5.3/10
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24 user 11 critic

Heart of Midnight (1988)

Carol inherits a night club from her weird uncle. She moves into the place, only to find out just how weird her uncle really was. She begins to remember more about her very special ... See full summary »

Director:

Matthew Chapman

Writer:

Matthew Chapman
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jennifer Jason Leigh ... Carol
Brenda Vaccaro ... Betty
Jack Hallett Jack Hallett ... Lawyer
Nicholas Love ... Tom (as Nick Love)
James Rebhorn ... Richard
Tico Wells Tico Wells ... Henry
Sam Schacht Sam Schacht ... Uncle Fletcher (as Sam Schact)
Nina Lora Nina Lora ... Carol as a Child
Steve Buscemi ... Eddy
Frank Stallone ... Ledray
Denise Dumont Denise Dumont ... Mariana (as Denise Dummont)
Peter Coyote ... Sharpe / Larry
Jim Geallis Jim Geallis ... Lt. Sharpe (as James Geallis)
Ken Moser Ken Moser ... Ledray's Sidekick
Nicholas Cimino ... Boy with Kittens
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Storyline

Carol inherits a night club from her weird uncle. She moves into the place, only to find out just how weird her uncle really was. She begins to remember more about her very special relationship with her uncle as she battles her memories and her surroundings in her new home. Written by Rick Lofgren <rlofgren@synopsys.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Between the madness of what is real and the horror of her imagination lies the... Heart of Midnight.

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 March 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Corazón de medianoche See more »

Filming Locations:

Charleston, South Carolina, USA

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$113,275
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (PAL DVD)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color (TVC)
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film features a short stag film called "Apple Knockers and Coke," on a B&W television (at around 16 mins); which was sold to the director as supposedly starring Marilyn Monroe. In actuality, the film stars 1954 Playboy model Arline Hunter, who had a slight resemblance to Monroe. See more »

Alternate Versions

The Italian and German VHS and TV editions run 1:29:01 at PAL speed; the UK DVD edition runs 1:46:25 at PAL speed, so it's 17 minutes longer. Nevertheless, it's missing a bit during the rape scene: for a few seconds the hardcore cartoon showing on TV is replaced by less rude images. The cartoon is intact in the other shorter editions. See more »

Connections

Features The 39 Steps (1935) See more »

Soundtracks

She's My Guiding Light
Performed by Frank Stallone
Written by Frank Stallone
See more »

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User Reviews

Stolen dreams and empty futures
7 October 1999 | by DFC-2See all my reviews

Jennifer Jason Leigh plays a psychologically devastated young woman who has inherited an adult club from her recently deceased uncle. She initially remembers only his kindness to her, and wants nothing to do with his past business life. Her goal is to transform the closed building into a dance club and to try to make it on her own. She sets up housekeeping in her uncle's former living quarters, and pays a contractor to oversee the renovation. The film contains some graphic sexual content, but it adds to the horror rather than plays a purely exploitive role. The story is about the irreparable harm caused by abuse and it is a powerful celluloid indictment of sexual predators who leave few obvious physical scars on their victims.

The movie died a quick box office death. It was not designed for the fans of X-rated fun & games, and it was too dark and unsettling for most regular viewers looking for a pleasant night out. Leigh's character is the only role fully developed. Most of the other acting is B-movie quality at best and the dialogue is often wooden. Nonetheless, her performance and the story are good enough to carry the picture.

The story functions best as a psychological horror story and the cinematography contains some truly frightening visual images of things she sees or thinks she sees. These elements work well to underline her insecurity and instability. They also highlight her courage in trying to make it on her own in a world ready to accept that she is merely weak-minded and unable to cope. The script is not at the same level as that of "Spoorlos" or "Sixth Sense," but it is as good as many quality thrillers. There are very few pictures that deal with this subject area in more than an oblique way and rarely from the perspective of the abused. Give this movie a chance to work. Realism in cinema is hard to find, and this is an imperfect but realistic exploration of a difficult topic.


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