7.3/10
1,854
33 user 11 critic

Night Must Fall (1937)

Passed | | Drama, Mystery, Thriller | 30 April 1937 (USA)
When a rich but cantankerous dowager on an isolated estates hires an engaging handyman, her niece/companion becomes suspicious of his motives.

Director:

Richard Thorpe

Writers:

Emlyn Williams (from the stage success of), John Van Druten (screen play)
Reviews
Popularity
4,248 ( 23,008)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 4 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Merle Tottenham ... Dora
Kathleen Harrison ... Mrs. Terence
May Whitty ... Mrs. Bramson (as Dame May Whitty)
Rosalind Russell ... Olivia
Eily Malyon ... Nurse
Matthew Boulton ... Belsize
Robert Montgomery ... Danny
Beryl Mercer ... Saleslady
Alan Marshal ... Justin
Winifred Harris Winifred Harris ... Mrs. Laurie
E.E. Clive ... Guide
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Storyline

Crotchety old Mrs. Bransom hires a charming young man named Danny as a live-in companion. Less charmed by Danny is Mrs. Bransom's niece, Olivia, a repressed young woman who suspects Danny of foul play. When news of a local murder is revealed, Olivia suspects Danny. Although repulsed by the thought he may have committed the crime, Olivia also finds herself becoming increasingly attracted to him at the same time. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

AMAZING! DIFFERENT! UNIQUE!


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 April 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Al caer la noche See more »

Company Credits

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

Madge Evans wanted the female lead, but Rosalind Russell was chosen. See more »

Goofs

While Olivia and Justin are talking at the cricket match, in the background you see the couple with the dog start to walk by twice. See more »

Quotes

Olivia Grayne: Is my cigarette worrying you?
Mrs. Bramson: Not at all!
[Waving her hand before her face]
Mrs. Bramson: I like it!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The main title reads "The astonishing London and New York stage success 'Night Must Fall' ". See more »

Connections

Version of Hour of Mystery: Night Must Fall (1957) See more »

Soundtracks

Mighty Lak' a Rose
(1901) (uncredited)
Written by Ethelbert Nevin
Whistled by Robert Montgomery
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Whitty walks away with this "poetic" thriller
30 January 2001 | by bmacvSee all my reviews

Other commentators have complained about the "talkiness" of this thriller, and it can't be denied that much of the movie's almost-two-hour running time is squandered in the Welsh equivalent of blarney. (Thank original author Emlyn Williams, and remember this was originally a stage play -- in fact, I've seen it on stage, where it may work even better, with its more obvious and mannered mechanisms). You won't find a cast this good at a Wednesday matinee, however. Roz Russell, in plain-Jane getups, plays a definite third wheel to Robert Montgomery's charming psycho and Dame May Whitty's steely but dependent old battleaxe. Whitty walks away with the movie even though wheelchair-bound; she's amusingly annoying and in almost every scene, but at the end, when panic strikes her and she skitters off into hysteria, she shows what a great old trouper she was -- almost the British version of Marie Dressler. If you aren't totally spoiled by the whiplash pacing of today's movies, Night Must Fall still packs a special thrill for lovers of literate, well-acted melodrama. Just be a wee bit patient.


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