ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT(director: Vincent Sherman; screenwriters: story by Leonard Rosten & Leonard Spigelgass/Edwin Gilbert/Leonard Spigelgass; cinematographer: Sidney Hickox; editor: Rudi Fehr; music: Adolph Deutsch; cast: Humphrey Bogart (Gloves Donahue), Conrad Veidt (Hall Ebbing), Kaaren Verne (Leda Hamilton), Jane Darwell (Ma Donahue), Frank McHugh (Barney), Jackie Gleason (Starchie), Peter Lorre (Pepi), Judith Anderson (Madame), Barton MacLane (Marty Callahan), William Demarest (Sunshine), Phil Silvers (Louie), Wallace Ford (Spats Hunter), Edward Brophy (Joe Denning), Jean Ames (Annabelle), Ben Welden (Smitty), Ludwig Stossel (Mr. Miller), Irene Seidner (Mrs. Miller), James Burke (Lt. Forbes); Runtime: 107; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Jerry Wald/Hal B. Wallis; Warner Brothers; 1942)
“A patriotic Runyonesque spy spoof.“
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
An enjoyable lightweight stock company Warners Brothers action/comedy pic. It’s a patriotic Runyonesque spy spoof starring Bogie in his prime. This film comes right on the tail of his success in High Sierra and The Maltese Falcon, and during the same year as Casablanca, where he teams again with Conrad Veidt and Peter Lorre.
Gloves Donahue is a shallow but lovable prominent Broadway underworld gambler, only interested in the sports world, who dotes on having a doting mother (Jane Darwell). He hangs around with a colorful bunch of cronies that include his fast-talking number one man Sunshine (William Demarest), his comic foil driver Barney (Frank McHugh), and high-roller Starchie (Jackie Gleason). Though involved in illegal gambling, Gloves is still pictured as a decent guy.
When Ma Donahue contacts Gloves while he’s at Yankee Stadium that his favorite cheesecake baker Mr. Miller is missing, he rushes out of the stadium with the bases loaded and discovers the baker’s body dumped in the bakery basement. Showing up to look for Miller is a beautiful mystery woman who disappears when Gloves tells her he’s dead. Ma Donahue suspects she knows something about the murder and therefore instructs her compliant son to find her. Gloves uses his taxi contacts to trace her to an exclusive Manhattan club where she’s a singer. Her piano accompanist is Pepi (Peter Lorre), the thug we saw threaten and then kill the baker. When Pepi forcefully ushers the singer, Leda Hamilton (Kaaren Verne-the future Mrs. Peter Lorre), out of Gloves’s way to talk with him in secret, the club manager Joe Denning (Edward Brophy) follows but is killed when he overhears them speaking German and discovers they are fifth columnists (German spies). Gloves’s glove is found at the crime scene and the police plaster his name all over the papers as the suspected killer.
During the course of one night Gloves fleshes out that the Leda is not a spy but a patriot like him who was forced into helping the Nazis to save her father from his concentration camp internment, that the fifth columnists’ leader is the fanatical Ebbing (Conrad Veidt), with the second in command being Madame (Judith Anderson), and the group’s ruthless assassin is Pepi. The spies are using a toy warehouse and an art auction house on 61st Street to carry out acts of sabotage. Their most deadly attack is planned for tonight, as they aim to detonate a U.S. battleship anchored at the harbor. But Bogie sneaks into a secret meeting and learns the Nazi’s plans by confusing the leaders when he starts talking Noo Yawkese double-talk and slang. Just in the nick of time his crew and other Broadway wiseguys show up to stop the Nazis.
The superb all-star cast takes some of the lead out of the inconsequential narrative, which is directed without inspiration by Vincent Sherman. There’s one scene of a suicide bomber heading straight for the battleship that should be a chilling reminder of current terrorist activities. The film was made in the fall of 1941 (just before Pearl Harbor).
REVIEWED ON 5/19/2004 GRADE: B –
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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