Midnight (Universal Cinema Classics)
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
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)
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
Would-be chorine Eve Peabody (Claudette Colbert) arrives in Paris with little more than the clothes on her back and a Monte Carlo pawn-ticket. Picked up by friendly cabby Tibor Czerny (Don Ameche), Eve finds a kindred spirit but resolves not to pursue a possible relationship with a man she's sure is as poor as the proverbial church-mouse. Instead, Eve wanders into a high society soiree, where she encounters Georges Flammarion (John Barrymore), his wayward wife Helene (Mary Astor) and Jacques Picot (Francis Lederer), the lady-killer who is angling to split them apart.
Suddenly, Georges sees the perfect opportunity to offload Jacques. When Eve successfully passes herself off as the "Baroness Czerny", Georges plays along when he notices Jacques falling for the mysterious new society belle. Penniless Eve suddenly finds herself living in a big way, with a suite at the Ritz, a trunkload of new clothes and a steady flow of pocketmoney from Georges' bank! All she has to do in return is keep Jacques' attention away from Helene. Easier said than done...especially when cabby Tibor finally tracks down elusive Eve during a weekend at the Flammarions' country estate...
MIDNIGHT is yet another magical bauble from 1939, the year which has become synonymous with a slew of movie masterpieces. This film fits in perfectly. Claudette Colbert's performance is sheer perfection (in the realm of screwball heroines she is really without peer, except perhaps Irene Dunne's work in "Theodora Goes Wild" and "The Awful Truth"). MIDNIGHT also provided John Barrymore with what turned out to be one of his last great roles. Looking far older than his 57 years, Barrymore passed away in 1942 at the age of 60. Don Ameche and Francis Lederer, playing Colbert's dueling princes, are wonderful. Mary Astor would again co-star with Ms Colbert in another highly-regarded screwball favourite, "The Palm Beach Story".
Lucky Claudette Colbert to have starred in not one but TWO of the great romantic screwball comedies (the other being the surprise 1934 smash "It Happened One Night" for Columbia). Despite MIDNIGHT being a Paramount release, publicity for MIDNIGHT capatalized on Colbert's earlier hit by billing the film as "It Happened One Night...at Midnight!".
If you've yet to experience the sheer delight of MIDNIGHT, run (don't walk) to grab yourself a copy. Highly-recommended!
Colbert's Eve Peabody is beautiful, elegant, quick-thinking, and willing to take chances, whatever the consequences. She yearns for financial security but somehow always winds up following her heart instead of her wallet (or clutch purse, in this case). You can't help liking and sympathizing with her even when she seems determined to follow through on her gold-digging plan. She quickly and successfully jumps into the role of faux baroness.
Ameche's Tibor Czerny is an honest, determined, non-materialistic cab driver of apparently simple tastes for whom the wealthy are just fares, not people to be envied, until he meets Eve and is utterly smitten with her. She's smitten too, but tries to resist falling in love with yet another poor man, and flees into the lap of luxury. But he'll do anything to find her again, even slide into the role of titled nobility himself.
Barrymore's George Flammarion is fabulous - he's hilarious, sly, and desperate to keep the wife he loves, whatever the cost, even to the extent of throwing a comely gold-digger in the path of his wife's lover in hopes of distracting him. As complications arise, he seems to revel not just in having set the so-far successful plot in motion, but in being the only one who truly realizes what's going on and in going along with everything that happens as the situation gets more complicated and fantastic.
Astor's Helene Flammarion is very well-played, and her pain at seeing her lover's reaction to Eve seems very real. She quickly realizes her rival will be successful if she doesn't do something, and she scrambles for some way to win the battle for Picot's heart; she's delighted to meet "Baron Czerny" and to set Czerny and Picot against each other in hopes that the baron will woo back his baroness and her lover will return to her.
Lederer's Jacques Picot, not often mentioned, is gorgeous and fun to watch, if rather predictable as not so much a villain but a light-hearted playboy whose fancy flits easily from one woman to another -- and you have to wonder about his often-referenced mother. He's a man who needs women in his life, yet you see that none of them will really displace the mother who matters most to him -- until, perhaps, Eve.
The beginning build-up gives us time to get to know and care what happens between Peabody and Czerny, before they slip into the world of the refined wealthy who seem to have nothing better to do than host parties, go shopping, and play love games, with the poor couple looking for the real thing. It's easy to just sit back, enjoy, laugh, and root for love. Plenty of sly innuendo and sparkling wit, without the complications from vulgarity, violence, or love-defined-as-hopping-into-bed-at-first-meeting that have the potential to distract from characters, plot, and setting. The cast plays so well off each other. I enjoy them all.
This movie is truly joyous, an one reviewer noted. I love it and recommend it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Set up an Amazon Giveaway
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Look for similar items by category
- Movies & TV > Genre for Featured Categories > Comedy
- Movies & TV > Genre for Featured Categories > Romance
- Movies & TV > Movies
- Movies & TV > Studio Specials > Universal Studios Home Entertainment > All Universal Studios Titles
- Movies & TV > Studio Specials > Universal Studios Home Entertainment > Classics
- Movies & TV > Studio Specials > Universal Studios Home Entertainment > Comedy
- Movies & TV > Studio Specials > Universal Studios Home Entertainment > Kids & Family