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Tonight's the Night (1954)

Happy Ever After (original title)
Approved | | Comedy | 19 December 1954 (USA)
The whole village mourns when General O'Leary, owner of a hunting estate in South Ireland, is killed in an accident. His nephew, Jasper O'Leary, takes over the state and soon has aroused ... See full summary »


Mario Zampi


Jack Davies (screenplay), Jack Davies (story) | 3 more credits »




Cast overview, first billed only:
David Niven ... Jasper O'Leary
Yvonne De Carlo ... Serena McGlusky
Barry Fitzgerald ... Thady O'Heggarty
George Cole ... Terence
A.E. Matthews ... General O'Leary
Noelle Middleton ... Kathy McGlusky
Robert Urquhart Robert Urquhart ... Dr. Michael Flynn
Michael Shepley ... Major McGlusky
Joseph Tomelty ... Dooley
Eddie Byrne ... Lannigan
Jimmy Mageean Jimmy Mageean ... Divarsion
Patrick McAlinney ... O'Connor
Brian O'Higgins Brian O'Higgins ... Milligan
Liam Redmond ... Regan
Patrick Westwood ... Murphy


The whole village mourns when General O'Leary, owner of a hunting estate in South Ireland, is killed in an accident. His nephew, Jasper O'Leary, takes over the state and soon has aroused the displeasure of all, with the exception of Serena McGluskey, as much a schemer as he is a cad. Led by Thady O'Heggarty, the villagers plot to drive Jasper away. They use the occasion of "O'Leary Night", when the ghost of the first O'Leary walks the halls, to create general chaos. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The film's original title, Happy Ever After (1954), has led to confusion with another David Niven British-made film, Happy Go Lovely (1951). See more »


Major McGlusky: Look here, O'Leary, we *must* get this straight.
Jasper O'Leary: All right. Once and for all, I cannot accept responsibility for the deathbed ramblings of an aged lunatic.
Major McGlusky: Lunatic? General? Sanest man I ever met!
Jasper O'Leary: An 82 year-old man with one eye who tries to jump a 10-foot wall on a 20 year-old horse - - "sane"?
Major McGlusky: Ooh, well, he was mad to try it, but he was *not* insane!
Jasper O'Leary: I'm sorry, I've not lived long enough in Ireland to appreciate the logic of that remark.
See more »


My Heart Is Irish
Written by Michael Carr
Sung over credits by chorus
and in the public bar by Denis Martin (uncredited)
See more »

User Reviews

delightful, little-seen flick
23 May 2014 | by rupieSee all my reviews

I have to agree with the consensus here that this a comic gem of its type. In its depiction of Irish country life it reminded me a lot of "The Quiet Man," right down to Barry Fitzgerald playing essentially the same character as in that flick, though its production values are not as high and it does not achieve the exalted rank John Ford attained with that movie. Still it's a sparkling comedy with a lot of cracklingly excellent dialogue. The viewer who commented that Niven shows his "dark side" is a bit off the mark, as this is hardly a movie about character development and Niven's character is basically a cartoon, very reminiscent of his Phileas Fogg in "Around the World in 80 Days." He may be nasty but it's hard to dislike him entirely. Yvonne deCarlo does excellent work here. She's great with accents; she's as convincing as an Irish woman here as she was as an Algerian in "The Captain's Paradise." Though the movie is not an Ealing Studios production, it has all the hallmarks of the best of that great studio's comedies in the post-WWII period. Be sure to catch this if you get the chance (thanks, TCM!).

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Release Date:

19 December 1954 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tonight's the Night See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See full technical specs »

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