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Midnight (Universal Cinema Classics) (1939)

Claudette Colbert , John Barrymore , Mitchell Leisen  |  NR |  DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Claudette Colbert, John Barrymore, Don Ameche, Mary Astor, Hedda Hopper
  • Directors: Mitchell Leisen
  • Writers: Charles Brackett
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • DVD Release Date: April 22, 2008
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0012GVMIK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,878 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Midnight (Universal Cinema Classics)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Exclusive Introduction by Turner Classic Movies Host and Film Historian Robert Osborne
  • Original Theatrical Trailer

  • Editorial Reviews

    Academy Award winners Claudette Colbert, Don Ameche and John Barrymore light up the screen in Midnight - one of the best romantic comedies from the Golden Age of Hollywood. The fun begins when a penniless showgirl (Colbert) impersonates a Hungarian countess and, with the help of an aristocrat (Barrymore), quickly adapts to her new lifestyle. But can she stop herself from falling in love with yet another poor man (Ameche)? Written by Academy Award winners Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett, Midnight has been hailed as "just about the best light comedy ever caught by the camera!" (Motion Picture Daily)

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    59 of 61 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars One of the BEST of the thirties-or any age July 26, 2000
    Format:VHS Tape
    Directed by Mitchell Leisen(unjustly forgotten helmer of many wonderful "golden age" films-and former designer for DeMille),written by Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett at their wittiest, and starring Claudette Colbert, Don Ameche, Mary Astor and an incomparable John Barrymore-well, it's even better than it sounds. Beautifully polished and mounted production. Definitely a very adult "screwball" comedy with loads of innuendo, brilliantly played. I've seen this both on TV and in a theatre, and judging from audience reaction, every one of them loved it. This is one of those titles you can show to people who've usually little interest in "old" movies-and convert them!
    Was this review helpful to you?
    39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars An unjustly neglected comic masterpiece March 15, 2003
    Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
    MIDNIGHT is the greatest classic Hollywood comedy that almost no one has seen. Why this isn't better known is a bit of a mystery. The film is well directed, well scripted, well acted, and well produced. The film is directed by Mitchell Leisen, who has been unjustly forgotten for the misfortune of having directed a series of extremely fine films based on screenplays by two writers who would later become famous directors in their own right: Billy Wilder and Preston Sturges. But Leisen put his own distinctive touch on the films he directed, and that is nowhere truer than this superb film. Nonetheless, the screenplay is superb, by one of the greatest writers of comedies in the history of cinema, Billy Wilder. Although he had been in Hollywood for a while, this was the first screenplay in which he truly hit his stride, the first in a series of stellar scripts (including NINOTCHKA for Lubitsch, ARISE MY LOVE and HOLD BACK THE DAWN for Leisen, and BALL OF FIRE for Howard Hawks) that led to his own shot at directing. Charles Brackett worked with Wilder as usual, Wilder functioning as the story originator and gagman, and Brackett cleaning up the Germanicisms cluttering Wilder's sentences. The cast is superb, with Claudette Colbert turning in one of her greatest performances as a young woman determined to capture a rich husband, but who instead inconveniently gets involved with a Parisian cab driver. Don Ameche was never better than in this film playing that Parisian cab driver. Mary Astor, who was extremely pregnant during filming, is her usual superb self, while the rest of the cast is littered with talented veteran character actors. The most bittersweet performance is the simultaneous hysterical and tragic performance by John Barrymore as a drunken dissipated nobleman. Read more ›
    Was this review helpful to you?
    36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars ROMANTIC COMEDY AT ITS BEST... October 21, 2001
    Format:VHS Tape
    High stepping, leggy American chorus girl, Eve Peabody, played by the lovely Claudette Colbert at her zenith, lands in Paris of the nineteen thirties dead broke with only the gold lame evening gown on her back. She meets a handsome cabbie, played by the dashing Don Ameche, who is smitten with her. She disappears on him and ends up at a society fete, where she adopts the cabbie's surname and poses as a Hungarian baroness.
    There, she meets a wealthy couple, deliciously played by John Barrymore and Mary Astor. Ms. Astor has been smitten by a French playboy, played by the very handsome Francis Lederer, who appears to be smitten by the baroness. Barrymore knows that she is not a baroness, but keeps quiet. He treats her to a taste of luxury and then hires her to play the role she adopted, so as to make sure his wife's budding romance is nipped in the bud. As the baroness, she is to lure Lederer away from Astor, saving their marriage in the process.
    In the interim, our smitten cabbie has enlisted all the cabbies in Paris to help find Ms. Peabody. He manages to track her down at yet another society fete, where he arrives dressed in a tux and is announced as her husband, the baron. Meanwhile, the wealthy and handsome playboy has declared his intentions towards the baroness. Let the games begin! What will the baroness do? Will she remain with the "baron"? Will she marry the wealthy French playboy? Watch the film and find out.
    Look for lots of lively, fast paced dialogue. The performances are wonderful, and the dialogue is often witty. This is a reminder of the golden era of hollywood films. It is an absolutely delightful and zany romantic comedy.
    Was this review helpful to you?
    14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Prime Vintage Comedy January 20, 2003
    Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
    This is one of the most sophisticated and funny comedies I've seen in my whole life, thanks to one of the wittiest screenplays ever (by Charles Brackett, Billy Wilder, et al), deft direction by Mitchell Leisen, expertly paced, with a top cast, the best costumes, very elegant sets, etc.
    Claudette Colbert is wisecracking chorus girl Eve Peabody (later Baroness Czerny), stranded in Paris, who is befriended by taxi driver Tibor Czerny (played by Don Ameche, in one of his best roles) and ends rubbing elbows with the "smart-set", with unexpected results. For those who have watched Anatole Litvak's "Tovarich" (1937) on TCM, starring Colbert and Charles Boyer, it has a similar premise, but the other way round, because in the latter Colbert, a Russian Grand Duchess who belongs to that country's Royal Family, pretends to be a maid.
    The cast is full of excellent players: John Barrymore who impersonates with great skill, Monsieur Flammarion, a role somehow reminiscent of the one he played in "Twentieth Century" opposite Carole Lombard, but in a much "understated" manner. Mary Astor, as his unfaithful wife is rightly "stiff-upper-lip", high class and disdainful. Francis Lederer is very good as her lover, Jacques Picot, who falls under the spell of Colbert's charms. Rex O'Malley is Astor's wisecracking friend, Marcel Renard.
    This movie has definitely the trademark "Paramount Look" and the great settings recreate Paris very well. There are many very funny scenes, especially those at the soirée offered by pretentious socialité Hedda Hopper and the party that takes place at the Flammarion Residence in Versailles, where all the guests dance "La Conga". Unforgettable.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars This movie was funny and I love the actors in it
    This movie was funny and I love the actors in it. Especially Don Ameche. He was a hunk back in the day.
    Published 8 days ago by TLW
    5.0 out of 5 stars Midnight magic
    This movie is WONDERFUL!
    Published 16 days ago by Frank DeCaro
    5.0 out of 5 stars Screwball comedy at its best!
    A funny, charming film. One of Claudette's best! Screwball comedy at its finest. You will really enjoy this movie! And you will watch it again and again!
    Published 5 months ago by ray richardson
    5.0 out of 5 stars Cute movie
    I ordered this movie because I read a general review saying that this was one of the funniest movies from the past. It is definitely cute and has some very funny moments. Read more
    Published 5 months ago by Katmandu
    5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite movie!
    I was looking for this movie forever. It wasn't until recently that it dawned on me that in this day and age you can find just about anything on amazon. Read more
    Published 5 months ago by Reese :)
    5.0 out of 5 stars 21st Century Movie Comedies Could Learn A Lot from Watching This...
    When I go to the movies nowdays, I'm often disappointed by comedies! Hollywood now seems to feel they have to be crude to get laughs (Pineapple Express, Hangover, etc) But if those... Read more
    Published 7 months ago by David Huxley
    4.0 out of 5 stars Called "The Golden Age" for a reason
    Although I love old movies, I am not one of those people who think nothing good has been filmed since 1940. Read more
    Published 8 months ago by dean59
    5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific picture
    What a gem this picture is. It's amazing the film factories could turn something out this good (and off the wall). I think Claudette Calvert really does her role justice. Read more
    Published 8 months ago by Jan K. Labij
    5.0 out of 5 stars A pure delight & simply classic!
    I happened to catch this on TV late one night and Claudette Colbert's performance drew me in instantly. Read more
    Published 8 months ago by HonestyisHonorable
    5.0 out of 5 stars Midnight 1939 Still Shines - Illuminating Reviews by Amazon Customers
    I culled together critical comments from Amazon customers to articulate the special appeal of Midnight - a film for classic film fans to fall in love with and non-fans to get... Read more
    Published 9 months ago by Brent Chastain
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    Topic From this Discussion
    Color?
    MIDNIGHT (1939) is not a color film, and thank God nobody colorized it for DVD release. Hope this helps.
    W. Shriver
    Jul 2, 2008 by William Shriver |  See all 3 posts
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