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Tonight at 8:30 (1952)

Meet Me Tonight (original title)
Approved | | Comedy | 6 May 1953 (USA)
An omnibus of three Noel Coward tales: the first, "The Red Peppers" (featuring Kay Walsh, Ted Ray, Martita Hunt, Frank Pettingell and Bill Fraser) about a bickering vaudeville couple who ... See full summary »

Director:

(as Anthony Pélissier)

Writers:

(based on three plays from: "Tonight At 8.30"), (additional dialogue {segment "Ways and Means"})
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ted Ray ... George Pepper (segment "Red Peppers")
... Lily Pepper (segment "Red Peppers")
... Mabel Grace (segment "Red Peppers")
Bill Fraser ... Bert Bentley (segment "Red Peppers")
... Mr. Edwards (segment "Red Peppers")
Toke Townley ... Stage Manager (segment "Red Peppers")
... Call Boy (segment "Red Peppers")
... Henry Gow (segment "Fumed Oak: An Unpleasant Comedy")
... Doris Gow (segment "Fumed Oak: An Unpleasant Comedy")
... Mrs. Rockett (segment "Fumed Oak: An Unpleasant Comedy")
... Elsie Gow (segment "Fumed Oak: An Unpleasant Comedy")
... Stella Cartwright (segment "Ways and Means")
... Toby Cartwright (segment "Ways and Means")
... Murdoch (segment "Ways and Means")
... Olive Lloyd Ransome (segment "Ways and Means")
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Storyline

An omnibus of three Noel Coward tales: the first, "The Red Peppers" (featuring Kay Walsh, Ted Ray, Martita Hunt, Frank Pettingell and Bill Fraser) about a bickering vaudeville couple who form an alliance when some of their company start to needle them, and ends up in some non-amusing slapstick. The second episode is "Fumed Oak" (with Stanley Holloway, Betty Ann Davies, Mary Merrall and Dorothy Gordon) is about a squabbling, middle-class family where Holloway has to contend with a ghastly mother-in-law, a selfish wife and a whining, complaining child and, after 17 years, tells each of them off and departs their company. The third segment is "Ways and Means" (with Valerie Hobson, Nigel Patrick, Jack Warner and Jessie Royce Landis) about a pair of parasites who go from city to city as non-paying guests of wealthy acquaintances. A wealthy American widow is trying to quietly kick them out of her French Riviera home, and the couple, needing funds to get to Venice, hatch a scheme to fleece ... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Smash Stage Hit...Now a Wonderful Movie!

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

6 May 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tonight at 8:30  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Opening credits: All characters and events in this film are fictitious. Any similarity to actual events, or persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. See more »

Quotes

George Pepper: He's a little man, that's the trouble. Never trust a man with short legs - brains too near their bottoms.
See more »

Connections

Version of We Were Dancing (1942) See more »

Soundtracks

Has Anybody Seen Our Ship?
(uncredited)
Written by Noël Coward
Sung by Ted Ray and Kay Walsh
See more »

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User Reviews

 
If you hate your spouse and your life or if you love to heard boorish people prattle on and on, then this one might just resonate for you...
4 February 2015 | by See all my reviews

This film consists of three short stories by Noel Coward. In the early 1950s, quite a few films with this sort of format were made-- most notably from Somerset Maugham. Some of these films were pretty good but a few were rather forgettable. This one is unusual because it was filmed in color--though it's very faded and has a red cast to it now due to decomposition of the filmstock. According to some of the reviewers who seem to know, these three plays are abbreviated and are quite a bit different than their original forms. I have no idea if this is the case or not.

"The Red Peppers" (With Kay Walsh, Ted Ray). This is a shrill and annoying short play that features an old-time stage act of the same name. Once the couple finish their routine, they return to their dressing room and argue. However, when folks that run the theater argue with them, it brings the couple closer together--as they have a mutual enemy. The consequences of all this are supposed to be funny. However, it's really loud and annoying. I'd score this one a 2.

"Fumed Oak" (with Stanley Holloway, Betty Ann Davies, Mary Merrall and Dorothy Gordon). The first portion of the play consists of some terrible women and a very quiet husband. The mother, her daughter and the granddaughter simply are awful. The mother is a histrionic know-it-all, her daughter is a nag and the granddaughter is weak, whiny and shrill. Eventually, the husband announces he's had enough and he puts everyone in their place. However, there are two big problems with this play. First, coming AFTER another unpleasant play involving screaming and nastiness, "Fumed Oak" really comes off poorly. Second, the husband slaps his mother-in-law to shut her up. While it was enjoyable to see this in some ways, the play seems a bit too misogynistic--and may just represent Coward's ambivalence towards women. I give this one a 6. If it hadn't been for my two complaints, an 8.

"Ways and Means" (with Valerie Hobson, Nigel Patrick, Jack Warner and Jessie Royce Landis). This third segment is about a couple who are self-indulgent jerks. They are upper class twits with no job skills and their job is to lie about--acting rich, gambling and using those around them. Ultimately, however, they're just about broke and at the end of their ropes. Based on their lack of character, they do what you expect--use their last pounds to try to gamble their way back to solvency. Whether they do or not, you really don't care as they really are unpleasant and have no real redeeming qualities. I'd give this one a 2.

Overall, this is a very misguided film. On their own, perhaps these plays might have worked. But together they are a very unpleasant affair. Tedious, talky and peopled with folks you simply cannot stand.


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