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Midnight

3.2 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Humphrey Bogart, Sidney Fox, Henry Hull. An absorbing look at capital punishment from the eyes of a jury foreman, hounded by the press and his family after sending a woman to die in the electric chair. Released in the U.S. as Call It Murder. 1934/b&w/73 min/NR/fullscreen.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Humphrey Bogart, Sidney Fox, O.P. Heggie, Henry Hull, Margaret Wycherly
  • Directors: Chester Erskine
  • Writers: Chester Erskine, Claire Sifton, Paul Sifton
  • Producers: Chester Erskine
  • Format: Black & White, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: February 27, 2001
  • Run Time: 76 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000056NWN
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #246,826 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Midnight" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
If you are looking at the Image Entertainment DVD, ignor any other reviews that refer to Madacy or other inferior cheapie DVD companies. This DVD has been RESTORED from a very nice print!
VERY MELODRAMATIC & over acted like a silent movie! It is the movie itself that I rate 3 stars. This is for devoted Bogart fans who want to experience his early work. He is only a supporting player who appears in less than half the movie, yet his character steals the show. His acting style stands out from the others and you can for-see the potential for his future.
Don't expect Casablanca or even They Drive By Night, expect to see Bogie learning his trade. And try not to laugh at the melodramatic stars of the show.
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This movie is hyped as "Starring Humphrey Bogart," however, when you sit down to watch it, Bogie's camera time last all but 3 1/2 minutes. The premise is interesting though--as it provides a moral dilemma that's still got an edge. Maybe a good candidate for a remake...
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Midnight (AKA Call It Murder)
This is a 1934 movie that is a version of a German film, and as such it is assumed that appropriate compensation for differences between the German and American criminal justice systems has been made.
The story centers about Edward Weldon, foreman in a contemporary American jury trial in which a young woman [Ellen Saxton] is alleged to have murdered her boyfriend in a crime of passion. The opening scene is the courtroom in which the trial takes place. Because Ellen Saxton has admitted to the court that she took money from the victim after shooting him thus making it appear that the crime was premeditated, she is found guilty of murder in the first degree and is sentenced to death. The trial appears to have been proper and fair in every respect. Any mitigating circumstances were apparently left for appeal and that was inexplicably not done, although late appeals to the warden were attempted to no avail.
The foreman’s daughter, Stella Weldon, about the same age as Ellen Saxton, is in the court audience sitting next to a young man, Gar Boni, played by Humphrey Bogart. When the verdict is announced, Boni turns to Stella and states that had the guilty woman had a better lawyer, she could have beaten the rap. Bogart’s character is that of a seedy gang member. The alleged injustice perceived by the press and public at large seems more with the sentence than the verdict, and suggests the film is a vendetta against capital punishment.
The remainder of the movie concerns the angst that Edward Weldon, the jury foreman, goes through as the execution date approaches. He avers that he is a strict law and order man, and feels confident in his decision despite being mercilessly hounded by the press and public.
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This is a strange flick. A jury foreman stands on principle ("the law is the law; I am but an instrument!') and sentences a woman to death for murder, only to find his own daughter up on a murder charge shortly thereafter (the night of the execution, actually!). It's not clear whether she actually committed he murder but she shows up with the murder weapon and all too eager to confess her crime. The local DA manages to to persuade her, the family, and the viewers that she didn't really commit the crime? Or did she, and he was engaging in psychological subterfuge to ensure that "good people" don't go to the chair for crimes that only those other people commit? Hmmm. It's all rather naive, but this is 1934, and such was the state of budget noire then, especially with unknowns like this Humphrey Bogart dude cast as the "wrong boy" for the the jury foreman's daughter. Where do they get these people anyway? Obviously he had no future in pictures. It's not the worst movie I've ever seen; it was more amusing than anything else.

Bogart's role is only slightly more than bit part, but he can only ever be Bogart, so it's kind of amusing to see him cast as the "wrong boy" for the jury foreman's daughter, who after sentencing a woman to death for murder, must now deal with the possibili
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Bogart had around a dozen films under his belt when appearing in this 1934 movie. By this time, he had already adjusted his mannerism and vocal delivery that would show in his later work.. Although, his on film time was short, he supplied the movie's second most important character. This is a very entertaining story line that also feeds visual enjoyment, if you are into antiques and attractive set decoration. The movie's subject matter is as
derisive in the 1930's as it is today.
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This black and white classic was nice to see.
And to see a young and handsome Bogie was wonderful.
I am a fan also always enjoyed seeing his movies.
Although his time was short in this movie it might of been.
Because he was young and starting out in his acting career.
But don't take my word for it I am not an expert just a fan.
Crime of passion is so much different back then compared to today.
Crimes back then may have been few compared to today by women.
Women today may have become more out spoken and more demanding.
Once again I say I am not an expert on this type of issues concerning women.
Would I say to others watch this movie. I would say yes and they would have to decide for themselves.
I love black & white movies and this was very nice to see and experience.
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