Midnight Lace

Even with the arms of her love around her...she still felt the menace of that voice in the night!

Drama Mystery Thriller
110 min     6.6     1960     USA


Kit Preston begins to unravel when she receives threatening telephone calls informing her she's soon to be murdered.


John Chard wrote:
Matilda Shouted Fire. Midnight Lace is directed by David Miller and adapted to screenplay by Ivan Goff and Ben Roberts from the play Matilda Shouted Fire by Janet Green. It stars Doris Day, Rex Harrison, John Gavin, Myrna Loy, Roddy McDowall and Herbert Marshall. Music is by Frank Skinner and cinematography by Russell Metty. Kit Preston (Day) is being stalked, but she can’t get anyone to believe her. Is she going mad? The “woman in peril” thriller has always proved popular since the advent of film, Midnight Lace may not have the class or menace of something like Gaslight or the best of Hitchcock, but it’s a splendid mystery thriller yarn. Pic sets its goals out from the start, as the delightful Miss Day is pursued through the pea souper fog by person unseen. Then the phone calls start, a weird voice at the end of the line issuing less than complimentary advice, but nobody is sure if she is really suffering these harassments. So, enter a whole ream of suspects from weasels and schemers to the unbalanced and the too suave to be true, red-herrings now rule the roost and it’s great fun. As things progress Kit’s hysteria goes up a notch at a time until it’s all out psychological bedlam. The big reveal is not exactly a surprise, but the enjoyment was in getting there. Unfortunately the production loses points for some sloppy editing and poor design for the London setting, the latter rendering the already fanciful story a fake feel that’s hard to shake off, the theatrical origins evident for sure. Which is a shame because Metty's photography is sublime, the principal colours positively spanking (check out those greens). Still, Harrison and Day can pretty much sell these characters in their sleep, and they are backed up by Gavin and Loy enjoying themselves. It makes up for what it doesn’t have in atmospherics or freshness of formula, with honest to goodness entertainment values. 7/10