Midnight Lace (Mitternachts-spitzen, 1960)

German Koch Media Blu-Ray edition, region B




I had never heard about this 1960 thriller and i certainly wasn't ready for the performance of the films main actress, Doris Day.
I'm an old geezer and when i was a kid there were no computer games, no streaming video, no social networking using Big
Tech companies spy infested software as Twitter, Instagram, Youtube etc. There were hardly any channels on the TV to
watch either, but there were a lot of musicals and syrupy comedy films shown, and the worst of the lot were the one's with
the always much too perky and chirpy Doris Day. I was only a kid but i did NOT like her.

When i watched The Hitchcock 1956 film "The Man Who Knew to Much" and heard her sing the awful super hit song
"Que Sera Sera" my antipathy towards Doris Day reached maximum level. This is one of the most dangerous songs ever
written, listen to it and it gets stuck in your head for ever. I've found myself shouting it in the shower, totally against my will.

For some reason Doris Day wanted to play the eternal too perky and chirpy character in most of her films, and she was one
of the most popular filmstars in the US, she was HUGE, making these type of films, the always too syrupy comedies and
musicals. Like a precursor to Julie Andrews or something, too goody-goody but Doris Day could sing very well admitted.

Too perky and chirpy Doris Day ? - Not This Time

But with 1960 Midnight Lace, that plays out a bit like a mix of 1944 Gaslight and a Hitchcock movie, she took part in a great
thriller, and the main reason for it being a great thriller - is Doris Day performance as an american women married to a Brit.
She gives an outstanding performance as the frightened Mrs. Preston, and she's so likeable and alive in the role that you
want to jump into the screen and into the film to give her a big hug, to make her feel safe.
Day gave her portrayal of the frail american woman all she had, it was intense and she never played a role like that again.
With this role she won over my heart and she certainly should've been rewarded with an Oscar for it.

The Film:

The wealthy american heiress Kit Preston (Day) is walking home through a thick London fog when she hears an evil
distorted voice calling to her, that he's going to kill her. Arriving home her british husband Anthony (Rex Harrison) says
it must've been a joke by some prankster. Then someone continues to threaten her on the phone and using the same high
distorted voice. We don't get to hear the call but we do get to see how poor Kit reacts listening to it, and it's awful.
Great acting by Doris Day and disturbing.

When visiting the Scotland Yard the police inspector Byrnes (John Williams) suggests that she may be a "neglected
housewife" and soon even Tony starts to disbelieve her. And in the most impressive scene of the film, the suspenseful
elevator scene, she's almost scared to death. The terror continues.
There are a lot of people and red herrings thrown around her. Her auntie Bea (screen legend Myrna Loy), the friendly
neighbour woman Peggy (Natasha Perry), her housemaid Dora, Dora's hateful son Malcolm (Roddy McDowell) a
handsome building contractor Brian (John Gavin) and a mysterious man with a face scar. Who's the perp and why ?

The film is presented in anamorphic widescreen 1.78:1 with english audio PCM 2.0, region B.
Extras: Original trailer, German trailer, bilder galerie (17 minutes) and a 5 min featurette in german only about DD's wardrobe

 

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