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Middle of the Night

Middle of the Night(1959)

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The opening and closing onscreen cast credits differ in order. In the onscreen credits, all the character names are rendered only in lowercase letters. Although the film's credits state that Paddy Chayefsky's screenplay was based on his play presented on Broadway, Chayefsky's play was originally performed as a one-hour NBC television drama on the Philco Television Playhouse on September 19, 1954. The teleplay was directed by Delbert Mann and starred Eva Marie Saint and E. G. Marshall. According to February 1956 Variety news items, Warner Bros., M-G-M, Twentieth Century-Fox and Hall Wallis Productions all bid on the film rights to Chayefsky's new Broadway play. The Variety review commented that Chayefsky's screenplay "delete[d] or at least [made] uncertain the fact that some of his characters are Jewish."
       A March 1956 Daily Variety news item added that when Columbia bought the rights, the studio intended the film to star either Spencer Tracy, Ernest Borgnine or James Cagney. A March 1957 Daily Variety news item noted that Milton Perlman was initially to produce the film. According to a November 1958 "Rambling Reporter" item in Hollywood Reporter, Jean Simmons was considered for the role of "Betty."
       Publicity material contained in the film's production file at the AMPAS Library note that the lodge scene was shot at the Campfire Club near Ossining, New York, with interiors filmed at the Gold Medal Studios, Bronx, New York. Publicity materials add that Lionel Kaplan, the film's technical advisor, was a partner in the Kaplan Bros. garment firm in New York. Betty Walker and Martin Balsam reprised their Broadway roles of "The widow" and "Jack." Effie Afton and Lee Philips also appeared in the Broadway production. Middle of the Night was the official U.S. entry at the Cannes Film Festival and was also named as one of the best pictures of the year by the National Board of Review.