This movie is about an aging trucker named Elegant John Howard. Howard decides he and his truck Elenor has one more good run in them, and with the help of a hitchhiker and a few others he will make it happen.
Beautiful Noelle Page meets dashing WWII American pilot Larry Douglas in France and falls in love. She expects him to marry her, but instead Larry abandons her. In the United States, successful Catherine Alexander meets Larry Douglas and they marry. But Noelle hasn't forgotten Larry even as she's become a successful actress. She maneuvers to have Larry hired as the private pilot of her wealthy and powerful lover Constantin Demiris so she can seek revenge on him, but instead she and Larry rekindled their passion. Desperate to be together, Larry and Noelle make deadly plans. But soon the lovers face a terrible fate determined by the jealous Demiris using Catherine as his pawn. Written by
The set construction for this picture was one of the largest conducted in the international film industry at the time. A total number of 136 sets were built across both Europe and Hollywood. See more »
When Cathy first comes out of the bedroom and overhears Larry and Noelle planning her demise, she has on underpants beneath her nightgown. But when she runs outside into the rainstorm and her nightgown gets soaking wet you can plainly see she has on no underpants. See more »
Producer Frank Yablans and 20th Century Fox spent some serious cash on "The Other Side of Midnight" filming scenes on location in Paris, Washington, DC and Greece. It certainly looks good on screen. The lush musical score by Michel Legrand made the movie sound more important than it really is. (When is a Legrand musical score not lush?) But the plodding epic WWII romantic story about two women who are in love with the same pilot, adapted from the best selling Sidney Sheldon novel, should not be taken too seriously. The movie is so soapy, I'm surprised Procter & Gamble did not co-produce the movie.
Marie-France Pisier tries her best to flesh out (pun intended) her character of Noelle, using her body to get to the top. But the scenes with Sorrell Booke as a businessman who bought Noelle from her father, Christian Marquand as a filmmaker and Raf Vallone as a Greek tycoon, were rather embarrassing and I did not feel any sympathy toward her character. John Beck fared even worse as a very uncharismatic, two-timing cad.
It is interesting that after "Midnight", Pisier (who I remember from a much better movie from two years earlier, Cousin, Cousine) went back to appearing in movies in her native France and Beck continued to appear in soaps, this time on television.
Somehow, I thought Susan Sarandon fared best because she was the best actor of the three leads. I felt more sympathy for her character Catherine than Noelle. And what has happened to Sarandon after this trash-fest? Can someone say a thinking man's sex symbol? (Oscar-winning performance as Sr. Helen Prejean in "Dead Man Walking" notwithstanding.)
Why a 5 out of 10 instead of a 1 or 2? I remember reading many negative reviews when it was first released in 1977. However, unlike what was reported in the IMDb Trivia section, the movie did have a long run in theaters and was a moderate success at the box office. Even though I was very leery of the film's 2 hour, 45 minute length, I caught the movie on cable TV. This movie is like a trashy summer novel, I could not put this movie down. Without giving the ending away, the plot twists almost made the film worth my time. Having seen the movie several times in the past few years, The Other Side of Midnight is a bad movie but I plead guilty to admit that it is so bad, it's good.
Update (5/10/2007): I tried to re-watch this movie and ended up fast forwarding through the boring parts. I guess my original review was rather generous.
If you cut down the "getting to know you" musical montage scenes, the transition scenes where people are walking from one beautiful scene to another and delete the gratuitous nude scenes, it might have been better. The movie is also filled with script exposition and not enough actual scenes that might have made the movie more interesting. The scenes between Pisier and Michael Lerner, who plays an investigator trailing John Beck's character, are especially deadly.
Sarandon's performance still holds up. She exudes more depth to her character than the script allows.
I sense that the movie was made by some dirty old men whose idea for a "chick flick" was to see the main female characters naked. A naked male lead? Not a chance.
9 of 14 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?