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Midnight (1934)
Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Sidney Fox, O.P. Heggie, Henry Hull, Margaret Wycherly
Director: Chester Erskine
Category: Suspense / Thriller, Classic
Studio: Image Ent.
73 mins



Midnight, a Universal Pictures release of 1934, does NOT star Humphrey Bogart, despite the fact that reissues have often billed the actor above the title. Although this was Bogart's tenth film, his unique screen personality was not completely formed until his next movie appearance in The Petrified Forest. Bogart's character, Garboni, nonetheless contains snatches of the screen idol women loved and men imitated, and the actor's dialogue is liberally sprinkled with the Bogart patois - "Pleesetameetcha," "Aw, shucks," Gee, that's swell," and the ever-popular "Hiya kid." While Bogies' function in the film is certainly secondary, his performance remains noteworthy and displays the qualities that made him a star.

Adapted from a Theatre Guild play, the film deals with the dilemma of fairly and equitably meting out justice in terms of the written law. Briefly, it is the story of a jury foreman who asks an accused murderess the fateful question which sends her to the electric chair. Sometime later, in a fit of passion, the foreman's own daughter attempts to shoot her lover after he spurns her: When she comes home and confesses her wrong doing, her father must choose between telling the truth and risking his beloved daughter being sentenced for murder or trying to find some means of covering up for her. The decision is a difficult one and seems timely whenever there is a new political scandal!


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