- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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Wonderful, Wonderful...as Johnny Mathis would say
- el debbo
How easy to feel Jerry Kingsley's loveless loneliness in Delbert Mann's atmospheric portrayal of mid-century New York, a city that throws dark glowering skies, sleet, ice and cold rains at the players. And what players they are: Frederic March, brilliant; Kim Novak, her best performance; Albert Dekker, superb; and Joan Copeland as Lillian, fascinating. The camaraderie at the dimly-lit LockLee headquarters was great. I loved the 1950's clothing, with assertive lapels and wide belts for the women. I loved watching Jerry's face, so puckish when he 'happens' to meet Betty on the street in front of her apartment house. Frederic March was one of the best actors of the twentieth century. I watched this poignant film several times; it moved me. Jerry comes to understand that love, though sometimes so flawed that it hurts, is everything. Betty matures into a three-dimensional, grown woman as she learns to accept Jerry's goodness: "I don't have to beg for kindness, he gives it with both hands."
Great performances by Frederic March and Kim Novak
I love "Middle of the Night." Frederic March gives an outstanding performance as the lonely middle-aged widow who falls deeply in love with the much younger, beautiful "kid" played by Kim Novak. They have a terrific on screen chemistry that grows with their deepening relationship. Kim Novak is an under-rated actress IMHO, perhaps because her great beauty and sensuality are almost distracting at times. I loved the scene where Jerry (Fredric March) and Betty (Kim Novak) go to Lake George for a New Year's Eve weekend and laugh on the way out of an almost giddy new found intimacy. The supporting cast is terrific. The script by Paddy Chayefsky is filled with touching dialogue that endears the characters.. eg., when Jerry first asks Betty for a date then walks away muttering to himself, "Jerk, jerk! What are you doing?" "Middle of the Night" has become one of my favorite movies that explores in the 1950s the then frowned upon relationship of a man marrying a much younger woman.
A great performance, and relative to me
I thought both Frederick March and Kim Novak gave a superb performance in this film. This is the type of role that Kim does well, and it's hard to find a role in which Mr. March does not excel. But this film was particularly relevant to me because I am a widowed 64 y/o man dating a beautiful 30 y/o Russian concert pianist. She is very temperamental and a handful; like a high-strung thoroughbred. So I am experiencing the same emotional roller-coaster ride as Mr. March's character. The film came along just as I was thinking of cutting her loose. I changed my mind because of it. I am living, and that is much preferred to preparing to die.
middle of the night
- anthony coutsouros
I though this film was great, it hit home for me, I just got married, and I am experiencing the same problem except worse, mr marsh is a great actor, kim was wonderful.
Fredric March is great
- Kris Crane
I had never seen this movie until last night...I have always admired March (Best Years of Our Lives, Inherit the Wind), but was blown away by his acting in this. I really forgot that he was acting and had so much sympathy for his character. I usually enjoy Kim Novak also, but felt that she was "too pretty" for the role and that her performance was rather one note. Albert Dekker, Martin Balsam and Lee Grant were great also.
disappointing comments about Frederick March.
To mention Frederick March, without mentioning his role in the Best Years of Our Lives, is to overlook perhaps his greatest role. He was able to play nearly any role. I shuddered as I watched him play opposite Kim Novak. Compared to those actresses such as Carole Lombard, Claudette Colbert, Myrna Loy, ect, it seemed he was paired with one of Hollywoods many better looking than actress "stars" of the 50's. Marylyn Monroe was a better actress, and in my opinion, much sexier. Novak tried to play those roles for which she had the looks, but not the talent. She is the weak link in this film.
The Great Fredric March
- henry hoffman
I second Sharon Quinn's request for a future Summer Under the Stars devoted to this legendary actor. He is marvelous in A STAR IS BORN, what w/ his slightly actorish husk, a necessary component of Norman Maine. His depth of restrained deepwater fear in Kazan's MAN ON A TIGHTROPE (1952). His Willy Loman as a tortured soul caving into the demands of corporate mindset, though he is locked into his older son & wants to be finally held up as a good father. And his supporting work (elegant, dashing, consummate) in MAN IN THE GRAY FLANNEL SUIT (1956) is an early peek at his great James Tyrone on stage in LONG DAY'S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT. Finally, his President in SEVEN DAYS IN MAY (1965) had John Frankenheimer acknowledging that the two best actors he ever worked w/ were Fredric March & Raul Julia.
Fredric March - Terrific
I think Fredric March gave an outstanding performance. I truly got caught up in the character and forgot it was Fredric March.
Saw this movie last night and I fell in love with it again. It is so powerful. You can actually feel the desire and pain in both characters. Her desire to be loved for other than sex and good looks and his longing for love despite his age. Great movie. Glad it is on DVD now. Will be buying this collection.
Ending / Moral
I loved the ending of this film.When the "Manufacturer" realizes that life is problems, life is headaches, life is women. Something along those lines. I am sure I have messed it up in some way but the idea being that the headaches that love creates is what life is all about.I would love to see the last few of his lines quoted somewhere. I have searched the internet but no luck.
An extraordinary screenplay , great performances
This is one of Chayefsky's greatest works. I first viewed this film on TCM some months ago and was so impressed by the depth and precision of the writing and the luminous performances of both March and Novak, not to mention the superb supporting cast. The viewer is immediately jolted by the gruff world of the garment district of yesteryear and the battered bodies seemingly strewn all over the fire escape of the building...the way women are abused in a man's world, the mores of the period and the splendid inner turmoil of Fredrick March as he struggles with his love and yearning for a much younger woman. A superb classic.
Despite the presence of 3 of my favorite actors (Frederic March, Martin Balsam and Lee Grant), I found this film disappointing. The reason is I was unable to empathize to any degree with Kim Novak's neurotic character, she can never change no matter what her situation. The main interest lied in March's trying to reconcile with his being middle-aged. Entertaining was the interplay of the dysfunctional younger couple. The ending was totally unconvincing.
- Jarrod McDonald
Paddy Chayefsky is one of my favorite writers...I like this one almost as much as I like 'The Americanization of Emily (1964).' Fredric March and Kim Novak do a great job with it. But I think my favorite performer in this film is Glenda Farrell, a lead actress from the 1930s who does a terrific turn here in a character role as Novak's mom. But contrary to other reviewers, I didn't get too caught up in the love story angle...instead, I was more interested in the situation and how their friends and relatives reacted to it. There were only a few long kisses between March and Novak...she had more of a sex-type scene with the ex-husband who returned near the end. I suppose if this were made today (2009), we would definitely see the old man and young woman naked together and having sex. The point is that we don't need to see it all in order to understand the intimacy between the two characters...but again, it's more the situation we're drawn to and how it plays out.
A Story True To My Heart
I would watch this movie everyday! A story so true, that anyone can find love again.
Great Movie, Terrific March.
- SHARON A. QUINN
I don't know if TCM has ever done a month dedicated to Fredric March, but if not, it is long overdue. Are you listening Mr. Osborne? His Thirties fils are interesting and very well acted. I am very partial to his DR Jekyll and his Norman Main. I have read some reviews which dismissed his acting style as "over-the-top". I don't agree but if he ever did display that propensity, it is completely gone by the Forties. "The Best Years of Our LIves" reveals a compelling, nuanced and totally believable performance. His William Jennings Bryant in "Inherit the Wind" is a powerfully sympathetic counterpoint to Spencer Tracy's Darrow. One of the greatest moments on film is their quiet conversation on the porch.I recently saw "Middle of the Night" for the first time. He is touching, pathetic , warm and heartbreakingly believable. I think that I'm running out of things to say, but TCM needs to focus on this tremendous talent...and while you're at it, what about an interview with Kim Novak?
One of the Gems in Movies
I have watched this film over and over again this week after it was on TCM. Kim Novak and Fredrick March together in this wonderful movie. A real Gem Hope you show it again soon.
One of the greats of the 50 60 era.
I loved the may december thing and both Fredric March and Kim Novak were great. I looked for this movie for a long time but could never find a copy. How sad this one never made it to a dvd... JR Bergt
AMONG THE MOST MEMORABLE FILMS OF MY LIFE
- Walter Renn
I am retired now in my seventies, and saw this film more than fifty years ago, but find it among the most memorable films I have ever seen. A moving love story between May and September, I have long wanted to see it again, and have searched for it, including touch with a scholar of the Director, Delbert Mann. It would be a fitting tribute to the great director, who died in November, 2007, to add this film to those available for viewing on DVD. It is unimaginable to me that such a great film would not be available as a classic!Walter Renn, Delray Beach, FL.
Middle of the Night
- robin adelman
Dear TCM:Would love to see a great love story with a great cast, Middle of the Night, with Kim Novak and Fredric March giving very understated performances. Please show ...... a timeless and emotionally charged story about love and family ties.TCM fan,Robin Adelman
Excellent film about love at any age!!
- Alan Bloom
Any excellent film that has the same meaning in 2006 as it did in 1959 when the film was made. Kim Novack is excellent as the young secretary and Fredric March "excels" as the older executive. The age difference affects these two as well as all family members as the relationship intensives. Great supporting cast highlights a very intense, adult drama that needs to be shown on TCM and made available on DVD.