53 user 6 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.


Mervyn LeRoy


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




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 ... Mattie
Marjorie Bennett ... Hazel Evans
Johnstone White ... Malcolm Southey
Eleanor Audley ... Mrs. Hathaway


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


A pretty girl and the stunning shock that marriage brings her! See more »




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Since this was a film by Warner Brothers, much of the soundtrack was stock and is the same as used in their 1942 movie Now Voyager. See more »


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 »


Put 'em in a Box, Tie 'em with a Ribbon (and Throw 'em in the Deep Blue Sea)
Music by Jule Styne
Played at the Spring Dance when Charlotte and Hamilton are outside
See more »

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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Release Date:

14 January 1959 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Home Before Dark See more »

Filming Locations:

Boston, Massachusetts, USA See more »


Box Office


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

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

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