The Other Side of Midnight (film)

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The Other Side of Midnight
The Other Side of Midnight.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Charles Jarrott
Produced by Frank Yablans
Howard W. Koch
Hawk Koch
Screenplay by Herman Raucher
Based on The Other Side of Midnight 
by Sidney Sheldon
Starring Marie-France Pisier
John Beck
Susan Sarandon
Michael Lerner
Music by Michel Legrand
Cinematography Fred J. Koenekamp
Edited by Harold F. Kress
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release dates
  • June 8, 1977 (1977-06-08)
Running time
165 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $9 million[1]
Box office $24,652,021[2]

The Other Side of Midnight is a 1977 American drama film directed by Charles Jarrott and starring Marie-France Pisier, John Beck and Susan Sarandon. Herman Raucher wrote the screenplay based on Sidney Sheldon's 1973 novel of the same name.

Plot[edit]

In World War II France, young and attractive Noelle Page (Marie-France Pisier) falls in love with Larry Douglas (John Beck), an American pilot of the Royal Canadian Air Force stationed in France. The couple has a torrid love affair that ends abruptly when Larry receives orders to return to the United States. Larry promises to come back for Noelle and marry her. She later finds out that she's pregnant with his child. However, he never returns.

Vowing revenge after a harrowing abortion, Noelle begins using men for their money and power. She seduces her way into becoming a famous European actress, then arranges to be the mistress of one of the world's wealthiest men, Greek tycoon Constantin Demeris (Raf Vallone), whom she does not love.

During this time, Larry has met and married Catherine Alexander (Susan Sarandon), a sweet and trusting young woman from Chicago. Larry meets her while serving in the Pacific theatre as a United States Army Air Forces fighter pilot. He seduces the virginal Catherine with some of the same lines he used with Noelle.

After the war, Larry is employed by various civilian airlines. Noelle hires a detective to keep tabs on him, then sabotages any job Larry is able to find. Larry's in no position to refuse a job offer to come to Greece and be a private pilot, unaware that it is Noelle who is hiring him.

Larry fails to recognize her. Noelle treats him rudely until Larry is not sure how much more he can take. When he is positive it's her, he bursts into Noelle's hotel suite, where they rekindle their romance. Larry claims he will keep his long-ago promise and stay with her. But when his wife refuses a request for a divorce, Larry and Noelle begin to plot Catherine’s murder.

They carry out their plan, but things go wrong. Larry and Noelle ultimately are convicted of murder by a Greek court, which is under the influence of Constantin Demeris. They are executed by a firing squad. Catherine has miraculously survived. Suffering from shock, she ends up living in a convent, under the patronage of Demeris.

Cast[edit]

The Star Wars connection[edit]

According to the documentary Empire of Dreams, since the book was very successful, anticipation was that the film would translate to success at the box office and it resulted in 20th Century Fox heavily promoting the film. The studio was promoting Star Wars at the same time, even as it was controversial for its growing expense.

Fearing that Star Wars would be a flop, the studio made a peremptory decision to grant prints of The Other Side of Midnight — a 2-hour, 45-minute long feature with sex and nudity — only to those theaters that agreed to book Star Wars as well.

Ultimately, in spite of the former's massive critical acclaim, The Other Side of Midnight proved to be the box office failure. Despite the controversy surrounding the huge expense involved in the making of Star Wars, the latter ultimately grossed a then-record $237 million in North America in its first run and would eventually spawn a multi-media franchise that continues to this day.

The movie earned $18.4 million in North American rentals.[3]

Home media[edit]

On March 6, 2007, approximately 30 years after the film was released in theaters, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment released The Other Side of Midnight on DVD for the first time as part of Fox's Cinema Classics Collection. The DVD includes a commentary discussion with producer Frank Yablans, director Charles Jarrott and author Sidney Sheldon, led by film historian Laurent Bouzereau, a stills gallery, and the film's theatrical trailer. Jarrott and Sheldon have since died, as has Marie-France Pisier, the film's star.

Remake & Sequel[edit]

It was remade in India as the Hindi film Oh Bewafa (1980).[4] Sidney Sheldon had written a sequel, the title for the 1990 novel being Memories of Midnight. It was adapted into a 1991 television mini-series starring Jane Seymour as Catherine Alexander.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Aubrey Solomon, Twentieth Century Fox: A Corporate and Financial History, Scarecrow Press, 1989 p258
  2. ^ "The Other Side of Midnight, Box Office Information". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved September 15, 2013. 
  3. ^ Solomon, Aubrey. Twentieth Century Fox: A Corporate and Financial History (The Scarecrow Filmmakers Series). Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 1989. ISBN 978-0-8108-4244-1. p233. Please note figures are rentals accruing to distributors and not total gross.
  4. ^ Saigal, Omesh Distant Echoes. New Delhi: Gyan Publishing House (2000), p. 279
  5. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/1991/11/25/news/a-sidney-sheldon-midnight-sequel.html

External links[edit]