in her first screen role).

Implicit in David's male circle of friends is a vaguely homosexual bonding. None are overtly gay (this was made a few years before homosexuality was legalised in the UK). Yet David is continually worried at not being 'normal', while his suicidal friend during their bedside meeting hints at the dark options left remaining to a man in his physical condition, when regular sexual activity is denied him. While David repeatedly tries to go through with things with various women in his despondent panic he is only able to succeed, and gain full satisfaction, after a peculiar encounter with a military parson, intimate in all but name, in a field late at night. While the parson is rescuing David from his own suicidal propensity by taking him to the edge, upon reflection it's significant that David can only function and reassert himself as a man immediately after the revelations brought after 'being' with another.

As David, Don Borisenko is rather good, which makes one regret that his film career was relatively short (he apparently stopped acting in the 70's). In a difficult role, too often inviting the sniggers of modern audiences, he manages to convey David's sensitivity and sexual apprehensions very well. Less successful is Hampshire's Jean, another virgin met in the film, whose presence, while certainly suggesting the necessary innocence, is a little flat. Her role demands a self-sacrifice only made 'right' by a commitment more than sexual, and whether or not you accept this as believable will dictate how Furie's script works for the viewer, cynical or not.

In one of the film's best scenes, for a long minute David sings a melancholy ode quietly into his pint glass while, hovering in the background just out of focus Jean watches him from behind the bar. At this point David's isolation is both sexual and social, as he has effectively removed himself from society by his increasing despondency and hitherto sexual failure. Jean of course will find him attractive and help him to find himself. But others will also recognise the coded figure of the outsider, alone at that bar, half-heartedly seeking sexual encounters. If in THE LEATHER BOYS Furie's representation of the homosexual underworld is exaggerated and somewhat fearful, in this earlier representation here the pattern is almost entirely subsumed by the heterosexuality of the setting; only David's internal panics and fears a clue to the suspicions on display.

DURING ONE NIGHT's concern with male anxiety and sexual identity is both dated and modern. And while Furie's view of romantic love as the solver of all sexual angst is peculiarly uneasy - perhaps stemming from a desire to appease traditional mores, the matter of adult male sexual crises, both here and in LEATHER BOYS is unusual and treated with some sensitivity. Recommended as a worthwhile corner of British 60's cinema.


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