Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tuesday's Overlooked Movies: All Through the Night


ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT is never ranked among Humphrey Bogart's best films, but it's one of my favorites. Maybe that's because it's the first Bogart film I ever saw, at least that I remember. I watched it on TV one morning at my sister's house, in the summer of 1966. When you remember where and when you saw a movie, you know it made an impression on you. However, there's more than nostalgia operating here. I've seen ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT several times over the years, and I think it holds up very well.


Bogart plays a New York bookie named Gloves Donahue. He's surrounded by a crew of colorful, Damon Runyon-esque characters including Frank McHugh, William Demarest, Phil Silvers, and Jackie Gleason. His mother is played by Jane Darwell. The cast also includes Peter Lorre, Wallace Ford, and Barton MacLane. In other words, this movie is Character Actor Central. If it had had Ward Bond and Frank Faylen in it, it would have been perfect.


So who do you pit against Bogart and this all-star lineup of character actors as the bad guy? Why, Conrad Veidt, of course, as the head of a gang of Nazi spies and saboteurs. The action is plentiful, the dialogue is fast and funny (at one point, Bogart tells Veidt, "There are certain neighborhoods in Brooklyn I'd advise you not to invade"), and it all leads up to an explosive, very satisfying conclusion.


You could write this movie off as propaganda, since it came out just as the U.S. was getting involved in World War II, and I suppose it is. But you'd be wrong to think that's all it is. ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT is funny, exciting, and very pulpish. It's also one of my favorite films, and if you've never seen it, I highly recommend it.

7 comments:

Walker Martin said...

I agree absolutely with James about ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT. It's one of my favorites also and I've seen it many times. It's easily available on dvd and shows up on TCM every now and then.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Vague memory of this because of the name Gloves.

Jerry House said...

It's on TCM this morning in about ten minutes.

Keith said...

This was one of the first Bogart movies I ever saw, although not the first. That was Casablanca, which we watched in English my junior year of high school. I knew I had to see more films starring this guy Bogart. Back when AMC ran classic movies without interruption, they had one week shortly after I'd seen Casablanca in which they showed a different Bogart movie every night. All Through the Night was the first or second night, and I loved it. I've not seen it since, but I'm going to rectify that soon. Thanks for the reminder, James.

Cap'n Bob said...

I remember that quote well. A swell movie, all right.

Rittster said...

I hadn't read much about this movie before seeing it a few years ago, and assumed it would be a standard (though not in a bad way) Bogart WW2 action pic; I was surpised at how "breezy" it was. Damon Runyon is a particularly apt allusion.

Yvette said...

I love this movie! Great post. Wonderful cast. Thanks for reminding me. I love Conrad Veidt.