MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Up 1,218 this week

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997)

6.6
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.6/10 from 28,566 users   Metascore: 57/100
Reviews: 205 user | 89 critic | 23 from Metacritic.com

A visiting city reporter's assignment suddenly revolves around the murder trial of a local millionaire, whom he befriends.

Director:

Writers:

(book), (screenplay)
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 32 images
created 06 Jun 2011
 
a list of 41 titles
created 24 Aug 2012
 
a list of 30 titles
created 01 Oct 2012
 
a list of 41 titles
created 08 Sep 2013
 
a list of 33 titles
created 9 months ago
 

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997)

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997) on IMDb 6.6/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

User Polls

1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

True Crime (1999)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Can an over-the-hill journalist uncover the evidence that can prove a death row inmate's innocence just hours before his execution?

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Isaiah Washington, LisaGay Hamilton
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A career thief witnesses a horrific crime involving the U.S. President.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Ed Harris
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A thinly fictionalized account of a legendary movie director, whose desire to hunt down an animal turns into a grim situation with his movie crew in Africa.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Jeff Fahey, Charlotte Cornwell
Blood Work (2002)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Still recovering from a heart transplant, a retired FBI profiler returns to service when his own blood analysis offers clues to the identity of a serial killer.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Jeff Daniels, Anjelica Huston
Bird (1988)
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The troubled life and career of the jazz musician, Charlie "Bird" Parker.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Forest Whitaker, Diane Venora, Michael Zelniker
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A kidnapped boy strikes up a friendship with his captor: an escaped convict on the run from the law, headed by an honorable U.S. Marshal.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Kevin Costner, Clint Eastwood, Laura Dern
Honkytonk Man (1982)
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

As the film opens on an Oklahoma farm during the depression, two simultaneous visitors literally hit the Wagoneer home: a ruinous dust storm and a convertible crazily driven by Red, the ... See full summary »

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Kyle Eastwood, John McIntire
Drama | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Two veteran salesman dissect a sales pitch to a particular client, through their young protege.

Director: John Swanbeck
Stars: Kevin Spacey, Danny DeVito, Peter Facinelli
The Rookie (1990)
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Clint Eastwood plays a veteran detective who gets stuck with a rookie cop (Charlie Sheen) to chase down a German crook (Raul Julia.)

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Charlie Sheen, Raul Julia
Space Cowboys (2000)
Action | Adventure | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

When a retired engineer is called upon to rescue a failing satellite, he insists that his equally old teammates accompany him into space.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland
Bronco Billy (1980)
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

An idealistic, modern-day cowboy struggles to keep his Wild West show afloat in the face of hard luck and waning interest.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke, Geoffrey Lewis
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Photographer Robert Kincaid wanders into the life of housewife Francesca Johnson, for four days in the 1960s.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Meryl Streep, Annie Corley
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Lady Chablis ...
Chablis Deveau (as The Lady Chablis)
Dorothy Loudon ...
Anne Haney ...
...
Betty Harty
...
Luther Driggers
...
Henry Skerridge
...
Detective Boone
...
Finley Largent
Edit

Storyline

This panoramic tale of Savannah's eccentricities focuses on a murder and the subsequent trial of Jim Williams: self made man, art collector, antiques dealer, bon vivant and semi-closeted homosexual. John Kelso a magazine reporter finds himself in Savannah amid the beautiful architecture and odd doings to write a feature on one of William's famous Christmas parties. He is intrigued by Williams from the start, but his curiosity is piqued when he meets Jim's violent, young and sexy lover, Billy. Later that night, Billy is dead, and Kelso stays on to cover the murder trial. Along the way he encounters the irrepressible Lady Chablis, a drag queen commedienne, Sonny Seiler, lawyer to Williams, whose famous dog UGA is the official mascot of the Georgia Bulldogs, an odd man who keeps flies attached to mini leashes on his lapels and threatens daily to poison the water supply, the Married Ladies Card Club, and Minerva, a spiritualist. Between being Jim's buddy, cuddling up to a torch singer, ... Written by Teresa B. O'Donnell <sun.moon.stars@worldnet.att.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Welcome to Savannah, Georgia. A City Of Hot Nights And Cold Blooded Murder.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and brief violence | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

21 November 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Medianoche en el jardín del bien y del mal  »

Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£125,235 (UK) (17 April 1998)

Gross:

£125,235 (UK) (17 April 1998)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

John Cusack's performance in Grosse Pointe Blank (1997) had been the basis for Clint Eastwood's decision to cast him. See more »

Goofs

Billy's grip on the liquor bottle at the Christmas party changes between shots. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Minerva: Quit eye balling me, Flavius. I knew you when you was a two bit hustler on Bull Street.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Closing disclaimer: This film is based upon John Berendt's book "MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD AND EVIL". Dialogue and certain events and characters contained in the film were created for the purposes of dramatization. See more »

Connections

References Saturday Night Fever (1977) See more »

Soundtracks

Dream
Written by Johnny Mercer
Performed by Brad Mehldau
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Neither The Book Nor A Bust
19 May 2005 | by (Greenwich, CT United States) – See all my reviews

Like "Citizen Kane" and "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance," "Midnight At The Garden Of Good And Evil" is a movie about a writer trying to get a simple story, and finding himself with more than he bargained for. John Cusack is the writer, John Kelso, and his explorations of Savannah, Georgia offer some mystery and fun, though the result will be flat for those who already know the story from reading the best-selling book.

"Better to be on the edge of a party, don't you think?" a young woman named Mandy (Alison Eastwood) asks Kelso at one point. It's a pertinent question. Alison's father Clint and screenwriter John Lee Hancock try to accomplish much the same effect here, dancing at the perimeters of things, showing conversations where words can not be discerned. Many times we see Kelso looking in on some social function from the outside, like at a cotillion for black debutantes or bridge games at the Married Women's Club, a bit adrift but interested in the games people play.

At the same time, Kelso becomes quite close to one Savannah resident, Joe Williams, an art dealer whose homosexuality is an open secret until he comes out of the closet by shooting his boy-toy. Kevin Spacey's performance as Williams is rich and fun, his accent not note-perfect but well-tailored to his polished delivery. The way he lazily smokes his cigars as he moves through a party, dabbles in lowcountry voodoo with Jesuitical zeal, or even eats gumbo in prison is a study in an actor's sense of the wholeness of the role.

While many book fans savage this with the comment "It's not what I read in the book," I take it in stride. John Berendt didn't carry this thing down from Mt. Sinai either – most notably by presenting the killing as something that happens after his arrival rather than before he played with the facts in the book. So when the film gives us a romance between Berendt's stand-in Kelso and Mandy or invents connections between the Williams story and the others in the book so the secondary characters can appear in the main story, it kind of works in an offbeat way.

What doesn't work is the pace. The film goes on for over two and a half hours, and feels longer. Eastwood obviously approached this project with enthusiasm for the book, and especially for the music of Johnny Mercer which is prominently featured. But the comedy feels labored, the depiction of Williams' trial too unshaded in its sympathy for the defendant, and many of the performances, like that of Jude Law as the dead loverboy, seem underbaked.

Two good performances are delivered by people who had real-life roles in the book. Sonny Seiler, who defended Williams, plays the judge in the trial and gets to tell himself when he's out of order. The Lady Chablis, who I never cared for much in the book, has an engaging vulnerability on screen. Even when the story screeches off track by focusing on her character, she makes the logic gaps less bothersome with her playfulness.

I even liked Alison Eastwood, who does a good accent, looks the part of Mandy, and makes the film's most egregious detour from the book seem less of a violation. Not a stunner, but her languid delivery and drooping eyelids are very sensual in the everyday manner she presents us with, a half-promise of something good reaching out to you in the dark. In that way, she recreates the spirit of the book quite wonderfully. Pity her father didn't always do the same, but this is an entertaining film more often than not.


49 of 61 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Why did they make John Cusak's character straight? mnuzzoshop
Jim William's death Lannan
Favorite Line VogonCaptain
Savannah is a real charachter thedeadpoet
YES it IS a TRUE story. Here are pix of the real people northwestchick
What was handed to Kelso in the end? sutats

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?