NIGHT UNTO NIGHT (1949)
Article #377 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 3-27-2002
Posting date: 8-20-2002
A man suffering from epilepsy but allergic to the medicine escapes to Florida, but finds himself in a relationship with a troubled widow.
WARNING: If you’re primarily interested in fantastic cinema, I suggest you read the last paragraph before you read the next one; it just might save you from wasting your time.
You know, there’s a good, solid basis for a tear-jerking drama buried somewhere in the depths of this movie, and you can see hints of it if you make it to the last twenty minutes. Unfortunately, up to that point you will have to contend with the interminable first two-thirds of the movie, where for endless scene after endless scene you will hear people pontificate ponderous profundities; I swear, each scene of this movie thinks it’s the deepest, most important scene of the movie. I knew this movie was getting to me when I found myself hoping that the Ritz Brothers might come in and lighten up the proceedings. I’m reminded of a writing rule I once heard; when it comes time to edit what you’ve written, find the part you consider the most brilliant, and get rid of it. In this case, it might have involved eradicating about sixty minutes of script, but it would have been the better for it.
Of course, the BIG question here is; just what in blazes does this movie have to do with Fantastic cinema? Well, the troubled widow thinks her husband’s ghost is in the house. Then, for about five seconds in the middle of the movie, we hear his voice, and it’s most likely just her imagination. That’s it. In other words, this movie is about as marginal as you can get. Consider yourself warned.