Middle of the Night

1959

Drama

4
IMDb Rating 7.1/10 10 1554 1.6K

Director

Top cast

Lee Grant as Marilyn
Kim Novak as Betty Preisser
Lee Philips as George Preisser
Martin Balsam as Jack Englander
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.05 GB
1280*722
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 57 min
Seeds 14
1.96 GB
1916*1080
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 57 min
Seeds 18

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by barryrd 8 / 10

Frederic March Tango with Kim Novak

This movie is a great, low-budget film with on-location shots of New York. The plot is timeless and the performers good all round. Frederic March is the 56 year-old widower who owns a sweatshop in New York and falls for one of his workers, Kim Novak - one of the leading ladies of the day - who just finished her role as Madeleine in Hitchcock's Vertigo. March's love for Betty (Novak) reawakens in him a spirit that has been missing since his wife died several years before. His sister, who moved in with him, is trying to match him with someone his age but March has no use for her efforts. Then, when he falls for a very young woman, he brings down the wrath of both his sister and his beloved daughter.

Like Marty, another film by director Delbert Mann, the plot involves the lovelorn trying to find love only to be restrained by the expectations of family. The one person who takes his side is his son-in-law, played by Martin Balsam. The movie also features the stalwart New York actor Lee Grant, as a friend of his daughter. Paddy Chayefsky wrote the script which was originally a teleplay. It is greatly enhanced by the street scenes. Contemporary audiences might find it lacking because it is not an action movie. However, it translates very well to the screen and the location shooting of Manhattan in the snow and rain fits the mood. The dialogue, acting and the brooding atmosphere are enhanced by the music of George Bassman. Middle of the Night is still a watchable film that has aged well. I look forward to seeing it again.

Reviewed by TheUnknown837-1 8 / 10

I was genuinely amazed at how involved and absorbed I became with this story

"Middle of the Night" was a surprise for me both before and after I saw it on Turner Classic Movies on a dreary Sunday morning. Before because the subject matter made me raise an eyebrow, and after, because I was genuinely shocked at how involved and absorbed I became in the story and how it made me feel a little guilty about my beforehand perceptions.

The movie stars two of the cinema's finest—Fredric March and Kim Novak—as lovers separated in age by thirty years. Novak is March's secretary. He owns a big business, his wife has died, and his children are all married and having families of their own. Novak, by contrast, has divorced her husband of three years and is still trying to recover from it as well as a feeling of not being wanted or loved. March comforts her as almost a father figure, they become friends, and then despite protests and age differences, become romantically involved.

Now the premise of this actually had me a little creeped out at beginning. And there were some parts in the first third of the movie that made me shudder a bit, but immediately after that, the story become involving and beautiful and sad and just the opposite of what I was expecting. Yes, Fredric March and Kim Novak aren't exactly like two peas in a pod in terms as a screen couple, but that was the psychology and genius of this movie. True, the idea of a man romancing a woman thirty years his junior seems a little…off-putting, but the way the filmmakers and performers work it, it becomes genuinely powerful.

March is not made over into being some kind of a creepy middle-aged sexual predator. And Novak is not presented as a freeloader or a sex object. Rather, these two characters are worked into being completely sentimental and sympathetic human beings and well into the story, I could actually believe they were in love and I feared for the outcome of their relationship. Now those creepy feelings I had? That was personified by the supporting characters. Novak's family saw March as a middle-aged sexual predator and March's saw Novak as a slattern out to get herself into a big home. The supporting characters essentially represent what the audience—including me—thought about the movie at the beginning and about the premise. And believe me, I felt guilty when I realized this. The movie works because it's not about lust or sex, but about love and affection and the irresistible longing for companionship. And that's why the relationship between March and Novak becomes moving. They say "I love you" to each other and we believe they are saying it from the deepest regions of their hearts and souls. They don't want each other for their physical appearances, they want each other for something that lies beneath the surface. And that is what love is.

Performances all around are excellent. Fredric March, one of the screen's legends, is excellent at creating a character portrait of a grieving, lonely man. And Kim Novak is even better at generating sympathy with her portrayal of a woman seeking love for who she is. These are typically the roles that Kim Novak was given during her golden era in the 1950s (other roles include "Picnic", "Pal Joey", and of course, her best film "Vertigo") and she played them well, partially because she was able, more in some cases and less than others, play herself and what she wanted people to see of her: a human being and not just something pretty to look at and to want lustily. Kim Novak is my personal favorite actress and one of the most underrated actresses who ever lived.

In the end, although I was at first unsure if I could approve of a movie like "Middle of the Night", I am not afraid to admit at the end, having seen it in its entirety, that I was amazed and absorbed by the story. I believed in the romance between the two characters, I was not uneasy looking at them together, and by the end, I felt really sick in my stomach from all of the sympathy that my heart had generated in the past two hours. The movie is rare and hard to find, perhaps because its subject matter isn't that all appealing *on the surface*, but the movie is well worth your time if you ever have the opportunity to see it.

Reviewed by moonspinner55 7 / 10

Stark human drama in the "Marty" vein

Screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky adapted his own play about an elderly workaholic (Fredric March, in a stupendous performance) who reaches out to a beautiful woman half his age...but she's got problems of her own, beginning with her shaky self-confidence. Their sometimes-rocky, sometimes-tender courtship provides the basis for this lovely film. As the sad beauty, Kim Novak has seldom been better (it's amazing that professional critics at the time failed to see the growth in Novak as an actress here, focusing all their attention on March, who indeed is terrific). Great N.Y.C. locations, fine support from the always-reliable Lee Grant. Well worth-seeing. *** from **** (Relatively forgotten for years, the movie made its DVD debut August 2010 as part of a Novak collection.)

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