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Night Into Morning (1951)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 8 June 1951 (USA)
Berkeley university professor adjusts (using alcohol) to tragic fire deaths of wife & son.


Fletcher Markle


Karl Tunberg (original screenplay), Leonard Spigelgass (original screenplay)




Cast overview, first billed only:
Ray Milland ... Phillip Ainley
John Hodiak ... Tom Lawry
Nancy Reagan ... Mrs. Katherine Mead (as Nancy Davis)
Lewis Stone ... Dr. Horace Snyder
Jean Hagen ... Girl Next Door
Rosemary DeCamp ... Mrs. Annie Ainley
Dawn Addams ... Dotty Phelps
Jonathan Cott ... Chuck Holderson
Celia Lovsky ... Mrs. Niemoller
Gordon Gebert Gordon Gebert ... Russ Kirby
Harry Antrim ... Sam Andersen
Katherine Warren ... Mrs. Margaret Andersen
Mary Lawrence ... Edith Bottomly - Waitress / Student
Herb Vigran ... Joe - the Bartender
Otto Waldis ... Dr. Franz Niemoller


Philip Ainley is a happily-married English teacher at a major USA university, whose life is turned upside down when his wife and child are killed by an explosion and fire in their home. Ainley's associate teacher, Tom Lawry, and the secretary of the department, Katherine Mead, a widow, do what tan to comfort him after the tragedy. As time goes by, Lawry thinks that nothing further can be done and becomes jealous of Katherine's continued efforts to help Ainley. Ainley, following an outward calm during the funeral and following days, tries to escape his sad anxiety through alcohol, and then via a suicide attempt. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


When Dreams Go Smash - You Can Build a New Life!


Drama | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


One of two films starring Ray Milland that deals with alcoholism and co-stars a wife of Ronald Reagan. This one features his second wife, Nancy Reagan (aka Nancy Davis), and the other--The Lost Weekend (1945)--features his first wife, Jane Wyman. See more »


Shadow of the helicopter on the clock tower in the closing scene. See more »


Mrs. Katherine Mead: Phil, wait!
Mrs. Katherine Mead: Don't!
Mrs. Katherine Mead: I'm not going to try to stop you. Please listen to me.
Mrs. Katherine Mead: I stood exactly like that once. Exactly. Only it was a bridge. And I stood there quite calmly, looking at the lights of the city that no longer existed. And I would have hated anyone who said "Don't" or "Wait". And then someone did say it, all the way across the Pacific. I heard Dad, telling me not to do it. You could hear Anne and Timmy. That's what they'd say to you. As long as you live, they have a special kind of ...
See more »


Featured in The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Story (1951) See more »

User Reviews

Deliberate, authentic, intelligent
16 March 2004 | by cononoSee all my reviews

Material which all-too-readily lends itself to melodramatic and/or hackneyed treatment is handled in a deliberate and truly intelligent manner in this surprising sleeper of a film.

The acting of the leads is beyond reproach but to my mind it is the script which wins you over. There are a couple of typical Hollywood clichés (young, wide-eyed midwesterners and earnest, virtuous eastern-European immigrants) but for the most part, the writing is unaffected, original and convincing.

Several subplots weave neatly into the story and are just as convincing themselves. I had never heard of this film before (as opposed to the legendary "Lost Weekend") but I won't forget it soon. Highly recommended

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Release Date:

8 June 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

People in Love See more »

Filming Locations:

Berkeley, California, USA See more »


Box Office


$777,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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