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Midnight Mary (1933)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Romance | 30 June 1933 (USA)
An abused orphan sinks into a life of crime.

Director:

William A. Wellman (as William Wellman)

Writers:

Anita Loos (original story), Gene Markey (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Loretta Young ... Mary Martin
Ricardo Cortez ... Leo Darcy
Franchot Tone ... Tom Mannering Jr.
Andy Devine ... Sam Travers
Una Merkel ... Bunny
Frank Conroy ... District Attorney
Warren Hymer ... Angelo
Ivan F. Simpson ... Tindle (as Ivan Simpson)
Harold Huber ... Puggy
Sandy Roth Sandy Roth ... Blimp
Martha Sleeper ... Barbara Mannering
Charley Grapewin ... Clerk (as Charles Grapewin)
Halliwell Hobbes ... Churchill
Robert Emmett O'Connor ... Charlie - the Cop
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Storyline

A young woman is on trial for murder. In flashback, we learn of her struggles to overcome poverty as a teenager -- a mistaken arrest and prison term for shoplifting and lack of employment lead to involvement with gangsters. In a brothel, she meets a young lawyer, scion of a wealthy and prestigious family, who falls for her and helps her turn around her life. But her past catches up with her, and she must face the music rather than cause him scandal. Written by GoblinHairedGuy

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 June 1933 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Lady of the Night See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original working title "Lady of the Night" was changed after the Hayes Office objected (the title was thought to be obscene). See more »

Goofs

In the opening courtroom scene, the Cosmopolitan magazine edition that Mary is reading differs between the long and close-up shots. The edition she reads in long shots is the February, 1933 edition and in close-up shots, she reads the May, 1933 edition. See more »

Quotes

Mary Martin: Sometimes I think if I don't get away from you, I'll go out of my mind.
Leo Darcy: You'll never get away from me. You belong to me, remember?
Mary Martin: I've never belonged to you.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Complicated Women (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Jingle Bells
(1857) (uncredited)
Written by James Pierpont
In the score at Christmas
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fast and well done all around...lifts just above excellent routine pre-code dramas
6 June 2012 | by secondtakeSee all my reviews

Midnight Mary (1933)

Wow, you'll never see so many wipe transitions from one scene to the next, which is a big part of how this great little movie moves and moves. Loretta Young is terrific in a common role for the time--a woman who is good at heart getgin in trouble through circumstance and a little too much trust, or plain old willingness. She is surrounded by a mixed and twirling (and large) cast of secondary characters, a couple of them well known such as leading male Franchot Tone.

William Wellman is a director known most of all for being professional. He has no signature style, and unlike say William Wyler or Michael Curtiz, also accused of being professionally style-less, he has no truly amazing films to his name. But boy does have have a dozen really excellent ones. And few duds. In fact, one reason I went out of my way to see this, at a neighbor's house who gets TCM, is because of Wellman.

And also because of Young, who was a starlet and a beauty in her time. If she lacked some on screen spark to make her a superstar, she still had a lovable, solid, convincing presence every time. In a way, she was perfect for Wellman. Tone, in his come and go role, is fine, as is the quirky Andy Devine (the guy with the hoarse, high voice).

Another reason to see this is the freshness it has as a pre-code film. There is a natural acceptance of couples living together (and presumably sleeping together) that is not a salacious part of the film but just makes it true--or at least less artificial. It's a great aspect to many of this era's movies, in some ways my favorite era of all the 1930s, as great as the later and purposely artificial screwball comedies truly are.

What will hold this back at all for some viewers is a lack of total polish and storytelling finesse (filming and editing, as well as writing). It isn't that films in 1933 were always plagued by small flaws like these, but even the masterpieces of the time feel a little raw in spots. This is a charm, a benefit, if you look at it that way. Don't expect "Casablanca" or even "It Happened One Night" (from the next year) and you'll really enjoy this. The plot is familiar, the acting routine, the lighting bright (high key). But it's really fun and well done and a fast ride. Do it.


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