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Night in Paradise (1946 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Night in Paradise
Night in Paradise poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byArthur Lubin
Written byErnest Pascal
Based onthe novel, The Peacock's Feather
by George S. Hellman
Produced byWalter Wanger
StarringMerle Oberon
Gale Sondergaard
Turhan Bey
CinematographyW. Howard Greene
Hal Mohr
Edited byMilton Carruth
Music byFrank Skinner
Production
company
Walter Wanger Productions
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • May 3, 1946 (1946-05-03)
Running time
84 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$1,602,641[1]
Box office$2,032,486[1]

Night in Paradise is a 1946 American comedy-drama film produced by Walter Wanger and directed by Arthur Lubin.

In 560 BC King Croesus of Lydia incurs the wrath of the sorceress Queen Attossa he had promised to marry, when he chooses the beautiful Delarai of Persia instead. Attossa, in disembodied form, mocks Croesus nearly to the point of madness, so he seeks a solution from the fortune-teller Aesop, who is very young and handsome, but believes that people only receive wisdom with age, arrived from the Isle of Samos in disguise of an old man with a hunch, a limp, and a cane. But Aesop also has eyes for Delarai.

This expensive, lavish Technicolor production of plaster Grecian temples and painted skies was Wanger's second attempt to film the novel, and ended up costing $1.6 million and losing Universal some $800,000. One source describes it as a kitschy "Maria Montez vehicle without Maria Montez".[2] (The correct title is Night in Paradise, not "A Night in Paradise" as some sources have it.)

Plot

In 560 BC King Croesus of Lydia incurs the wrath of the sorceress Queen Attossa he had promised to marry, when he chooses the beautiful Delarai of Persia instead. Attossa, in disembodied form, mocks Croesus nearly to the point of madness, so he seeks a solution from the fortune-teller Aesop, who is very young and handsome, but believes that people only receive wisdom with age, arrived from the Isle of Samos in disguise of an old man with a hunch, a limp, and a cane. But Aesop also has eyes for Delarai.

One day, Delarai invites Aesop to interpret a charm. As he does, he goes as his young self but with a different name, Jason. Delarai doesn't know at first, but as she sees the same scar on Jason's hand as Aesop's hand, she knows, and reveals that a hunch and a limp may be faked, but a scar remains a scar, and they fall in love with each other, but Atossa and the people in the palace suspect something is going on with Aesop and Delarai.

Croesus wanted the Oracle to tell him the truth and sends Aesop to retrieve it. As Aesop is packing, Delarai talks him out of it but fails. Aesop goes anyway, and Delarai cries herself to sleep. Aesop does go fetch it from a priest, but the priest refuses, saying his life is valuable. Aesop claims that if a priest's words do not mean anything, then his life means less and strangles him. He takes the priest's clothes and hides his face in the hood.

Delarai comes to the temple, wanting to seek for Aesop, but before she could say anything, Aesop reveals his young face slightly, and Delarai breaks out a smile. As the security guards see her smile, they unmask Aesop, and Aesop and Delarai run hand in hand. They are forced to jump off a cliff. They jump in each other arms, and Attosa reveals her image at sea, saying that Aesop and Delarai actually survived because of their faith, their love, and a little help from Attosa.

They live in a small cottage with a lake and a garden. Delarai is mending and Aesop's hand around on her shoulder, 12 boys come out saying "daddy!" which reveals that they got married and have children. "Another fable to bed?" asks the eldest son. Aesop replies "not tonight, tonight is mommy's night." Delarai and Aesop smile and they have a family hug.

Cast

Production

The film was based on a novel by George Hellmann called The Peacock's Feathre which was published in 1931.[3] In 1934 Hellman announced he had dramatised his own novel.[4] The same year Walter Wanger announced he would make a film based on the novel as the third movie for his newly formed Walter Wanger Productions, after The President Vanishes and Private Worlds. It was to star Ann Harding.[5] However the film was not made.

The project was reactivated in 1944 with Universal agreeing to make it with Wagner. The stars were to be Turhan Bey and Louise Abritten with Arthur Lubin to direct.[6][7] In December 1944 Hedda Hopper reported that the film would star Maria Montez and that Wagner wanted Claude Rains for a key role.[8] However, by January 1945 Merle Oberon had the lead.[9]

Reception

Critical

Diabolique magazine later wrote "This is painful to watch, one of Lubin's worst movies; those Maria Montez-Jon Hall films were full of movement and pace but Paradise is basically a lot of hanging around a palace, relying on its two leads to provide star power they simply didn’t have. In a year where 90 million Americans went to the movies once a week, the film managed to lose $800,000 and killed Bey's career as a leading man."[10]

Box office

The film recorded a loss of $790,711.[1]

References

  1. ^ a b c Matthew Bernstein, Walter Wagner: Hollywood Independent, Minnesota Press, 2000 p442
  2. ^ Universal horrors: the studio's classic films, 1931–1946, by Tom Weaver, Michael Brunas, John Brunas, page 532
  3. ^ "BOOK NOTES". New York Times. Sep 23, 1931. p. 28.
  4. ^ "Dramatizes His Own Novel". New York Times. Jan 26, 1934. p. 20.
  5. ^ "HOLLYWOOD ON THE WIRE". New York Times. Oct 7, 1934. p. X5.
  6. ^ "SCREEN NEWS HERE AND IN HOLLYWOOD: Louise Allbritton, Turhan Bey to Co-Star for Universal". New York Times. 9 June 1944. p. 20.
  7. ^ "UNIVERSAL TO MAKE 55 FEATURE FILMS New York Times 12 June 1944". p. 16.
  8. ^ Hopper, Hedda (Dec 15, 1944). "Looking at Hollywood". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. 21.
  9. ^ Hopper, Hedda (Jan 8, 1945). "Looking at Hollywood". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. 17.
  10. ^ Vagg, Stephen (14 September 2019). "The Cinema of Arthur Lubin". Diabolique Magazine.

External links

This page was last edited on 22 April 2022, at 12:51
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