7.2/10
766
51 user 5 critic

Home Before Dark (1958)

Not Rated | | Drama | 14 January 1959 (France)
Simmons is magnetic as Charlotte, her lovely, delicate face reflecting the inner turmoil of a woman battling for sanity after she walks out of a mental institution.

Director:

Mervyn LeRoy

Writers:

Eileen Bassing (screenplay), Robert Bassing (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 3 Golden Globes. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jean Simmons ... Charlotte Bronn
Dan O'Herlihy ... Arnold Bronn
Rhonda Fleming ... Joan Carlisle
Efrem Zimbalist Jr. ... Jacob 'Jake' Diamond
Mabel Albertson ... Inez Winthrop
Stephen Dunne ... Hamilton Gregory (as Steve Dunne)
Joan Weldon ... Frances Barrett
Joanna Barnes ... Cathy Bergner
Kathryn Card Kathryn Card ... Mattie
Marjorie Bennett ... Hazel Evans
Johnstone White ... Malcolm Southey
Eleanor Audley ... Mrs. Hathaway
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Storyline

A wealthy but emotionally damaged woman is released from a sanitarium a year after suffering a mental breakdown. She returns to her home, shared with her husband, stepsister, stepmother, and maid. She attempts to start her life over again, but the home environment that caused her breakdown are still there. The lack of support from those closest to her threatens her fragile recovery. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Now the performance and the story that will make this the most discussed motion picture this year. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 January 1959 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Bevor die Nacht anbricht See more »

Filming Locations:

Boston, Massachusetts, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,390,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Danvers State Mental Hospital was in fact a real hospital, which used treatments such as the lobotomy, electroshock therapy and drug therapy. In the 21st century most of the building was destroyed and is now for sale as condo property. The film Session 9 was also shot at the hospital building. In the 1970's the outdated treatments were stopped and community-based mental health treatment replaced the former. See more »

Goofs

Arnold drives Charlotte home from the hospital in a snowstorm, and there is already a considerable amount of snow on the ground. At the end of the film, New Year's Eve, Charlotte mentions that she's been home for 3 months which means the snowstorm happened at the end of September. See more »

Soundtracks

Some Sunday Morning
(uncredited)
Music by M.K. Jerome and Ray Heindorf
Played when Charlotte and Jake leave the New Year's party
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Simmons hits it out of the park . . .
20 December 2013 | by purrlgurrlSee all my reviews

A terrific actress, Jean Simmons never quite reached the top rung of Hollywood stardom the way her contemporaries did (e.g., Elizabeth Taylor or even Kim Novak). Tiny (in an era of big buxom beauties), dark, intense, and British, she had somewhat limited appeal among American audiences. And now, she's often overlooked or forgotten when we think of actresses of her era. But, looking back at much of her work, it's clear she was probably the finest screen actress of the lot working in Hollywood in her time.

This is nowhere more apparent than this film where Simmmons brings some emotional truth to every frame she's in. She elevates even the most maudlin dialog she must deliver in what is essentially a potboiler with the intensity she brings to her performance. She plays it like it's Shakespearean tragedy, and is simply heart-breaking as well as mesmerizing as a woman desperately struggling to recover from a breakdown and save her failing marriage.

It's truly sad this film has been largely forgotten because Jean Simmons and her performance shouldn't be.


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