Five Miles to Midnight (1963)

110 mins | Melodrama | 20 February 1963

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HISTORY

The 8 Nov 1961 Var noted that filmmaker Anatole Litvak allotted three months at the Studios de Saint-Maurice near Paris, France, for his latest project, provisionally titled The Third Dimension. Principal photography began 15 Dec 1961, according to that day’s DV ; however, the 25 Feb 1962 NYT reported the start date as 11 Dec 1961. News items in the 28 Dec 1961 DV and 11 Jan 1962 LAT revealed that co-star Gig Young’s arrival was delayed until after the New Year, due to a case of influenza.
       As stated in the 25 Feb 1962 NYT, the picture was previously titled Deadlock ( L’Impasse in French), and later The Fourth Dimension, before receiving its official title, Five Miles to Midnight. The article also noted that Anatole Litvak withheld the film’s ending from principal members of the company to maintain a suspenseful environment.
       The primary set, a highly detailed replica of a shabby Parisian apartment, was part of a six-story complex that featured an elevator and stairwells, created by art director Alexandre Trauner. Other sets included reproductions of the “departure hall” at Le Bourget Airport, the “premises” of costume designer Guy Laroche, and the Club Regime in Paris’s Saint-Germain-des-Prés district. The latter set was populated with some of the city’s young eccentrics, cast by Litvak “after lengthy all-night tours of inspection of Paris’ sleazier nightspots.” Laroche oversaw the dressing of models for fashion show sequences. Behind-the-scenes footage of the production was included in a 27 Feb 1962 NBC television ... More Less

The 8 Nov 1961 Var noted that filmmaker Anatole Litvak allotted three months at the Studios de Saint-Maurice near Paris, France, for his latest project, provisionally titled The Third Dimension. Principal photography began 15 Dec 1961, according to that day’s DV ; however, the 25 Feb 1962 NYT reported the start date as 11 Dec 1961. News items in the 28 Dec 1961 DV and 11 Jan 1962 LAT revealed that co-star Gig Young’s arrival was delayed until after the New Year, due to a case of influenza.
       As stated in the 25 Feb 1962 NYT, the picture was previously titled Deadlock ( L’Impasse in French), and later The Fourth Dimension, before receiving its official title, Five Miles to Midnight. The article also noted that Anatole Litvak withheld the film’s ending from principal members of the company to maintain a suspenseful environment.
       The primary set, a highly detailed replica of a shabby Parisian apartment, was part of a six-story complex that featured an elevator and stairwells, created by art director Alexandre Trauner. Other sets included reproductions of the “departure hall” at Le Bourget Airport, the “premises” of costume designer Guy Laroche, and the Club Regime in Paris’s Saint-Germain-des-Prés district. The latter set was populated with some of the city’s young eccentrics, cast by Litvak “after lengthy all-night tours of inspection of Paris’ sleazier nightspots.” Laroche oversaw the dressing of models for fashion show sequences. Behind-the-scenes footage of the production was included in a 27 Feb 1962 NBC television special, The World of Sophia Loren, according to the 1 Mar 1962 DV.
       A news brief in the 12 Mar 1962 NYT stated that Litvak was hospitalized two days earlier after falling onto a metal camera dolly from an eight-foot platform. No major injuries were reported.
       The 14 May 1963 LAT revealed that Litvak hired actor Yul Brynner to photograph stars Sophia Loren and Anthony Perkins. When the filmmaker was reportedly surprised by Brynner’s arrival on set, the actor responded, “You hired me and you’re paying a lot of money for me.” Brynner was a member of Magnum, an exclusive photographic society. The 28 Mar 1962 Var identified Ernie Anderson as the film’s publicist.
       Items in the 3 Apr 1962 DV and 4 Apr 1962 Var stated that Gig Young and Sophia Loren had completed their roles. Six months later, the 17 Oct 1962 Var reported Litvak’s arrival in Rome, Italy, for sound dubbing. The 19 Dec 1962 Var noted that Anthony Perkins had embarked on a personal appearance tour of Germany, where the film was scheduled to open the following month, according to the 16 Jan 1963 issue.
       Five Miles to Midnight opened 20 Mar 1963 in New York City, and on 27 Mar 1963 in Los Angeles, CA. Prior to the Los Angeles opening, LAT offered free tickets to subscribers whose names were randomly placed in the classified section, signified by two stars. The 27 Feb 1963 Var indicated a 20 Feb 1963 opening in Chicago, IL. Two weeks later, the 13 Mar 1963 Var ranked it the fourteenth highest grossing picture in current release. The film was reviewed in the 16 Jan 1963 issue by its French title, Le couteau dans la plaie (The Knife in the Wound).
       Anthony Perkins received France’s Victoire du Cinema award for best foreign actor, and Sophia Loren was awarded a Victoire for best foreign actress by the French writers guild. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
15 Dec 1961
p. 6.
Daily Variety
28 Dec 1961
p. 2.
Daily Variety
1 Mar 1962
p. 9.
Daily Variety
3 Apr 1962
p. 2.
Daily Variety
20 Feb 1963
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
8 Nov 1961
Section C, p. 15.
Los Angeles Times
11 Jan 1962
Section B, p. 9.
Los Angeles Times
21 Mar 1963
Section C, p. 13.
Los Angeles Times
24 Mar 1963
Section CS A, p. 17.
Los Angeles Times
28 Mar 1963
Section C, p. 9.
Los Angeles Times
14 May 1963
Section D, p. 9.
New York Times
25 Feb 1962
Section X, p. 7.
New York Times
12 Mar 1962
p. 36.
New York Times
21 Mar 1963
p. 8.
New York Times
7 Apr 1963
Section X, p. 15.
Variety
8 Nov 1961
p. 17.
Variety
28 Mar 1962
p. 4.
Variety
4 Apr 1962
p. 94.
Variety
17 Oct 1962
p. 61.
Variety
19 Dec 1962
p. 21.
Variety
16 Jan 1963
p. 22.
Variety
27 Feb 1963
p. 9.
Variety
13 Mar 1963
p. 21.
Variety
17 Jul 1963
p. 4.
Variety
31 Jul 1963
p. 14.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Mercury Films Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Film ed
COSTUMES
Cost for Miss Loren
MUSIC
SOUND
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Le couteau dans la plaie
La troisième dimension
Il coltello nella piaga
La terza dimensione
The Third Dimension
Deadlock
L'Impasse
The Fourth Dimension
Release Date:
20 February 1963
Premiere Information:
Chicago opening: 20 Feb 1963; New York opening: 20 Mar 1963; Los Angeles opening: 27 Mar 1963
Production Date:
15 Dec 1961--late Mar or early Apr 1962
Copyright Claimant:
Filmsonor
Copyright Date:
20 February 1963
Copyright Number:
LP23976
Duration(in mins):
110
Countries:
France, Italy, United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

The marriage of Italian-born Lisa Macklin and her American husband, Robert, has reached an impasse because of Robert's immaturity and emotional instability. Consequently, on the day of Robert's departure from their home in Paris for Casablanca on business, Lisa tells him that she will not see him again. That night she learns that her husband's plane has crashed and all aboard are presumed dead. The following morning Robert, ragged and injured, reappears and explains that he was blown through the escape hatch just before the crash. Since no one knows he is alive, he suggests that Lisa collect the $120,000 in insurance he took out at the airport. She reluctantly agrees only when Robert intimates that he will disappear from her life once he has the money. Robert stays hidden in their apartment, while a distraught Lisa signs the necessary legal documents and, at the same time, becomes involved with David Barnes, an American newspaperman. Once she has the money, Lisa drives Robert to the Belgian border. En route, he tells her that she must stay with him always or he will turn her over to the police for insurance fraud. Desperate, she tricks him into getting out of the car and then runs him down. Shattered and driven out of her mind by the experience, she returns to the waiting David, who telephones the ... +


The marriage of Italian-born Lisa Macklin and her American husband, Robert, has reached an impasse because of Robert's immaturity and emotional instability. Consequently, on the day of Robert's departure from their home in Paris for Casablanca on business, Lisa tells him that she will not see him again. That night she learns that her husband's plane has crashed and all aboard are presumed dead. The following morning Robert, ragged and injured, reappears and explains that he was blown through the escape hatch just before the crash. Since no one knows he is alive, he suggests that Lisa collect the $120,000 in insurance he took out at the airport. She reluctantly agrees only when Robert intimates that he will disappear from her life once he has the money. Robert stays hidden in their apartment, while a distraught Lisa signs the necessary legal documents and, at the same time, becomes involved with David Barnes, an American newspaperman. Once she has the money, Lisa drives Robert to the Belgian border. En route, he tells her that she must stay with him always or he will turn her over to the police for insurance fraud. Desperate, she tricks him into getting out of the car and then runs him down. Shattered and driven out of her mind by the experience, she returns to the waiting David, who telephones the authorities. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.