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Midnight Court (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Midnight Court
Midnight Court 1937 Poster.jpeg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byFrank McDonald
Written byDon Ryan (original and screen play)
Kenneth Gamet (original and screen play)
Produced byBryan Foy
StarringAnn Dvorak
John Litel
CinematographyWarren Lynch
Edited byFrank Magee
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • March 6, 1937 (March 6, 1937)
Running time
63 minutes
CountryUnited States

Midnight Court is a 1937 crime drama film released by Warner Bros. Pictures. The film stars Ann Dvorak and John Litel, and was directed by Frank McDonald.


Victor Shanley (Litel) is a washed-up former district attorney who is arrested during a police raid on skid row. While being arraigned in night court, he encounters his estranged ex-wife, Carol O'Neil (Dvorak), who is working as a court reporter. After giving a deranged speech about the corrupt criminal justice system, Shanley passes out. Carol then takes him home and cleans him up, where he declares that since being on the right side of the law never did him any good, he plans to work as a defense lawyer for criminal boss Al Kruger and his ring of auto thieves.

Despite his ongoing success defending Kruger and his gang, Shanley still feels compelled to do good deeds, mostly influenced by Carol's kind nature. In an effort to help Bob Terrill, a young man caught up in Kruger's auto-theft gang, Shanley offers to pay for his school tuition so he can study aeronautical engineering and end his life of crime. Against Shanley's warnings, Bob decides to tell Kruger that he's leaving, who then arranges to have him killed. When Carol learns of Bob's death, she becomes hysterical and convinces Shanley that he is responsible. He then decides to "go straight" again and becomes special prosecutor for the state against Kruger and his gang, and by doing so, earns the love and respect of Carol.[1][3]



1937's Midnight Court (originally titled, Justice After Dark) was the first film Ann Dvorak appeared in for Warner Bros. after being dismissed by the studio in 1935 for purportedly being too ill to work. Dvorak's role in her return film was not unlike roles she had portrayed in previous Warner Bros. productions, but Midnight Court marked the first time she received top billing in the credits.[4]

To prepare for the role of court reporter, Dvorak reportedly spent some time in actual Los Angeles night courts.[5]


  1. ^ a b Maltin, Leonard. "Midnight Court (1937) - Overview -". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 25 January 2017.
  2. ^ The Film Daily Presents the Product Guide and Director's Annual 1937. Jack Alicoate. 1937. p. 459. Retrieved 25 January 2017.
  3. ^ National Board of Review Magazine (Volumes 12-14 ed.). National board of review of motion pictures. 1936. Retrieved 25 January 2017.
  4. ^ Rice, Christina (2013). Ann Dvorak: Hollywood's Forgotten Rebel. University Press of Kentucky. pp. 162-163. ISBN 9780813144405. Retrieved 25 January 2017. Ann Dvorak warner brother 1936.
  5. ^ Rice, Christina (2013). Ann Dvorak: Hollywood's Forgotten Rebel. University Press of Kentucky. p. 177. ISBN 9780813144405. Retrieved 25 January 2017.

External links

This page was last edited on 29 December 2021, at 21:38
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