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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

Milland can't let go
12 July 2017 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Although Night Into Morning gets a bit overwrought at times in most of it Ray Milland hits the right note as the college English professor just overwhelmed with the tragic accidental deaths of his wife Rosemary DeCamp and his young son in a furnace explosion in their house. The pain gets so bad that Professor Milland has many a lost weekend because of it.

Helping him through the crisis are fellow faculty member John Hodiak and department secretary Nancy Davis try to keep Milland grounded. Davis is a war widow and she held on to the memory of a husband killed in the Pacific for quite a bit, she's come to terms and hopes Milland does the same. Hodiak and Davis are an item, but Hodiak is afraid that Davis just might be going a bit overboard in her concern, that she's falling for Milland and putting their relationship in danger.

Lewis Stone has a small role as chair of the English department. I was surprised he was not used more, possibly a Judge Hardy moment with all three of the leads. Jean Hagen has a small memorable role as a cheery woman in the next apartment who has a most interesting scene with Milland. Can't say more, you have to see it.

Those stages of grief we go through, Milland just can't let himself go. But when he does you know it will work out.

Leads and supporting cast bring home a winner in Night Into Morning, a textbook study in grief.

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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)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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