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The Other Side of Midnight
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A Greek tycoon's French movie-star mistress tracks down her ex-World War II lover. From the Sidney Sheldon novel.
An over-the-top film co-starring a young and gorgeous Susan Sarandon, The Other Side of Midnight is a deliciously melodramatic adaptation of Sidney Sheldon's sweeping (and often schlocky) novel of the same name. Released theatrically in 1977, the film focuses on the intermingling lives of sexily innocent Noelle (Marie-France Pisier), who has a brief affair with a cad named Larry (John Beck), who ends up marrying wealthy and proper Catherine (Sarandon). When Noelle and Larry meet first lock eyes, he is a dashing World War II American fighter pilot who professes his love for her. But when she discovers she is pregnant with his baby, he is nowhere to be found. So what's a poor girl to do but abort her baby, rise to stardom as one of the world's most famous actresses, and plot revenge against her duplicitous ex-lover? But faster than you can say, "You go, girl!" (or "Oh no she didn't," depending on your point of view), Noelle once again falls for Larry's vaguely porn star charms. But what to do with Catherine, who refuses to divorce her cheating spouse? Make no mistake about it: The Other Side of Midnight is not quality filmmaking and is probably not something Academy Award winner Sarandon even lists on her resume. But she is a joy to watch, even as she has to deliver clunky lines such as, "If you don't love me, Larry, don't lay me." This is not a great movie. Heck, it's not even a particularly good movie. But it's one of those guilty pleasures that you'll watch all the way through, even as you're complaining about the implausibility of it all. --Jae-Ha Kim
- Commentary by producer Frank Yablans, director Charles Jarrot, and author Sidney Sheldon, moderated by film historian Laurent Bouzreau
- Sill gallery
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The rest of the movie details Noelle's efforts to bed her way to the top of France's social ladder, first as a fashion model, an actress and finally as the lover of one of the richest Greek magnates in Europe (Raf Vallone). Her growing power and influence make it extremely difficult for her ex-lover to land a civilian job as a pilot after the war, which was in fact her very intent. She now has the connections and the power to see to it that the only job he can get is working for her, where she finally has him where she wants him. She exacts her revenge at last.
The beautiful French and Greek cinematography, coupled with the stirring musical score by Michel Legrand add the perfect finishing touches on this engrossing epic.
20th Century Fox Home Video should be highly commended for doing this beautiful film justice. The pristine wide-screen color presentation, coupled with the beautifully recorded Michel Legarand musical score, make this film treatment of Sidney Sheldon's popular novel a real keeper.
A very young Susan Sarandon was very good as the wife, but Marie France-Pisier stole the movie out from under everyone else! This actress is beautiful and she can act!
There was adultery, sex, nudity, murder, and deceit. Towards the end you had two twisty surprises that will blow away most of the viewers.
I did not guess the second surprise. I did guess the first.
My husband and I watched it together and we both gave it five stars. Recommended highly-in fact I just ordered the book to read. It should be interesting to see the differences between the original novel versus the movie adaption.
Enjoy The Other Side of Midnight. You will not be disappointed. In fact you will watch it again. It was that good.
This 3-hour drama is as opulent as they come, filmed on gorgeous locations in at least 4 countries, and everyone is dressed to, umm, kill. The beautiful cast includes Marie-France Pisier (COUSIN/COUSINE, CHANEL SOLITAIRE) as Noelle, John Beck (SLEEPER, ROLLERBALL, and TV's FALCON CREST) as the pilot, and a very young Susan Sarandon (we all know her credits) as the pilot's wife, the eventual pawn in Noelle's murderous scheme. Another plus is Michel Legrand's sweeping musical score (with the composer himself on piano). Not to mention the R-rated sex scenes....
By 1977, romantic tearjerkers like this were already out of date, and TOSOM was a big flop at the box office. But its popularity has endured on TV, where new generations have discovered the sheer pleasure of its overwritten, overwrought, overacted, over-the-top dramatics. If you want to see a great film, go watch CITIZEN KANE or RASHOMON or THE TREE OF WOODEN CLOGS. But if you're in the mood for trashy fun, this is it. Nothing quite compares to a delicious slice of cheese. Enjoy!
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