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After a fire kills his family, a college professor sinks into alcoholism.
One morning, State College English professor Phillip Ainley happily anticipates accepting a new position at Yale University as he kisses his wife Anne goodbye. When he begins his lecture on Shakespeare, Phil's only concern is finding a sitter for his son Timmy while he and Anne see South Pacific that night. Moments after an explosion is heard in the distance, department secretary Katherine Mead, who is engaged to Phil's best friend, Tom Lawry, rushes in to tell him that the explosion was at his house. Phil runs home and learns that Anne and Timmy have died in a gas furnace explosion. At the funeral, a numb Phil feigns strength, but his stoicism worries Katherine, who is a war widow. Later, when alone, Phil goes to the top of the college's bell tower and contemplates jumping, but is interrupted by a caretaker. That night, Phil checks into a downtown hotel and spends the night drinking and thinking of suicide. The next day, he shocks his friends and students by showing up for class and picking up the discussion where it ended before the accident, on a morbid passge from Richard II . Phil's friends on the faculty want him to take time to recover from his loss, but even Tom's suggestion that they go together to a friend's cabin, will not sway Phil. That afternoon, as Phil and Katherine see Anne's parents, the Andersons, off on the train, Mrs. Anderson urges Phil to love again, but he dismisses her words. As the weeks pass, Phil's nightly drinking increases and Tom becomes concerned that the sympathetic Katherine is coddling him. One night, after finding a drunken Phil in the hotel bar, Tom tells his friend that he is becoming a "souse" and urges him to take the job at Yale. The next night, after Katherine finally convinces Phil to order headstones for Anne and Timmy, she worries that his superficial self-control is dangerous. Later, Tom gently tells Katherine that Phil must go through things on his own. The next morning, "Chuck" Hollander, a star athlete and favorite of Phil's, asks Katherine to see if he passed his final exam. Seeing her crestfallen face, Chuck explains that he studied hard and needs a passing grade to graduate and get a coaching job. At Chuck's request, Katherine speaks with Phil, but he refuses to reconsider the grade. Tom sees them talking and thinks that Katherine has gone back on her promise not to meddle in Phil's life. Realizing that Tom is misinterpreting things, Phil urges her to go after him. Tom admits that he has been jealous, and when she assures him that she truly loves him, they decide to marry that Saturday. That night, Chuck's girl friend, Dotty Phelps, goes to Phil's hotel to try to change his mind. In the bar, he drunkenly lectures that if she and Chuck do not get married, they cannot get hurt, then reveals that it is his wedding anniversary. Softening after seeing her sadness, Phil agrees to reconsider Chuck's grade if she can convince him to change it after reading the exam. Although Phil is too drunk to drive back to school, he refuses to let Dotty take the wheel and crashes into a store window. Although no one is hurt, Phil is arrested and thrown into the drunk tank. The next morning, Phil is convicted of drunk driving by a judge who believes in the maximum sentence of six months in jail and a $500 fine, but lets Phil off with probation and a stern lecture after Tom and English department head Dr. Horace Snyder speak on his behalf. Ashamed, Phil offers his resignation to Snyder, who will not accept it. After declining Tom's offer to come and stay with him, Phil gets cleaned up at the barbershop then goes to his bank and alters his will to leave everything to Katherine and Tom, instructing the banker that everything must be finalized that day. Phil next gives Timmy's bicycle to his best friend, then goes to Chuck's room and administers another exam, gently warning him not to flunk. After giving Chuck a passing grade, Phil goes to Tom and Katherine and tells them that he is leaving town, but does not say where he is going. When Phil leaves, Katherine tells Tom she is sure that Phil is about to kill himself. Tom then becomes angry and leaves, saying that her feelings for Phil are driving a wedge between them. Meanwhile, Phil returns to his hotel room, writes a suicide note and opens the window. As he is about to jump, Katherine arrives and interrupts him, explaining that she once felt the same way but stopped when she realized that her husband would want her to live. Finally recognizing that Anne and Timmy would have wanted the same, Phil breaks down, and Katherine closes the window. A short time later, Tom is surprised by a visit from Phil, who tells him what happened and assures him that Katherine loves only him. Tom then admits he was wrong, and insists that Phil stay with him for a while. At class the next day, Phil is back to his old self. After announcing that everyone passed, he thanks them for their help and sends them on their way.
Cast & Crew
|MPAA Ratings:||Premiere Info:||not available|
|Release Date:||1951||Production Date:||
|Color/B&W:||Black and White||Distributions Co:||Loew's Inc.|
|Sound:||Mono (Western Electric Sound System)||Production Co:||Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.|
|Duration(mins):||85 or 87||Country:||United States|
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Night into Morning is a gem
Loved this film, but handsome Ray Milland stole the show for me. Story about an ordinary man dealing with the tragic loss of his family and how he...
My wife passed away 2 years ago from cancer.We had a storybook life together because there was a total love both ways there. 33 years together, she was...