THE HORN BLOWS AT MIDNIGHT (1945)
Article #944 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 10-15-2003
Posting Date: 3-13-2004
Directed by Raoul Walsh
Featuring Jack Benny, Alexis Smith, Dolores Moran
An angel is sent down to Earth to blow the final trumpet at midnight, but runs into resistance from a couple of fallen angels.
Jack Benny used to joke about how bad this movie was, but in truth it really isn’t all that bad; in fact, it’s quite clever and amusing at times. However, I do understand somewhat where he was coming from; Benny’s comedic talents largely relied on cerebral subtlety and character; you got to know his persona so well that he could get laughs with the slightest of his expressions because you knew what he was thinking. Unfortunately, that style of comedy is somewhat lost in the slapstick that rules in this movie, which is more reminiscent of the comedy of IT’S A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD than of the type of comedy of which Jack Benny was a master. However, it has some fun ideas, and the cast has a lot of familiar faces, including Franklin Pangborn, Margaret Dumont, Mike Mazurki, and a very young Robert Blake. All in all, it’s a mixed bag and a curiosity piece, but not totally without merit.