Journey to Midnight (1968)

JOURNEY TO MIDNIGHT (1968)
Article 2996 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 7-21-2009
Posting Date: 10-27-2009
Directed by Roy Ward Baker and Alan Gibson
Featuring Sebastian Cabot, Chad Everett, Bernard Lee
Country: UK

Two stories of the supernatural are presented. In the first, an American is invited to a costume party at a provincial English manor despite not knowing anyone there. There he discovers a dark secret. In the second, a woman seeks to communicate to her dead husband, and towards that end, she hires a private detective to spot fake mediums so she won’t be bilked. What she doesn’t know is that he detective himself is part of a scam…

Here’s another movie created by editing two TV episodes together, in this case from “Journey to the Unknown”, an anthology series. It’s definitely a mixed bag. The first story is one of those standard plots in which you’ll see the final twist fairly early in the proceedings. Had the episode been sharply directed and crisply paced, it wouldn’t have mattered, but it’s stodgy, dull and overlong; you’ll wait forever to find out what you already know. The second story is much better; by taking the old concept of phony spiritualists and giving it a fresh new twist, it manages to hold the interest quite well, even if you can figure out how it’s going to come out. The story itself is from Robert Bloch, and Roy Ward Baker manages to give it a genuinely eerie feel. The linking segments are narrated by Sebastian Cabot, and they feel a bit tacked on. Incidentally, the two episodes of the series were originally called “Poor Butterfly” and “The Indian Spirit Guide”.

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