Midnight (1939)

Midnight Poster

An unemployed showgirl poses as Hungarian royalty to infiltrate Parisian society.

"Midnight" is a 1939 American romantic funny film directed by Mitchell Leisen and composed by Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder. Its leading stars, Claudette Colbert and Don Ameche, incredibly brings to life the Parisian high society and its intricate web of romance and deception.

The film shares the troubled and comedic journey of Eve Peabody played by Claudette Colbert, a down-on-her-luck showgirl from America who discovers herself in Paris with no place to remain and without a franc. She meets Tibor Czerny, a Hungarian cabby played by Don Ameche, who offers her shelter when she needs it most, stimulating an instant tourist attraction. Nevertheless, Eve has larger aspirations of getting wealth and upper class status. She leaves Tibor to infiltrate a stylish family's event by pretending to be Baroness Czerny.

Social Climbing and Complications
As Eve attempts to protect a more comfortable life, she gains the attention and love of Georges Flammarion, a wealthy guy depicted by John Barrymore. Flammarion believes Eve to be his ticket to end the ongoing affair between his better half Helene and Jacques Picot, a good-looking playboy with romantic intentions. Flammarion makes Eve an offer she can't refuse: a sumptuous lifestyle if she can distract Picot from his better half.

The Labyrinth of Deceit
Issues arise when the genuine Baroness Czerny, played by Mary Astor, goes into the scene. Regardless of the mounting risks to her brand-new identity, Eve continues to play her cards wisely. All the while, Tibor, still carrying feelings for Eve, concerns Paris and adds another layer of deceit by pretending to be his invented competitor, Baron Czerny.

Romantic Comic Resolution
In this spinning narrative, Eve is caught in between the love of a kind-hearted cabbie and the wealth used by a scheming aristocrat. In addition, her false identity hangs in the balance as doubts increase within the upper class circles. Dealt with to call her bluff, the aristocrats organize a surprise meeting with the so-called Baron Czerny.
The movie glitteringly unfolds to its climax with a surprising resolution - a radio broadcast! With entertained Parisians tuned in, the couple verifies their status as the "genuine" Baron and Baroness Czerny and ultimately declares their love for each other.

Last Thoughts
"Midnight" is a timeless comedy of errors filled with high-stakes masquerades and a wide variety of plot twists. It offers a fascinating exposition of love triumphing over materialistic desires in the middle of a background of a satirical portrayal of the Parisian elite. Sparkling with wit, love, comedic intrigue, and delicious Art Deco settings, "Midnight" stands as a testament to the Golden Age of Hollywood and stays an evergreen favorite amongst film enthusiasts.

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