Midnight Lace (1960)


“There’s nothing wrong about money that having it can’t cure” – Charles Manning

Number of Times Seen – 1 (24 Mar 2019)

Brief Synopsis – A newly married woman living in London is stalked by a voice that claims that she will be murdered.

My Take on it – This is another film that I decided to check out in order to learn more about Doris Day’s acing range.

She does a fine job here, but it’s quite easy to see that she is way out of her depth with a role like this.

During her career she excelled at light comic roles and this one is completely the opposite and she feels very wrong as such a character.

The story unfortunately isn’t as thrilling as one would expect and the way things are presented makes so much quite predictable from the start.

This film does manage to do some nice things with this kind of story especially given the fact that they didn’t have the technology we have today and they still find a way to make things seem plausible.

I liked seeing Rex Harrison and Myrna Loy in this film yet both are very underused here which is a shame since they were both excellent actors.

The fact that this film has an interesting story that has lots of potential that is wasted is quite a shame.

Bottom Line – Day is fine here, but she is more of an actress that seems comfortable in “light” roles and this role is a bit too much for her to properly perform.  The story isn’t as suspenseful as one would hope and things are actually quite predictable from the start. They do some nice things along the way tho especially since when taking in to consideration how some of the plot unfolds with the lack of technology at the time. Harrison is quite good here despite the fat that both he and Loy are completely underused in their roles. The overall premise is an interesting one but it just isn’t presented in a way that would keep it thrilling enough which is a pity.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – In her autobiography, Doris Day wrote that to prepare herself for one of the terror scenes, she recalled a time when her first husband, trombonist Al Jorden, dragged her out of bed when she was ill and pregnant and hurled her against a wall. Day related that in the scene she wasn’t acting hysterical, she WAS hysterical, and at the end of the take she collapsed in a real faint. She was carried to her dressing room, and producer Ross Hunter shut down production for a few days while she recovered. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (5/10)

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4 thoughts on “Midnight Lace (1960)

  1. This is a film I remember liking after first seeing it (on TV) many years ago. But I had a chance to take another look – and it doesn’t holdup. It was a disappointing try to do “Gaslight”. So although I agree with you thatthe film is mediocre at best, I disagree that Day was out of her depth in the lead and more adept at”light” roles. She was certainly the queen of romantic comedies in the 50s & 60s – but she more than carried her weight in Midnight Lace. She was probably as good as she could be in the role as written, and was certainly better than the film itself. As to her ability to play dark – or dramatic – you have only to see her in roles in The Man Who Knew Too Much and “Love Me Or Leave Me” (opposite James Cagney) to see that when given a chance – she could handle those as well.

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  2. This is more of a glamorous fashion show for our girl Doris mixed with high gloss melodrama than any sort of complex mystery. On those terms its a fun, flyaway watch, though poor Myrna Loy is stuck with one of the ugliest hats in all of moviedom! It looks like a wicker flower basket turned upside down. Terrific cast.

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  3. I enjoy watching old thrillers of the past because you can usually find tropes that are used today. I will check this out but the title sounds more like a bad 80’s movie about a female cop who poses as a prostitute to stop a human trafficking ring.

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  4. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1960 | MovieRob

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