"Midnight" Is Released
Midnight is a 1939 romantic comedy (with some elements of screwball comedy) directed by Mitchell Leisen and written by Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder based on a story by Edwin Justus Mayer and Franz Schulz.
It starred Claudette Colbert, Don Ameche and John Barrymore.
Paramount's screwball comedy Midnight is the first collaboration between director Mitchell Leisen and screenwriting duo Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder. The film merges Brackett and Wilder's early emphasis on repartee and masquerade with ex-costume designer Leisen's flair for high style and sophistication. American Eve Peabody (Claudette Colbert), a wily ex-showgirl, must impersonate Hungarian royalty in order to infiltrate the Parisian jet set. Midnight begins during a midnight rainstorm as Eve arrives penniless at Paris' Gare de L'Est, owning only the gold lamé gown on her back. She attracts the attention of Hungarian cab driver, Tibor Czerny (Don Ameche), but walks out on their budding romance; Eve will no longer make the mistake of dating for love rather than money. Instead, she finds shelter from the downpour by crashing a socialite's late-night soirée using a pawnticket and a pseudonym, the Baroness Czerny (the cab driver's surname). There, Eve meets aristocrat Georges Flammarion (John Barrymore), who entices her with a place in society if she agrees to remain disguised as the Baroness and seduce his wife's playboy lover. Meanwhile, Tibor Czerny has not given up his search for Eve. When he locates her whereabouts and discovers the fact that she is using his name, Tibor also travels to the Flammarion estate -- to win back Eve, and to pose as her husband, the Baron. What ensues is quintessential screwball comedy, full of deception, love, quadruple entendre, and outright farce. Midnight remains Leisen's most heralded directorial effort, as well as one of Brackett and Wilder's earliest successes. ~ Aubry Anne D'Arminio, All Movie Guide