The Night of Nights
|The Night of Nights|
|Directed by||Lewis Milestone|
|Produced by||George M. Arthur|
George E. Stone
|Music by||Victor Young|
|Edited by||Doane Harrison
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures (1939 Theatrical)
MCA/Universal Pictures (1958 Television)
|Running time||86 minutes|
The Night of Nights is a 1939 black-and-white drama film written by Donald Ogden Stewart and directed by Lewis Milestone for Paramount Pictures that starred Pat O'Brien, Olympe Bradna, and Roland Young.
Dan O'Farrell (Pat O'Brien) was is a brilliant Broadway theater playwright, actor, and producer who has left the business. When he was younger, he and his partner Barry Keith-Trimble (Roland Young) were preparing for the opening night of O'Farell's play Laughter by getting drunk. When it was time to perform, they were so intoxicated they ended up brawling on stage and fell into the orchestra pit. The two left the theater and continued drinking, until they learn that they have been suspended. At the same time, O'Farrell learns that his wife, actress Alyce Martelle, is pregnant and has left him for ruining her performance in Laughter as Toni. Despondent, he in left the business and went into seclusion.
Years later, his daughter Marie (Olympe Bradna) locates him and inspires him to return to Broadway. He decides to restage Laughter with its original cast, but with Marie substituting for Alyce in the part of Toni. Hoping to make a glorious return with a show that would be a hit with critics and the public alike, O'Farrell enlists the aid of friends to embark on a full-fledged comeback.
- Pat O'Brien as Dan O'Farrell
- Olympe Bradna as Marie Alyce O'Farrell
- Roland Young as Barry Keith-Trimble
- Reginald Gardiner as J. Neville Prime
- George E. Stone as Sammy Kayn
- Murray Alper as Muggins
- Richard Denning as Call Boy
- Mary Gordon as Pencil Woman
- Ethan Laidlaw as Roustabout in Play
- Frank Melton as Newcomb
- Charles Miller as Wilton
- D'Arcy Corrigan as Actor
- Pat O'Malley as Actor
- Kenneth Harlan as Actor
- Oscar O'Shea as Mr. Conway
- Russ Powell as Pop
- Aileen Pringle as Perfume
- Frank Shannon as Frank
- Wyndham Standing as Naval Commander
- Gene Clark as Acrobat
- James Fawcett as Acrobat
- Baldwin Cooke as Waiter
- Tom Dugan as Bartender
- Joe Gilbert as Attendant
- Carol Holloway as Maid
The New York Times wrote that the work of actors Pat O'Brien and Roland Young, had "been a labor of love and the film has profited accordingly." In noting the plot centered on "the theatre and some of the curious folk who inhabit it", they granted that it shared an acceptable sentimentality and shared that the story was "an uncommonly interesting study of a man's mind, subtly written and directed, presented with honesty and commendable sincerity by Mr. O'Brien, Mr. Young and Olympe Bradna, and well worth any one's attention." Their only objection was that the stage play Laughter, the piece being produced within the film by O'Brien's character of Dan O'Farrell, "seemed to be the most awful tripe."
- Frank S. Nugent (December 28, 1939). "review: The Night of Nights (1939)". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 April 2011.
- Jesuits (1938). America. Volume 62. America Press. p. 391.
- Focus on film, Issues 1-12. Tantivy Press. 1970. p. 56.
- Joseph R. Millichap (1981). Lewis Milestone. Filmmakers Series. Twayne Publishers. p. 93. ISBN 0-8057-9281-3.
- Roger Dooley (1984). From Scarface to Scarlett: American films in the 1930s. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. p. 504. ISBN 0-15-633998-6.
- John Douglas Eames (1985). The Paramount story. Crown. p. 150. ISBN 0-517-55348-1.
- James Robert Parish, Gregory W. Mank (1980). The Hollywood reliables. Arlington House. pp. 114, 139.
- Matthew Tobey. "The Night of Nights". Allmovie. Retrieved 30 April 2011.