Doris Day, John Gavin, and Rex Harrison in Midnight Lace (1960)


(director: David Miller; screenwriters: Ivan Goff/Ben Roberts/from the play by Janet Green; cinematographer: Russell Metty; editor: Russell F. Schoengarth/Leon Barsha; music: Frank Skinner; cast: Doris Day (Kit Preston), Rex Harrison (Tony Preston), John Gavin (Brian Younger), Myrna Loy (Aunt Bea), Roddy McDowall (Malcolm), Herbert Marshall (Charles Manning), Richard Ney (Daniel), John Williams (Inspector Byrnes); Runtime: ; MPAA Rating: 108; producers: Ross Hunter/Martin Melcher; Universal; 1960)

“Implausible but somewhat satisfying Hitchcock-like thriller.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

It’s adequately directed by David Miller (“The Opposite Sex”/”Lonely are the Brave”/”Captain Newman, M.D.“) without fanfare. The screenplay to this implausible but somewhat satisfying Hitchcock-like thriller is written by Ivan Goff & Ben Roberts and derived from the play Matilda Shouted Fire by Janet Green. It’s a rehash of Gaslight. Though set in London, it was filmed in Hollywood.

Doris Day is the new American wife of the wealthy London businessman Rex Harrison. Walking home in the foggy night, Doris is threatened with death by the voice of an unseen stalker and later receives abusive phone calls at home from the stalker. She’s also almost pushed under a bus. Unfortunately the inspector at Scotland Yard (John Williams) doesn’t believe the hysterical woman, thinking she only wants more attention from her workaholic hubby. Harrison believes his wife is going daffy, and refuses to fully believe her.

When you at last find out who was trying to kill Doris, the thriller becomes less than convincing. The suspects are the troubled war vet John Gavin. He’s a nice but odd sort of a young fellow, who works as the construction foreman at a building next door to her Grosvenor Square apartment. Her housekeeper’s creepy son (Roddy McDowall)). Hubby’s scheming oily treasurer (Herbert Marshall), who owes money to the bookies. Even the least suspicious one, her hubby, must be a suspect, because that’s the way it goes in many such thrillers.