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"Middle of the Night", uhh, well folks....


FredCDobbs
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24 year old Kim Novak and 56 year old Fredric March??

 

Sorry folks, but it didn't work for me.

 

The age difference was one thing, but old Fredric looked much too old and worn out, like he might have been 66 or 76, instead of 56.

 

Just too much of an age difference, a "looks" difference, and a personality difference.

 

Cary Grant and Shirley Temple looked better together in The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer.

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Couldn't disagree more, Fred. In fact along with Vertigo, this may be the *ONLY* May-December pairing I found somewhat convincing, compared to (for example) those inane fantasy films with Audrey Hepburn paired with Gary Cooper or Fred Astaire. The reason I found this movie compelling is that it *WASN'T* about some Dream Factory BS with Hungarian violinists or musical numbers, it was about two real people.dealing with the very real problem of age difference.

 

And the more I see of Kim Novak, the more I respect her as an actress and not just as a piece of eye candy. I found her performance in Middle of the Night totally believable, given her background and family situation.

 

Now realistically, the chances for any long range success between those two probably wouldn't have been all that great, given March's anxieties and given the backstabbing and kvetching from their respective families and so-called "friends". But to dwell on that is to completely miss the point. To me this movie is in many ways a lot like another of Paddy Chayefsky's great works, the much- and justly celebrated Marty: A story about two lonely people who face up to life and have the courage to love.

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There was a movie made in the 90's called The Last Good Time. It was about the relationship between an man in his 60's and 70's, (Armin Muller Stahl) and a young runaway who was probaly 19, (Olivia D'abo -

The Wonder Years, Law And Order CI.) The relationship starts out as a protective friendship and turn into an unlikely love story with a bittersweet ending. I think it played on THIS.

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I'm with Andy on this one, Fred. I love MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT and find the couple's romance bittersweet & worth watching as it unfolds. First both charactors resist involvement feeling uncomfortable with the age difference and especially the boss/employee taboo. Then once involved, they realize none of that is more important than how they feel about each other. It's much the same story as GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER. And all the time the audience sees how really good they are for each other. Loved it.

 

It certainly doesn't hurt having great Chayefsky writing and stellar performances by both Novak & March. It's just petty to judge the charactors on their "looks".

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I admit March looks older than 56, but I like this film. The viewer really roots for them. Maybe Novak is too beautiful for the part, but I think it still works...I hadnt seen the film in a long time and decided to catch it again last night.

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*In this Chayefsky film, just like in MARTY. people in their fifties are portrayed as having one foot in the grave.*

 

Except that in the film version of Marty, Marty was 34 and Clara was about the same age. In many other ways these two movies were similar, but only Middle of the Night portrayed the couple's age gap as a central point of contention.

 

A minor point I noticed in MOTN was the casting for two of the sadder characters in the movie, Albert Dekker as the skirt-chasing dirty old man Lockman who later tries to kill himself, and Rudy Bond as Gould, who's also thrown in the towel. For those who remember Dekker as the arch-villain in The Killers, and Bond as the gleefully sadistic hit man in Jacques Tourneur's classic noir Nightfall, the sorry sight of these two actors is almost as disheartening as the characters they portray in this movie.

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I agree, I like this film. very much. This was first done as a TV production, then a HIT on Broadway before it was made into a film. Obviously many people liked the premise and story very much for it to be remade so many times.

I especially love the location shots in NY. The film perfectly captured the feeling of NY in the winter. So smart making this film in b&w. Captured that lonely feeling NY sometimes had in the winter, and that loneliness Novak and March were feeling. Really good film and I like the casting.

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*But Marty's mother and aunt were both in their fifties, and they were portrayed as old ladies.*

 

As was Glenda Farrell (age 55) in MOTN, but the point is that the age difference between March and Novak was central to that movie, whereas whatever tiny age difference there might have been between the Borgnine and Betsy Blair characters in Marty was insignificant in terms of the plot, and of course both of them were in their 30's, not their 50's. If the point is that all the characters in their 50's in those two films were portrayed as candidates for the glue factory, that's true, but you could find a hundred or a thousand movies that fit that description back in the Golden and Classic ages of Hollywood. In that respect there's little that's unique about either of the Chayefsky films.

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It looks like, Andy, that you're not getting finance's point. He wasn't referring to any age difference between Blair and Borgnine's characters. He was referring to how AGE was displayed in movies in that era.

 

The last time my wife and I saw MARTY together, she was sitting there, at age 64, sporting a pixie type hair-do, wearing an ALICE IN CHAINS T-shirt, athletic shorts, ankle socks and BK shoes, and I motioned to the screen where Marty's Mother had her graying hair in a bun, black dress and what looked like Frankenstein shoes and asked her, "Why don't YOU dress like that?"

 

"Because I'm not 58!" was her reply.

 

I wonder how Fred reacted to the age difference in BREEZY, with Bill Holden, looking all of more than March's 57 years, having a fling with a 19-year-old Kay Lenz? That movie, too, dealt with the age difference topic in a tasteful, intelligent manner.

 

Sepiatone

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*It looks like, Andy, that you're not getting finance's point. He wasn't referring to any age difference between Blair and Borgnine's characters. He was referring to how AGE was displayed in movies in that era.*

 

I get all that, but 50=ready for the glue factory is hardly a theme that's unique to Chayefsky films, whereas the serious way that the age difference is dealt with in MOTN *is* definitely unusual in Hollywood movies of almost any era. That's what distinguishes this movie IMO, whereas the 50=glue factory bit is something I've seen in many other films of both that period and other periods as well. What we're really doing here is feeling two distinct parts of an elephant and drawing different conclusions about its nature depending on whether we're feeling the tusk or the tail.

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>Well, for cripes' sake, I hope there is a difference in "looks" between Kim Novak and Fredric March.

 

LOL, you just can't seem to keep me on "Ignore", can you?

 

Well, anyway, I'm not in the mood to argue with anyone about this movie or this topic. Everyone has their own opinions, and some have had their own experiences.

 

I'm reading all the posts, and I find them interesting. :)

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It's been awhile since I have been here, and a lot of great posts, and I am actually still working on Trauffaut in my DVR.

The two films you mention, major films for me in my life. I have seen

The Catered Affair recently and my admiration for it has not changed. Have not seen Bachelor Party for a long, long time, like maybe, you tell me? 196????

I remember Carolyn Jones telling Don Murray, who was trying to......., well, .....make "love" to her, told him on the bed as he was "passionately" kissing her "tell me you love me, tell me you love me". I am not sure she ever surpassed that moment in her career.

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I am sorry I jumped into this thread too early, but finance talked about two films that meant something to me...... I saw Middle of the Night a year or so ago on, where else, TCM. Your point on the age difference? Ya know, and I feel you know this, along with several other Posters, you cannot figure out what attracts people to each other, regardless of age, or even looks. Man, can I tell you stories....... but I'm not......

 

Edited by: StBartsActor on Sep 27, 2013 9:29 PM

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