History Is Made at Night (1937)

95 or 97 mins | Drama, Romance | 5 March 1937

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HISTORY

Although a HR news item noted that shooting on the picture ended on 31 Dec 1936, a modern source lists 9 Feb 1937 as the completion date. picture Specialty performer Señor Wences performed his famous "Coco" hand trick in this film. According to a pre-release HR news item, cinematographer Gregg Toland was borrowed from Samuel Goldwyn to finish shooting the film when David Abel was called back to RKO to shoot Stepping Toes (see below). A modern source credits Cy Walter as the producer of this film, conflicting with contemporary sources and the onscreen credits, which list Walter Wanger. Frank Borzage is credited in a modern source with additional screenplay contribution. Modern sources list Joshua Logan as dialogue director and Arthur Ripley as second unit director. Modern sources also include the following players in the cast: Jack Mulhall ( Waiter ), Robert Parrish ( Passenger on ship ), Barry Norton, Harvey Clarke, Phyllis Barry, Helene Millard, Edward Earle and George Humbert. Actors Maurice Cass and Oscar Apfel, cast as a librarian and a writer respectively, reportedly worked on the film but were cut in the final editing. The song "Adios Muchachos" was later called "I Get Ideas" when English lyrics were ... More Less

Although a HR news item noted that shooting on the picture ended on 31 Dec 1936, a modern source lists 9 Feb 1937 as the completion date. picture Specialty performer Señor Wences performed his famous "Coco" hand trick in this film. According to a pre-release HR news item, cinematographer Gregg Toland was borrowed from Samuel Goldwyn to finish shooting the film when David Abel was called back to RKO to shoot Stepping Toes (see below). A modern source credits Cy Walter as the producer of this film, conflicting with contemporary sources and the onscreen credits, which list Walter Wanger. Frank Borzage is credited in a modern source with additional screenplay contribution. Modern sources list Joshua Logan as dialogue director and Arthur Ripley as second unit director. Modern sources also include the following players in the cast: Jack Mulhall ( Waiter ), Robert Parrish ( Passenger on ship ), Barry Norton, Harvey Clarke, Phyllis Barry, Helene Millard, Edward Earle and George Humbert. Actors Maurice Cass and Oscar Apfel, cast as a librarian and a writer respectively, reportedly worked on the film but were cut in the final editing. The song "Adios Muchachos" was later called "I Get Ideas" when English lyrics were added. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
6 Mar 37
p. 3.
Film Daily
8 Mar 37
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Sep 36
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Nov 36
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Jan 37
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Mar 37
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Nov 37
p. 2.
Motion Picture Daily
9 Mar 37
p. 9.
Motion Picture Herald
9 Jan 37
p. 41.
Motion Picture Herald
13 Mar 37
p. 47, 50
New York Times
29 Mar 37
p. 14.
Variety
31 Mar 37
p. 17.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Addl dial
Addl dial
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
FILM EDITOR
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOUND
PRODUCTION MISC
Spec tech eff
SOURCES
MUSIC
"Adios Muchachos" by Julio Sanders.
COMPOSER
DETAILS
Release Date:
5 March 1937
Production Date:
4 November--31 December 1936
Copyright Claimant:
United Artists Corp.
Copyright Date:
26 March 1937
Copyright Number:
LP7008
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
95 or 97
Length(in feet):
8,879
Length(in reels):
11
Country:
United States
PCA No:
3101
SYNOPSIS

Irene Vail, the wife of sadistic American shipping magnate Bruce Vail, is about to turn in for the night in her Paris hotel room when Michael, her chauffeur, enters the room and informs her that he has been instructed by Bruce to force her into a compromising position so that she will drop her divorce suit against him. Expecting to find Michael and his wife alone and in an embrace, Bruce is surprised when he enters the room and instead stumbles upon a holdup by a jewel thief. The intruder, who entered the room through Irene's window, demands Irene's jewels and then kidnaps her. Once he and Irene are alone, the intruder reveals that he is Paul Dumond, one of Europe's most renowned headwaiters, and that he overheard her struggle with Michael and decided to pose as a jewel thief in order to save her. Paul takes the grateful Irene to the Chateau Bleu, where he works, and the two dine and dance into the early hours of the morning. Meanwhile, back at the hotel, Bruce kills Michael and then tells the police that the murder was committed by Irene's new lover. When Irene returns to the hotel, she lies to Bruce and the police about her abduction, but Bruce discovers her lie when he notices that she is wearing the necklace that was supposedly stolen along with her other jewels. After the police leave, Bruce forces Irene to agree to go to New York with him and rescind her divorce action by threatening to frame Paul for the murder of the chauffeur. Paul is stunned when he reads about Irene's planned departure in ... +


Irene Vail, the wife of sadistic American shipping magnate Bruce Vail, is about to turn in for the night in her Paris hotel room when Michael, her chauffeur, enters the room and informs her that he has been instructed by Bruce to force her into a compromising position so that she will drop her divorce suit against him. Expecting to find Michael and his wife alone and in an embrace, Bruce is surprised when he enters the room and instead stumbles upon a holdup by a jewel thief. The intruder, who entered the room through Irene's window, demands Irene's jewels and then kidnaps her. Once he and Irene are alone, the intruder reveals that he is Paul Dumond, one of Europe's most renowned headwaiters, and that he overheard her struggle with Michael and decided to pose as a jewel thief in order to save her. Paul takes the grateful Irene to the Chateau Bleu, where he works, and the two dine and dance into the early hours of the morning. Meanwhile, back at the hotel, Bruce kills Michael and then tells the police that the murder was committed by Irene's new lover. When Irene returns to the hotel, she lies to Bruce and the police about her abduction, but Bruce discovers her lie when he notices that she is wearing the necklace that was supposedly stolen along with her other jewels. After the police leave, Bruce forces Irene to agree to go to New York with him and rescind her divorce action by threatening to frame Paul for the murder of the chauffeur. Paul is stunned when he reads about Irene's planned departure in the newspapers and does not understand why she failed to show up at their planned rendezvous. En route to America, Irene, unable to bear her husband's cruelty any longer, tells Bruce that she has taken a lover in Paris and that she plans to continue pressing her divorce suit. Meanwhile, Paul, fearing that Irene is in trouble, follows the Vails to New York. There, Paul and his temperamental chef, Cesare, find work at a Manhattan restaurant called Victor's. When Irene is informed that her ex-lover has been arrested in connection with Michael's murder, she thinks that Paul is the arrested suspect and becomes depressed. Bruce tries to force Irene to go to Paris with him to testify against the suspect, but before they leave, Bruce takes her to Victor's for dinner, where she discovers Paul and realizes that he is safe. After dinner, Irene tears up her ticket to Paris, walks out on Bruce and returns to Victor's, where she explains herself to Paul and insists that he not return to Paris. Paul, however, refuses to allow an innocent man to be punished for the murder that Bruce committed and convinces Irene that he must go to Paris and risk being framed in order to defend the man. Irene joins Paul on his voyage to Paris, and the two set sail on Bruce's ship, the S.S. Princess Irene . When Bruce reads the newspaper headlines reporting Irene's journey to France to defend "the man of her heart," he becomes enraged that he will not be able to get a conviction against Paul. Disregarding a radio call from the captain of the Princess Irene warning of bad weather, Bruce gives instructions that the ship proceed at full speed. The ocean liner soon collides with an iceberg and capsizes, and when Bruce learns of the tragedy, he writes a suicide note in which he confesses to Michael's murder and then shoots himself. The ship, however, stops sinking, and Paul and Irene are rescued. +

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.