6.6/10
33,549
224 user 96 critic

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997)

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

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(book), (screenplay)
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1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Chablis Deveau (as The Lady Chablis)
Dorothy Loudon ...
Serena Dawes
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Margaret Williams
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Betty Harty
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Luther Driggers
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Henry Skerridge
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Detective Boone
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Finley Largent
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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 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

21 November 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Medianoche en el jardín del bien y del mal  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,233,658, 23 November 1997, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$25,078,937, 15 February 1998
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dorothy Loudon's final film. 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.
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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

Referenced in Ruby: Savannah (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Skylark
Written by Johnny Mercer and Hoagy Carmichael
Performed by k.d. lang
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records
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User Reviews

 
Jon Monsarrat review: too arty for me & slow
27 December 2002 | by See all my reviews

I think I get it about "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil". There is not supposed to be a strong story, but rather the film is a character sketch. And the character that it's sketching is not a person but rather the town of Savannah.

The town is pretty interesting and the "colorful South" amusing throughout the film. However, it does not make up for the slow pace. The film is obviously derived from a book of much greater complexity, and there are a few holes and things left unexplained. For the first time ever I did not like Kevin Spacey's acting. There are a few neat twists and tricks, especially "To understand the living, you gotta commune wit' the dead!"

Who should see this film:

-- arty drama types, this is your kind of film

-- anybody from this region of the world

I'll give Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil a so-so 6 out of 10, which is the highest rating I'll give a film I didn't really enjoy watching.


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