Night and Day (1946) - Rotten Tomatoes

Night and Day (1946)





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Faced with the challenge of writing a screenplay based on the life of fabulously wealthy, fabulously successful composer Cole Porter, one Hollywood wag came up with a potential story angle: "How does the S.O.B. make his second million dollars?" By the time the Porter biopic Night and Day was released, the three-person scriptwriting team still hadn't come up with a compelling storyline, though the film had the decided advantages of star Cary Grant and all that great Porter music. Roughly covering the years 1912 to 1946, the story begins during Porter's undergraduate days at Yale University, where he participated in amateur theatricals under the tutelage of waspish professor Monty Woolley (who plays himself). Though Porter's inherited wealth could have kept him out of WWI, he insists upon signing up as an ambulance driver. While serving in France, he meets nurse Linda Lee (Alexis Smith), who will later become his wife. Focusing his attentions on Broadway and the London stage in the postwar years, Porter pens an unbroken string of hit songs, including "Just One of Those Things," "You're the Top," "I Get a Kick Out of You," "Begin the Beguine," and the title number. The composition of this last-named song is one of the film's giddy highlights, as Porter, inspired by the "drip drip drip" of an outsized rainstorm, runs to the piano and cries "I think I've got it!" The film's dramatic conflict arises when Porter is crippled for life in a polo accident. Refusing to have his legs amputated, he makes an inspiring comeback, even prompting a WWI amputee to remark upon his courage! Corny and unreliable as biography, Night and Day is redeemed by the guest appearances of musical luminaries Mary Martin (doing a spirited if disappointingly demure version of her striptease number "My Heart Belongs to Daddy") and Ginny Simms, the latter cast as an ersatz Ethel Merman named Carole Hill. Jane Wyman, seen as Porter's pre-nuptial sweetheart Gracie Harris, also gets to sing and dance, and quite well indeed. Beset with production problems, not least of which was the ongoing animosity between star Grant and director Michael Curtiz, Night and Day managed to finish filming on schedule, and proved to be an audience favorite -- except for those "in the know" Broadwayites who were bemused over the fact that Cole Porter's well-known homosexuality was necessarily weaned from the screenplay.
Classics , Drama , Musical & Performing Arts
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Warner Bros. Pictures

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Cary Grant
as Cole Porter
Alexis Smith
as Linda Lee Porter
Monty Woolley
as Himself
Jane Wyman
as Gracie Harris
Ginny Simms
as Carole Hill
Eve Arden
as Gabrielle
Victor Francen
as Anatole Giron
Alan Hale
as Leon Dowling
Tom D'Andrea
as Bernie
Selena Royle
as Kate Porter
Donald Woods
as Ward Blackburn
Henry Stephenson
as Omar Cole
Paul Cavanagh
as Bart McClelland
Milada Mladova
as Specialty dancer
Mary Martin
as Herself
John Alvin
as Petey
Carlos Ramirez
as Specialty singer
Harlan Briggs
as Doorman
Harry Seymour
as Clarence
Sig Rumann
as Willowsky
George Meader
as Minister
Boyd Davis
as Dean
Virginia Sale
as Minister's Wife
Gregory Muradian
as Small Caroler
Garry Owen
as Bartender
Crane Whitley
as Commercial Artist
J.W. Johnston
as Doctor
Lynne Baggett
as Sexboat
Bob McKenzie
as Hansom Cab Driver
George Zoritch
as Specialty dancer
Emile Hilb
as Orchestra Leader
Edward Biby
as Surgeon
Bernard DeRoux
as Assistant to Giron
Henri DeSoto
as Waiter
Marie Melesch
as Scrub Woman
Regina Wallace
as Tina's mother
Frank Marlowe
as Army Driver
Rune Hultman
as American Lieutenant
Peter Camlin
as French Lieutenant
George Riley
as O'Halloran
Frank Ferguson
as Tina's father
Fern Emmett
as Secretary
Mayo Newhall
as Bearded Man
George Nokes
as Wayne Blackburn Child
Gordon Richards
as Coachman
Laura Treadwell
as Woman in Theater
Frank Miliott
as Man in Theater
Howard Freeman
as Producer
Bobby Watson
as Director
Philip Van Zandt
as Librettist
Harry Crocker
as Newspaperman
John W. Goldsworthy
as Yale Gentleman
Herman Bing
as `Peaches'
Chester Clute
as Music Publisher
Susanne Rosser
as Chorine
Richard Bartell
as Photographer
Eddie Kane
as Headwaiter
Rudy Friml
as Orchestra Leader
Helen Pender
as Pretty Nurse
Edward Kelly
as Callboy
Gene Garrick
as Soldier
Jacqueline Milo
as French Girl
George Kirby
as Cab Driver
Scott Wallace
as Chauffeur
Colin Kenny
as Doorman
Buddy Gorman
as English Page Boy
Harold De Becker
as English Workman
Jack Mower
as Livery Chauffeur
Elizabeth Valentine
as Matron in Hospital
Pat Gleason
as Dance Director
Don Roy
as Band Leader
Hans Herbert
as Headwaiter
George Boyce
as Stage Manager
Fred Deming
as Guest
Henry Hasting
as Bartender
Vivien Oakland
as Married Couple
Albert Petit
as French Waiter
Jack Richardson
as Surgeon (uncredited)
Maurice Brierre
as French Waiter (uncredited)
Frank Dae
as Professor (uncredited)
Fred Santley
as Yale Alumni
Creighton Hale
as Man in Theater (uncredited)
Almira Sessions
as Couple in Hospital Corridor
Eric Wilton
as English Officer
Ernest Golm
as Foreign Couple
Paul Gustine
as Men in Theater
Rebel Randall
as Chorus girl
Richard Erdman
as Customer
Joyce Compton
as Chorine
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Critic Reviews for Night and Day

All Critics (4)

a notorious example of the fantasizing Hollywood freely dealt to contemporary reality, but its strength comes from the use of close to two dozen Porter songs, so that the narrative, in which Porter is always too busy with his next Broadway show to spend q

June 15, 2007

Laughably sanitized biopic.

September 13, 2004
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Audience Reviews for Night and Day


I can assure you the pleasure is all yours. Cole Porter is a Yale graduate composer who initially struggles to get on his feet, and finds true love during his struggles; but when his career takes off, it takes off with a bang and leads to him leaving true love by the wayside. Cole will need to make some tough decisions, and if he makes the wrong ones, may regret his direction in life. "All you have to do is be amusing and don't say a word." Michael Curtiz, director of Casablanca, White Christmas, Mildred Pierce, We're No Angels, Mildred Pierce, Yankee Doodle Dandee, Santa Fe, and The Sea Wolf, delivers Night and Day. The storyline for this picture is excellent and very well told. The settings, story, and acting were all perfect. The cast includes Cary Grant, Alexis Smith, Monty Woolley, Jane Wyman, and Eve Arden. "What's wrong with him?" "He probably wants to be alone. Haven't you ever wanted to be alone?" "Yeah...but with somebody." I randomly came across this Curtiz/Grant collaboration and had to DVR it. This was a brilliant picture and a very underrated addition to the genre. I loved the evolution of Grant's character and the pace of the film is perfect (as is the conclusion). I strongly recommend seeing this picture. "Don't forget to share him for Christmas." Grade: A-

Kevin Robbins
Kevin Robbins

Typical Hollywood hard sell designed to keep you from thinking too long on the fact that you're actually getting very little. So there's oodles of scantily clad dancing girls in Technicolor (in typically extravagant, over-the-top MGM Busby Berkely inspired dance numbers - which ain't bad at all = one star), lotsa close-ups of Grant (one star), and of course those unforgettable Porter songs (the only real reason to see this), used even as background music when not being used as centerpieces (one star). Its very, very shiny, but that's all.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

Grant plays Cole Porter in this biography of his life. It features many of his hit songs too. If you're a fan of either Grant or Porter, you will enjoy this movie.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

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