Letty, a young woman who ended up pregnant, unmarried and on the streets at fifteen is bitter and determined that her child will not grow up to be taken advantage of. Letty teaches her ... See full summary »
Dr. Maurice Lamar is a noted plastic-surgeon who makes his rich clients beautiful, and also makes them. He makes Eve Caron, the wife of Marcel Caron, so satisfied with his skilled hands ... See full summary »
Tired of the dangerous life as gambling boss, Ace Corbin 'retires' from the racket and travels cross-country by train to begin a new life with a new name. On the train, he meets Eleanor and... See full summary »
The switchboard operator in an apartment building falls in love with a businessman who lives in the building, whom she has gotten to know only over the phone. When she discovers that the ... See full summary »
Edward Everett Horton
Some prints of film have blue-tinted night scenes. See more »
When Bunny and Stephen, carrying his javelins, after arriving back unexpectedly from his trip to the Olympics, go into the next room, a large shadow of the boom microphone can be seen moving on the doorway and wall behind it. See more »
An entertaining romantic farce that runs out of steam before the finale; Cary Grant's debut is very memorable
A slight-but-enjoyable romantic farce, THIS IS THE NIGHT is an entertaining little film that should earn a place in cinematic history simply because it contains the feature film debut of Cary Grant, who soon become arguably the most famous movie star of all time. Although he is regulated to playing a largely secondary character, Grant's incomparable screen presence makes him a standout from the very start. Playing an Olympic athlete, Grant makes his entrance into the world of cinema with a light step and a sharp wit - singing about apartment keys, no less! It's a memorable debut, and there are numerous other moments throughout the picture in which Grant demonstrates much of the early promise that would soon flower into full-throttle, megawatt star power in just a few short years.
As for the rest of the film, it is a reasonably solid comedy of adulterous affairs, with some surprisingly risqué elements that were permitted in the days before the Production Code was heavily enforced due to pressure from the National Legion of Decency in l933. The film begins delightfully as a light comedic ballet, with director Frank Turtle providing some truly madcap slapstick and even recitative singing that sets the viewer up for a knockabout farce. Unfortunately, this progressively free-wheeling atmosphere is largely abandoned in the film's last half, which plays out in a more or less predictable manner. The film still holds up perfectly well, however, until the too-conservative ending, which is a big disappointment after over 70 minutes of uninhibited fun.
On the plus side, the film is very well cast, and the actors manage to keep the picture engaging even after the initial momentum of the exhilarating first-half is long gone. Although she makes somewhat of an delayed entrance, Lili Damita brings both pluck and intelligence to the female lead, Roland Young makes the transformation of his somewhat unsympathetic character highly believable, and both Grant and Charles Ruggles offer top-notch support. The lovely Thelma Todd also makes the most of a rather bland role, and her talent for making a relatively thankless character seem genuinely inspired serves as a bittersweet reminder of yet another comedic great that was taken from us way too soon. In the end, THIS IS THE NIGHT is far too inconsistent to ever be considered a great movie, but it sure is a lot of fun!
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