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Midnight Lace

Midnight Lace (1960), starring Doris Day, Rex Harrison, Myrna Loy, John Gavin, Roddy McDowall

Synopsis of Midnight Lace

In Midnight Lace, Doris Day portrays a rich young wife living in London who is the target of life-threatening phone calls and near-fatal accidents. Everyone becomes a potential murderer, including her debonair husband, an adoring next- door-neighbor, and a construction foreman working nearby.

Review of Midnight Lace

Midnight Lace is actually a very entertaining thriller.  It deals with a newlywed (Doris Day), recently married to an older man (Rex Harrison).  He’s been postponing their honeymoon for three months for various business emergencies.  And he continues to do it.  Then, she starts getting obscene phone calls, threatening to kill her.

So, the question that the audience asks is: who’s calling?  Is anyone calling, or is she imagining it?  She seems to keep having minor incidents, ending with someone pushing her in front of a bus.  And, there’s no shortage of suspects.  I have to say that the ending was surprising, but fit in with all of the clues up to that point.  I enjoyed Midnight Lace, and recommend it, rating it a very solid 3 stars out of 5.

Cast of characters in Midnight Lace

  • Kit Preston (Doris DayBy Moonlight BayWith Six You Get Eggroll).  The newlywed wife, who is being driven to the brink of madness.  Doris Day does a good job portraying the woman getting more and more distressed.
  • Anthony Preston (Rex HarrisonMy Fair LadyThe Ghost and Mrs. Muir).  The older husband, in charge of a large corporation.  A corporation that, although multinational, is in financial trouble.  He seems supportive at first of his wife’s story.  But as time goes on, he begins to suspect her mental state.  Seemingly.
  • Brian Younger (John GavinPsychoSpartacus).  A construction foreman, supervising the work next door to Kit’s hotel.  And keeps showing up …
  • Aunt Bea (Myrna LoyThe Thin ManThe Circus).  Kit’s aunt, who has come to visit and support.  A good performance in a supporting row
  • Malcolm (Roddy McDowallFright NightPlanet of the Apes).  Malcolm is the son of Kit’s cleaning lady, and he mooches off her mercilessly.  And he’s not above trying to squeeze money out of Kit as well.  And he doesn’t like to be told “no” …
  • Peggy Thompson (Natasha ParryRomeo and Juliet 1968).  Kit’s neighbor, who becomes her best friend in this strange country.  Peggy’s waiting for her husband to return home from the Navy.
  • Inspector Byrnes (John WilliamsSabrinaDial M for Murder).  The Scotland Yard inspector who doesn’t take Kit’s story seriously.  At first …

Editorial review of Midnight Lace courtesy of Amazon.com

Kit (Doris Day), an American married to wealthy London businessman Tony Preston (Rex Harrison) becomes the terrified victim of a mysterious stalker, who she hears but can never see. She is threatened by the eerie, high-pitched voice as she walks in the thick London fog. She then begins receiving repeated threatening telephone calls. The now totally panicked Kit is nearly killed when someone pushes her in front of a bus. Unfortunately for Kit, no one but she hears the voice or the telephone calls and neither Tony, Kit’s visiting aunt Bea (Myra Loy), or Scotland Yard take any of these incidents seriously. The only one who seems to believe Kit is Brian Younger (John Gavin), a construction foreman, but Kit is not convinced that she can trust him.

The tension builds to a thrilling climax as Kit flees for her life on a scaffolding outside her apartment building. Midnight Lace is an exciting thriller, with many surprising plot twists and a nice sinister performance by Rex Harrison. Roddy McDowall is also fun as the son of Kit’s housekeeper, who keeps hitting up his mom for money.

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