The Other Side of Midnight (1977)

R | 166 mins | Drama | 8 June 1977

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HISTORY

In his 10 Jan 1977 DV “Just for Variety” column, Arcmy Archerd reported that The Other Side of Midnight was budgeted at $8.5 million, however Lisa Mitchell in the 5 Jun 1977 LAT reported the cost to be $8 million. The film was shot on various locations in Greece, France, Washington, D.C., and Virginia, and sound stages at Paramount studios in Hollywood, CA. Production wrapped toward the end of Feb 1977.
       The 10 Jun 1977 HR reported that The Other Side of Midnight had broken mid-week opening records at the National and Coronet theaters in New York, grossing $12,108 at the National and $8,693 at the Coronet on its 8 Jun 1977 opening day. According to an article by Roger Cels in the 14 Aug 1978 HR, The Other Side of Midnight had accumulated $20.5 million in film rentals to that date.
       On 13 Sep 1978, DV reported that 20th Century-Fox had been indicted the day before by a Federal Grand Jury for criminal contempt of the 1951 consent decree that made block booking illegal. It was contended that in May or Jun 1977 the company’s Boston, MA, branch office forced exhibitors to play The Other Side of Midnight in order to be able to play Star Wars (1977, see entry). It was further alleged that Fox’s Minneapolis, MN, branch made the same demand of exhibitors in Jun or Jul 1977. Fox pled no-contest, according to the 3 Sep 1980 Var, and the company was fined $25 thousand plus investigative ...

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In his 10 Jan 1977 DV “Just for Variety” column, Arcmy Archerd reported that The Other Side of Midnight was budgeted at $8.5 million, however Lisa Mitchell in the 5 Jun 1977 LAT reported the cost to be $8 million. The film was shot on various locations in Greece, France, Washington, D.C., and Virginia, and sound stages at Paramount studios in Hollywood, CA. Production wrapped toward the end of Feb 1977.
       The 10 Jun 1977 HR reported that The Other Side of Midnight had broken mid-week opening records at the National and Coronet theaters in New York, grossing $12,108 at the National and $8,693 at the Coronet on its 8 Jun 1977 opening day. According to an article by Roger Cels in the 14 Aug 1978 HR, The Other Side of Midnight had accumulated $20.5 million in film rentals to that date.
       On 13 Sep 1978, DV reported that 20th Century-Fox had been indicted the day before by a Federal Grand Jury for criminal contempt of the 1951 consent decree that made block booking illegal. It was contended that in May or Jun 1977 the company’s Boston, MA, branch office forced exhibitors to play The Other Side of Midnight in order to be able to play Star Wars (1977, see entry). It was further alleged that Fox’s Minneapolis, MN, branch made the same demand of exhibitors in Jun or Jul 1977. Fox pled no-contest, according to the 3 Sep 1980 Var, and the company was fined $25 thousand plus investigative costs. The indictment was said to be the first such anti-block-booking action taken by federal authorities since the consent decree had been in effect.

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
10 Jan 1977
---
Daily Variety
13 Sep 1978
---
Hollywood Reporter
6 Jun 1977
p. 2
Hollywood Reporter
10 Jun 1977
---
Hollywood Reporter
14 Aug 1978
---
Los Angeles Times
5 Jun 1977
<I>Calendar</I> section, p. 34
Los Angeles Times
22 Jun 1977
p. H7
New York Times
9 Jun 1977
p. 16
Variety
8 Jun 1977
p. 26
Variety
3 Sep 1980
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
A Frank Yablans Presentation
A Martin Ransohoff-Frank Yablans Production
A Charles Jarrott Film
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
2d unit dir
Unit mgr (Washington)
Unit mgr (Greece)
Unit mgr (Greece)
Unit mgr (Paris)
Asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
Asst dir (Paris)
Asst dir (Paris)
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Photog equip
PHOTOGRAPHY
Fred J. Koenekamp
Dir of photog
2d unit photog
Gaffer
Key grip
Photog equip by
ART DIRECTOR
Prod des
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
Prop master
Const coord
COSTUMES
Irene Sharaff
Cost des by
MUSIC
Mus
Original Music Copyright © 1977 Twentieth Century Music Corporation
SOUND
Rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Sd ed
VISUAL EFFECTS
Titles and optical eff
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hairdresser
Hairdresser
PRODUCTION MISC
Scr supv
Dial coach
Spec promotion and merchandising services by
Casting
Jewels by
COLOR PERSONNEL
Color by
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The Other Side of Midnight by Sidney Sheldon (New York, 1973).
LITERARY SOURCE AUTHOR
DETAILS
Release Date:
8 June 1977
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 8 Jun 1977; Los Angeles opening: 17 Jun 1977
Production Date:
ended late Feb 1977
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation
8 June 1977
LP47759
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Duration(in mins):
166
Length(in feet):
14,935
Length(in reels):
18
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
24603
SYNOPSIS

In 1947 Greece, Constantin Demeris visits Noelle Page in prison. He needs certain facts about the death of Catherine Douglas, and asks if Noelle is innocent or guilty of killing Catherine? She claims she is innocent. Eight years earlier in Marseilles, France, Noelle’s father takes her to Lanchon’s dress shop to begin a career that he believes will place her in a world of riches where she belongs. Sometime later, as a reward for her success as a clerk in his shop, Lanchon offers her any dress of her choice from the new Paris shipment. When Lanchon attempts to seduce Noelle, she runs home but learns that her father “sold” her to Lanchon. Her father maintains it was a transaction that benefitted everyone. She got a man who could help her, Lanchon received a woman who could give him pleasure, and he received money for himself and her mother. He informs her that war is coming, and her beauty will be her only weapon of survival. He urges her to use it, and insists that she return to Lanchon. She does so, allowing Lanchon to have sex with her before she packs her suitcase and sneaks away. In 1939 Washington, D. C., Catherine Alexander applies for a job with a Fraser & Associates, a high-powered public relations firm. As she introduces herself to Bill Fraser’s receptionist, she overhears that Fraser is looking for a back issue of Life ...

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In 1947 Greece, Constantin Demeris visits Noelle Page in prison. He needs certain facts about the death of Catherine Douglas, and asks if Noelle is innocent or guilty of killing Catherine? She claims she is innocent. Eight years earlier in Marseilles, France, Noelle’s father takes her to Lanchon’s dress shop to begin a career that he believes will place her in a world of riches where she belongs. Sometime later, as a reward for her success as a clerk in his shop, Lanchon offers her any dress of her choice from the new Paris shipment. When Lanchon attempts to seduce Noelle, she runs home but learns that her father “sold” her to Lanchon. Her father maintains it was a transaction that benefitted everyone. She got a man who could help her, Lanchon received a woman who could give him pleasure, and he received money for himself and her mother. He informs her that war is coming, and her beauty will be her only weapon of survival. He urges her to use it, and insists that she return to Lanchon. She does so, allowing Lanchon to have sex with her before she packs her suitcase and sneaks away. In 1939 Washington, D. C., Catherine Alexander applies for a job with a Fraser & Associates, a high-powered public relations firm. As she introduces herself to Bill Fraser’s receptionist, she overhears that Fraser is looking for a back issue of Life magazine. Catherine takes it upon herself to obtain the issue. Meanwhile, in his office, Fraser is in a meeting with Constantin Demeris, who assures him that war is coming and he will be loaning his ships for the duration. Fraser promises to get publicity for Demeris’s generosity, suggesting he look at an article about American industrialist Henry Kaiser in the issue of Life to show what he’s talking about. Demeris advises that he will be available in his hotel that evening. When Fraser learns of Catherine’s initiative in obtaining the magazine at a barbershop, where “all old magazines go to die,” he hires her to be his assistant. Meanwhile, Noelle arrives in Paris and asks a cab driver if he might know where she could apply for work as a model. He tells her of his sister, and takes her to a shop. When Noelle starts to take her suitcase from his cab, he tells her he will wait for her, but as she knocks on the door, the cab drives off with her luggage. As she wanders the city, Noelle finds herself at an expensive hotel. She goes in to sit and admire the well-to-do guests, but is rousted by the hotel manager, who takes her to be a prostitute. She is “rescued” by Larry Douglas, an American serving as an officer in the Canadian Air Force, who claims to know her and gives the manager a tip to go away. Larry befriends the young woman and takes her to dinner. He offers to let Noelle stay at his apartment, and they become lovers. On their last evening before Larry leaves on military assignment, they have dinner at a fancy restaurant. Also dining there is Constantine Demeris, and Noelle notices him discussing a business deal involving three million Francs. She asks Larry if he knows Demeris’s name. Before he leaves, Larry informs Noelle that he has paid the rent six months in advance, and says he will return on November 15th and meet her at their favorite restaurant, Chez Victor. He suggests she buy a wedding dress for his return. In Larry’s absence, Noelle takes a job as a model for dressmaker, Madame Rose. Meanwhile, Catherine’s record of getting items placed in the press causes Bill Fraser to take her off existing public relations accounts and assign her to prospective accounts. Although Fraser is a married man, Catherine falls for her boss but he does not acknowledge her interest in him. Noelle returns to Chez Victor on November 15th, but Larry never appears. She writes letters to him, but receives no replies and thinks he is dead. One day, Henri Correger, a casting director from Gaumont Films, sees Noelle in a fashion show and encourages her to call if she is interested in film work. Noelle takes Henri’s card, but soon after collapses from the effects of morning sickness. The coming arrival of their baby gives Noelle hope that Larry will return. One evening she sees some Canadian airmen enter Chez Victor, and believes she recognizes Larry. It turns out he is not with the party, but a fellow officer informs her that Larry has been sent home to the U.S. to train pilots, and that it happened just in time because he impregnated a British girl while stationed in London. Returning to her apartment, Noelle uses a coat hanger to induce an abortion. She quits Madame Rose and contacts Henri at Gaumont. In Washington, D. C., Bill Fraser makes Catherine an associate in the PR firm and sends her to Hollywood, California, to supervise production of an Army recruiting film. On set, the tyro producer meets Larry Douglas, who is among a group of real soldiers mistakenly sent to the stage where Catherine’s unit is shooting. He attempts to tease the nervous young woman, but she quickly gains the upper hand and has him fired. However, Larry is persistent, and back in Washington, Catherine learns that he will be heading up a recruiting program and she has been assigned to their unit for publicity. Larry exacts a price for his silence with Catherine’s boss: dinner at a restaurant of her choosing that evening. Over the ensuing weeks, Larry and Catherine develop a relationship, but she is afraid she will end up as another one of his many “campaign ribbons.” Larry declares his love for Catherine, takes her to his apartment and makes love to her. They become husband and wife, but Larry is away on assignment much of the time. Meanwhile, in France, an ambitious Noelle breaks off her affair with movie star Philippe Sorel because the actor is no longer making films. Having enlisted the assistance of the Swedish consul, Noelle is informed of Larry’s whereabouts, and also that he married Catherine in December 1941. Although devastated by the news, she asks the consul to continue providing information about him. At a Parisian café, Noelle approaches film director Armand Gautier. She tells him a made up story about her brother that actually comes from Gautier’s new script. When Gautier asks who gave her the script, she tells him she got it from Philippe Sorel, who also told her that Gautier dined in this particular café every day for lunch. In return for the lead in Gautier’s film, Noelle becomes his mistress, on condition that he not change her name because she wants a certain someone to know who she is when she becomes a star. In 1945, after the War, Noelle still pays diplomats to keep track of Larry, who becomes a commercial pilot, but is fired by United Airlines and unable to get a job with another carrier. Larry reluctantly becomes an airfreight pilot, a position arranged for him by Bill Fraser, but Noelle tries to have him fired. When she is told it will cost more than she has, she becomes the mistress of Greek billionaire Constantine Demeris, so she can use his money to implement her plan to destroy Larry’s career. When Larry can no longer find work, Constantin Demeris arranges for Noelle to have a private plane, and she hires Larry as her personal pilot. However, upon meeting at Demeris’s estate, Larry does not recognize Noelle. When he eventually realizes who she is, he tells Catherine that he took her in when she was homeless in Paris, and cannot imagine why she would be treating him so badly. One day, despite storm warnings, Noelle insists Larry fly her to Zurich, Switzerland. In “ceiling zero” conditions, Larry lands the plane in Zurich. However, he becomes enraged when he discovers that Noelle has booked him into the cheapest room in the hotel while his co-pilot is in a better room. Larry breaks into Noelle’s top floor suite, and when she attempts to dismiss him, he takes her in a passionate embrace and they make love. She asks him to be available when she wants him, but to always be aware of his “place.” She also suggests that she can be free of Demeris if Larry will divorce Catherine. As Larry’s affair with Noelle heats up, his marriage with Catherine, who has become an alcoholic, deteriorates. When Larry walks out on her, Catherine goes in for exercise and beauty treatments, determined to get him back. However, Noelle demands that Larry divorce Catherine and make good on his long-ago promise to marry her. If not, she will tell Demeris of their relationship, and the Greek will have him killed. Larry returns to Catherine, makes up to her and proposes they take a second honeymoon. However, he takes her to a tourist cave, and goes off the beaten path with the intention of abandoning her in the dark. She falls, but survives and is rescued. When she tells the doctor that Larry tried to kill her, the physician assures her that her husband led the recue party to find her, and gives her a sedative. That night, Noelle comes to Larry’s vacation cottage to urge him to go through with their plan to kill Catherine. Although Larry refuses to go on with the plot, the sedated Catherine awakens and overhears the conversation and escapes, hiding in a rowboat tied up at the dock. In the storm, the rowboat is swept to sea with Catherine in it. Back in the present, Noelle finishes telling Demeris what has happened, insisting she is innocent. He offers to get her off from the charges she faces if she will return to him and never see Larry again. Noelle agrees. At trial, the defense argues that without a body, no murder can be proved. But the prosecution introduces a letter written by Catherine on the night in question stating that Noelle and Larry were in the other room and planned to kill her. Asking for a recess, the defense attorney, Paul Metaxas, outlines a plea deal. If the defendants plead guilty, the judges will sentence them each to five years, with four years suspended. At most they will serve six months, and at the end of that time Larry will be deported to the United States. The attorney makes it clear that leniency is based largely on the influence of Demeris. At the sentencing hearing, however, Larry and Noelle are condemned to death by firing squad, and Noelle realizes Demeris has deceived her. Larry and Noelle are executed. But, in fact, Catherine is not dead. She was rescued by nuns, and is recovering. Demeris comes to check on her and to endow the convent for taking care of her.

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

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