That Midnight Kiss (1949)

96 or 99 mins | Romantic comedy, Musical | September 1949

Director:

Norman Taurog

Producer:

Joe Pasternak

Cinematographer:

Robert Surtees

Editor:

Gene Ruggiero

Production Designers:

Cedric Gibbons, Preston Ames

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

The film's world premiere was held in Philadelphia, PA to honor Philadelphia native Mario Lanza (1921--1959), who made his motion picture debut in That Midnight Kiss . Lanza, who had appeared on the concert stage both prior to and after his service in the armed forces during World War II, made several popular musical films for M-G-M during the early 1950s. His recordings of operatic and popular music selections were also very successful. His best-known role was that of Enrico Caruso in the 1951 M-G-M film The Great Caruso . According to biographical sources, Lanza's career was damaged by a chronic weight problem as well as alcoholism. In 1959, while in Rome, Italy, Lanza suffered a heart attack and died at age thirty-eight. According to M-G-M publicity material, Patty Kate Johnston, the infant who appeared in That Midnight Kiss with Kathryn Grayson in a park sequence, was Grayson's newborn ... More Less

The film's world premiere was held in Philadelphia, PA to honor Philadelphia native Mario Lanza (1921--1959), who made his motion picture debut in That Midnight Kiss . Lanza, who had appeared on the concert stage both prior to and after his service in the armed forces during World War II, made several popular musical films for M-G-M during the early 1950s. His recordings of operatic and popular music selections were also very successful. His best-known role was that of Enrico Caruso in the 1951 M-G-M film The Great Caruso . According to biographical sources, Lanza's career was damaged by a chronic weight problem as well as alcoholism. In 1959, while in Rome, Italy, Lanza suffered a heart attack and died at age thirty-eight. According to M-G-M publicity material, Patty Kate Johnston, the infant who appeared in That Midnight Kiss with Kathryn Grayson in a park sequence, was Grayson's newborn daughter. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
27 Aug 1949.
---
Daily Variety
24 Aug 49
p. 3.
Film Daily
25 Aug 49
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Jan 49
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Jan 49
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Feb 49
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Mar 49
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Jun 49
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Aug 49
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Aug 49
p. 4.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
27 Aug 49
p. 4730.
New York Times
23 Sep 49
p. 28.
Variety
24 Aug 49
p. 18.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Stills
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Assoc
COSTUMES
Cost
Men's cost by
MUSIC
Mus dir
Orch
Mus supv
SOUND
Rec supv
MAKEUP
Hair styles des
Makeup created by
PRODUCTION MISC
Dir of publicity
Scr supv
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor color consultant
Technicolor color consultant
SOURCES
MUSIC
Concerto No. 1 in E Flat Major by Franz Liszt
Concerto in B Flat Minor by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
"Revolutionary Etude" by Frédéric Chopin.
SONGS
"They Didn't Believe Me," music by Jerome Kern, lyrics by Herbert Reynolds
"I Know, I Know, I Know," music by Bronislau Kaper, lyrics by Bob Russell
"Caro nomé" from the opera Rigoletto , music by Giuseppe Verdi, libretto by Francesco Maria Piave
+
SONGS
"They Didn't Believe Me," music by Jerome Kern, lyrics by Herbert Reynolds
"I Know, I Know, I Know," music by Bronislau Kaper, lyrics by Bob Russell
"Caro nomé" from the opera Rigoletto , music by Giuseppe Verdi, libretto by Francesco Maria Piave
"Celeste Aida" from the opera Aida , music by Giuseppe Verdi, libretto by A. Ghislanzoni
selection from the opera Lucia di Lammermoor , music by Gaetano Donizetti, libretto by Salvatore Cammarano
"Mama mia, che vo sapé" from the opera Cavalleria rusticana , music by Pietro Mascagni, libretto by Guido Menasci and Giovanni Targioni-Tozzetti
"O sole mio," music by Edoardo di Capua, lyrics by Giovanni Capurro
"Down Among the Sheltering Pines," music by Abe Olman, lyrics by James Brockman
"Una furtiva lagrima" from the opera L'elisir d'amore , music by Gaetano Donizetti, libretto by Felice Romani
Overture from the opera Semiramide , music by Gioacchino Antonio Rossini, libretto by Gaetano Rossi
"Russian Nightingale," music and lyrics by Alexander Alabieff
"Judaline," music and lyrics by Don Raye and Gene De Paul
"Love Is Music," music based on The Fifth Symphony by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, lyrics by William Katz.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
September 1949
Premiere Information:
World premiere in Philadelphia, PA: 2 September 1949
New York opening: 22 September 1949
Production Date:
10 January--mid March 1949
Copyright Claimant:
Loew's Inc.
Copyright Date:
23 August 1949
Copyright Number:
LP2504
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
96 or 99
Length(in feet):
8,873
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
PCA No:
13767
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

Abigail Trent Budell, a wealthy resident of Philadelphia and a generous patron of the arts, hopes to launch the singing career of her young granddaughter Prudence by introducing her to friend and noted musical conductor José Iturbi. Jose auditions Prudence for an upcoming opera and compliments her singing voice, but when he criticizes her style, she angrily storms out of the house. Abigail, whose own mother denied her the opportunity to sing professionally when she was young, is determined to help Prudence realize her dreams. To do so, Abigail finances the construction of an opera house in Philadelphia, and hires Jose to direct the new company. While Abigail begins a radio campaign to publicize the new concert hall, Jose casts Prudence in the company's first opera, opposite tenor Signor Guido Russino Betelli. During rehearsals, Jose realizes that Prudence has trouble looking directly at Betelli when she is singing to him, and tries to solve the problem through coaching. The coaching proves ineffective, however, as Prudence rejects Jose's instructions and complains that Betelli is too fat to look at. A short time later, Prudence meets Johnny Donnetti, a handsome former New York opera star who left the stage to become a truck driver for Artie Geoffrey Glenson's trucking company. While a romance blossoms between Johnny and Prudence, Jose discovers Johnny's singing abilities and introduces him at one of the concerts. After winning a standing ovation from the audience, Johnny is invited to join the company and sing with Prudence and Betelli. Complications soon arise, however, when Betelli objects to the presence of another tenor in the program and tears up his contract. Betelli's departure pleases most ... +


Abigail Trent Budell, a wealthy resident of Philadelphia and a generous patron of the arts, hopes to launch the singing career of her young granddaughter Prudence by introducing her to friend and noted musical conductor José Iturbi. Jose auditions Prudence for an upcoming opera and compliments her singing voice, but when he criticizes her style, she angrily storms out of the house. Abigail, whose own mother denied her the opportunity to sing professionally when she was young, is determined to help Prudence realize her dreams. To do so, Abigail finances the construction of an opera house in Philadelphia, and hires Jose to direct the new company. While Abigail begins a radio campaign to publicize the new concert hall, Jose casts Prudence in the company's first opera, opposite tenor Signor Guido Russino Betelli. During rehearsals, Jose realizes that Prudence has trouble looking directly at Betelli when she is singing to him, and tries to solve the problem through coaching. The coaching proves ineffective, however, as Prudence rejects Jose's instructions and complains that Betelli is too fat to look at. A short time later, Prudence meets Johnny Donnetti, a handsome former New York opera star who left the stage to become a truck driver for Artie Geoffrey Glenson's trucking company. While a romance blossoms between Johnny and Prudence, Jose discovers Johnny's singing abilities and introduces him at one of the concerts. After winning a standing ovation from the audience, Johnny is invited to join the company and sing with Prudence and Betelli. Complications soon arise, however, when Betelli objects to the presence of another tenor in the program and tears up his contract. Betelli's departure pleases most of the company, especially Prudence, who immediately asks Jose to replace Betelli with Johnny. Jose grants her request, but Prudence's hope of a continuing romance with Johnny is soon dashed when she discovers that Johnny intends to marry his former sweetheart Mary. Unaware that Johnny is not in love with Mary and that his marriage proposal was a result of a misunderstanding, Prudence grows increasingly despondent and her performance begins to suffer. Confusion ensues when Johnny quits the opera mistakenly believing that Abigail hired him to marry Prudence. Desperate to fill Johnny's role, Jose recalls Betelli, but is disappointed to find that Prudence is still unable to look at him when she sings. Things look bad for the opera until Mary overhears Johnny tell Jose that he does not love his fiancée, and he breaks off the engagement. The success of the opera is ensured only moments before its opening, when Betelli is tricked into quitting, and Johnny agrees to go on in his place. Prudence is delighted to see Johnny back, and the two celebrate their reunion with a kiss. +

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.