NIGHT IN PARADISE (1946)
Article #1741 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 12-20-2005
Posting Date: 5-19-2006
Directed by Arthur Lubin
Featuring Merle Oberon, Turhan Bey, Thomas Gomez
When a sorceress is swindled by King Croesus, she vows revenge. She uses her magic powers to get Aesop to steal away Croesus’s bride-to-be, Delarai.
Hollywood ventures into sword-and-sandal territory with this costume picture, and if it takes itself way too seriously half the time, the other half of the time it’s aggressively courting silliness. Still, it has some good performances; I barely recognized Turhan Bey in what amounts to a dual role (let’s just say that Aesop is not quite what he seems), Thomas Gomez, Gale Sondergaard and Merle Oberon do fine jobs, but Ray Collins steals the show as Leonides, adviser to the king. It gets a little racy at times; in particular, a gag involving a statue being cleaned must have slipped by the censors somehow. It also has some of the worst crowd acting I’ve ever seen; notice how whenever a crowd gathers together, they’re all saying the exact same thing?