All Through the Night Reviews
A group of laid back Broadway gamblers - lead by the charismatic and always-elegant Humphrey Bogart - stumble onto an intriguing scheme, which starts off when a friendly baker turns up dead in his shop. Every clue brings them closer to danger, as they discover that the whole mystification might be connected to a deadly ring of enemy agents operating in the USA in order to gradually destroy the country right from its heart. Following a few deadly encounters, kidnappings, shoot-outs (and marvelously laughable situations) the boys finally realize what they've gotten themselves into. And in the third act it's Bogey's and William Demarest's (ingeniously called Sunshine) time to shine. Namely, they try to persuade - speaking gibberish for the great amusement of the audiences - a room filled with Nazis that they're actually Germans too.
With clever and and faultless dialogues, adequate comedic interludes, fascinating plot and most-ravishing ending All Through the Night aspires to be a sharp propaganda flick with a truly satisfying patriotic attitude.
That's all I have to say about that.
(1941) All Through The Night
MYSTERY/ SUSPENSE/ COMEDY
Very relevent during it's time but extremely tame now starring Humphrey Bogart as leader of his cronies, Gloves becoming completely ligit, and then stumbling and clashing into a group of Nazi sypathizers!
As I have stated before, this film was very relevent during it's time of release if one were to consider the time this film was released theatrically in 1941 which was during WWII and the public needed to see escapism pictures and this was one of them, but doesn't hold up now, since they're way better ones to be seen, whether on tv or on film! Theirs some nice action scenes shown here like the open elevator gun fight except that it's not like that throughout the film!
2 out 4
Under the Code, gangsters couldn't be both main characters and actually threatening. Humphrey Bogart managed to project subtle menace a lot of the time, but he was only supposed to be a real, serious threat when he was the villain and would be nobly defeated by someone we were actually supposed to be admiring. Here, he's supposed to be a hero, which means he can't be a genuine gangster. He's got a lovable mother and a thing about a certain brand of cheesecake. He makes a lot of bets, but he doesn't really participate in any other rackets. It's true that it's too late for him to be a rumrunner, but there are all kinds of other unsavoury things a mobster could get into in the '40s. However, since he's Our Hero, the reason the cops have wanted to bust him for years has been left rather amorphous. We know there's gambling, and we know they talk a lot about killing people, but it's never said they actually have.
Gloves Donahue (Bogart) is a charming kingpin of some sort. However, when his mother (Jane Darwell) wants him to do things, he does. And his mother wants him to investigate the disappearance of the baker of all those cheesecakes, Mr. Miller (Ludwig Stössel), who has vanished without a trace. Only Gloves and his gang find Miller's body. They encounter Leda Hamilton (Kaaren Verne), whom Gloves immediately suspects of being somehow involved with the murder. He follows her into a Nazi spy ring populated with such old favourites as Peter Lorre and Conrad Veidt, and he is promptly accused of Miller's death himself. Together with his wacky circle of associates, including Jackie Gleason and Phil Silvers, he goes in search of who really killed Miller, why, and what they're planning to do next. And, of course, while those gangsters may be crooks, they're also one hundred percent American, and they have no patience for Nazis.
As is typical of the era, half the Nazis are played by Germans who fled the country, generally one step ahead of the Gestapo. Most notable of these are Lorre and Veidt. Lorre's performance in [i]M[/i] is so powerful and so moving that Hitler's propaganda used it as an example of what Jews are "really like." It's not universally true, of course--very few people, Jew or Gentile, are that talented. However, it enabled him to make a place for himself in American film as the untrustworthy, mysterious man who was pretty much never the man at the top. He and Veidt would also both be denizens of Casablanca the year after, centering their lives, as everyone else in the city seems to have done, around Rick's. (Veidt would die two years after this film of a heart attack.) Indeed, one of the most touching scenes in that movie, the singing of the Marseillaise, is made the more so by the fact that half the people singing it were just what their characters were--refugees dreaming of the day their homes would be free again.
Worth noting is that Leda's father is declared, in the movie, to be imprisoned at Dachau. Gloves can't pronounce it; he just spells it out. However, she quite bluntly informs him, when he asks, that it's a concentration camp. This was not secret knowledge. Now, of course, the scale of the camp, and the camp system it was part of, and the conditions of the camp, were not known to the general public at the time. It is also true that, the minute that information is established, I assumed he was dead, and my reasons for that assumption are not just based on dramatic rules. Though, of course, they are good and sound dramatic rules! At any rate, the cast would have known of the existence of such places, given that, as mentioned, several of them escaped Germany just ahead of being put in them. This may also have something to do with Lorre's subsequent appearance in [i]Hollywood Canteen[/i], another propaganda piece of the same era, albeit one a little more realistic.
I would like to congratulate the makers of the DVD for one thing, which appears on some similar releases. It is possible to watch this as "Warner's Night at the Movies," which includes a couple of short subjects, including a trailer and a newsreel. This is an ideal presentation for an older movie. (The movie the trailer was for was kind of iffy, to the point that I don't seem to have bothered with a review. Maybe I turned it off.) In some ways, I think we are deprived of an experience by the fact that we don't have these things anymore. Oh, we have trailers a-plenty, and some are even for movies you might want to see, though they're not generally as original as the best of the old ones. We get plenty of ads, and Pixar is very good at giving us a cartoon in advance. But I think maybe we'd be better served to have the newsreels back. It might serve to get people aware of their surroundings again. Maybe Jon Stewart has the time.
My main problem with ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT is that for every wonderful line delivered, it is off-set by scenes that really test your plausibility limits. One moment will have you laughing, but the next moment will have you roll your eyes. I suppose it can work for you if viewed primarily as a comedy, yet it contains some of the most violent scenes I've seen yet for a 1940's flick (yes, tame by modern standards - but very violent for it's time imo).
ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT isn't a film that readily comes to mind when you think Bogie - yet he has incredible screen presence here. His character "Gloves" Donahue straddles the gray area between being a law abiding citizen and outlaw. He plays sort of a sports bookie/gambler surrounded by his posse (Demarest, Gleason and perennial character actor Frank McHugh). Demarest's character, "Sunshine" has the best lines which Demarest delivers in his best Preston Sturges'-like tradition. He does a few of his patented pratfalls here too.
Gloves is one tough cookie yet he always remembers to buy flowers for his mom (Jane Darwell). It is actually Gloves' mother who starts the action rolling when she asks Gloves to investigate the disappearance of one Mr. Miller (Ludwig Stosell) - the kindly neighborhood baker. We learn that Mr. Miller - who is of German descent - has connections to some very shady characters. When Mr. Miller refuses to cooperate with them, he is paid a visit by the sinister thug, Pepe (Peter Lorre). During the course of his investigation, Gloves himself gets into hot water with the law when he inadvertently becomes the prime suspect in a murder of one of Gloves' "business" rival.
The lead female is played by Kaaren Verne (who will eventually marry Peter Lorre, BTW). Her character acts as a spy for the baddies. The baddies have her father locked in a prison camp - Dachau. If she does not cooperate with the baddies...her father will be kaput. It is particularly interesting (and foreboding) to note a reference to Dachau in a film so early in the war- knowing what we know now.
Also of note is Judith Anderson (Mrs. Danvers from Hitchcock's REBECCA). Watch as she delivers her lines as she cuddles a dachshund. Hateful spite and caring all at once. Nicely done.
7.5 for now.
I can see this rating go higher upon rewatches.
Humphrey Bogart leads the cast with an excellent performance as Alfred "Gloves" Donahue, indifferent to World War II until drawn into a world of subterfuge. Conrad Veidt plays a refined yet dangerous Nazi leader in a role similar to the role he would play as Major Strasser in "Casablanca". Kaaren Verne is effective as Leda Hamilton, a woman caught in the tangled plot. Peter Lorre does a fine job lurking in the shadows and trying to thwart Donahue's efforts. Jane Darwell was amusing as Donahue's interfering mother.
The film has an interesting story with enough turns to keep it engaging. There was a lot of humor injected into the story and the dialogue was good for the most part. Some of the humor was off-beat, particularly that of Frank McHugh's character, Barney, whose muddled relationship with his wife and other concerns distracted from the more interesting main story. However, there were a lot of amusing moments as well, particularly when Donahue fakes a report to the Nazi underground. This film is clearly a propaganda piece, which is fine for the most part, but at times the propaganda is too blunt. Overall, though, "All Through the Night" is a satisfactory World War II film featuring performances from famous actors that would soon appear in "Casablanca".