Night into Morning (1951)

Genres - Drama, Romance  |   Release Date - Jun 8, 1951 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 86 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Night Into Morning gets points for trying to be something different. It's clear that someone on the creative staff had some sort of personal connection to this tale of a man whose life becomes meaningless after the devastating loss of his wife and child, for certain scenes have an emotional honesty that is quite real and affecting. Unfortunately, these scenes are surrounded by others which range from manipulative to bathetic to simply irritating; good intentions are not enough to guarantee good drama. Things become especially bogged down as the film progresses, and the ending is distinctly "hokey." However, Morning is blessed with a superb performance from Ray Milland, whose sterling efforts keep the film afloat even when it promises to drown in bathos. Although he's traveling some of the same territory he explored in The Lost Weekend, Milland doesn't settle for duplicating that landmark performance, but finds new possibilities and fresh nuances to enliven his character. The rest of the cast is fine, if a bit more bland than one might wish; but Milland, under Fletcher Markle's sensitive direction, makes up for their lack of spark.