Midnight (1939)

Midnight (1939)

TOMATOMETER

——

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Midnight Photos

Movie Info

Midnight, written by that matchless Hollywood pair Billy Wilder and Charles Backett, is that rare Hollywood bird: a comedy where practically everything works. Poverty-stricken Claudette Colbert is stranded in Paris with only an evening gown to her name. She is hired by aristocrat John Barrymore to pose as a Hungarian countess, to divert the gigolo (Francis Lederer) who is wooing Barrymore's wife (Mary Astor). Don Ameche is a sarcastic cabdriver who befriends Colbert and watches the whole spectacle at the Barrymore home in disdain: What he isn't telling anyone (until the very end at least) is that he is a Count in disguise. The farcical complications come thick and fast, culminating in a less funny but still entertaining courtroom scene, in which the never-married Ameche and Colbert must request a divorce! Deftly skirting the censorship strictures of the period, Midnight is a peak-form product from Hollywood's finest year, as well as the high water mark in the career of director Mitchell Leisen.
Rating:
R
Genre:
Classics , Comedy , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
Paramount Pictures

Cast

Claudette Colbert
as Eve Peabody/"Baroness Czerny"
John Barrymore
as George Flammarion
Don Ameche
as Tibor Czerny
Francis Lederer
as Jacques Picot
Mary Astor
as Helene Flammarion
Elaine Barrie
as Simone
Hedda Hopper
as Stephanie
Rex O'Malley
as Marcel
Lionel Pape
as Edouart
Ferdinand Munier
as Major Domo
Gennaro Curci
as Major Domo
Joseph De Stefani
as Head Porter
Arno Frey
as Room clerk
Eugene Borden
as Porter
Paul Bryar
as Porter
Leonard Sues
as Bellboy
Eddie Conrad
as Prince Potopienko
Nestor Paiva
as Woman's escort
Harry Semels
as Policeman
Gino Corrado
as Taxi Driver
Louis Mercier
as Cafe Pianist/Taxi Driver
Charles Judels
as Doorman
Sarah Edwards
as Party Guest
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Midnight

All Critics (13) | Top Critics (4)

Direction by Mitchell Leisen is generally satisfactory, although picture is slow in getting under way and has several spots that could be tightened.

Full Review… | August 14, 2007
Variety
Top Critic

Funny and forgettable.

Full Review… | August 14, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

It has a superbly malicious script by Brackett and Wilder, gorgeous sets and camerawork, and a matchless cast. All in all, probably Leisen's best film.

Full Review… | June 23, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Pictures like Midnight should strike more often.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
New York Times
Top Critic

Starring Colbert and Barrymore, this charming fairytale is one of the best screwball comedies as well as a highlight of Mitchell Leisen's career.

Full Review… | March 23, 2013
EmanuelLevy.Com

One of the most deliciously sexy and sweet romantic comedies of the '30s (or any era)...

Full Review… | May 3, 2008
MSN.com

Audience Reviews for Midnight

The script is everything in film. Coming from one of maybe the greatest years in the old Hollywood studio system comes this delicately prepared light lunch for a summer's day of a film, pure escapist comedy. A down-on-her-luck, been-around-the-block golddigger meets the man of her dreams (and he's barely making it) right as her chance for a big payday materializes. What will she do? The writing team of Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett dreamed up this witty concoction where everyone has a certain native intelligence, and filled it with plenty of what their target audience wanted to see, which is mainly that being rich wasn't everything. So you get your lifestyles of the rich and famous, yes, but portrayed as boredom on ice, and lacking the real connection and passion that a "regular life" supposedly brings: a real crowd pleaser. Mitchell Leisen knew the type of fabulous rich we imagined and, for his part, portrays that spot on. It does look good. The stars are attractive, particularly Colbert, Ameche, Barrymore, Astor and, in a whimsical small role, Monty Woolley. Makes one wish for the old days.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

½

A few too many screwball twists in this one. Fun in parts. Wilder maintained Leisen messed up his script.

Bob Stinson
Bob Stinson

Super Reviewer

½

This movie had a really funny story, but it gets predictable and a little long towards the end. Overall, I enjoyed the movie, but it could be better.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

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