by guest writer
Midnight Lace (1960) was a pleasant surprise even for me. When I initially discovered the movie I didn’t know what to think of it. And then came the night when I inserted the disc into the player. The cast was so well chosen and every part seems so natural. Kit Preston (Doris Day) is the wealthy wife of a British well-off businessman, Anthony Preston (Rex Harrison). She finds herself in a country she doesn’t know, where strange events lead her to think that her life might be in danger. Brian Younger (John Gavin) is one of the key secondary character in the movie that will bring some changes in Kit’s life. Myrna Loy, as aunt Bea, and Herbert Marshall, as Charles Manning, a close associate of Mr. Preston’s, aren’t to be overlooked either.
What’s the most striking is an undeniable Hitchcock feeling, echoeing Dial M for Murder (1953). Shot in beautiful color by cinematographer Russell Metty, Midnight Lace focuses on the psychological terror rather than the physical one. The intensity of the suspense is amplified simply by concentrating on the main character’s reactions in a certain situation, for example, waiting for the phone to ring. Twists are a matter of choice for the director David Miller that is using them in order to cool the tension created. Music and editing add up to this movie as complete ingredients for a first rate suspense.
photo: still from the film | credit: Arwin Productions, Universal International Pictures