I hate it when I start a film and realize I have already seen it. I am bad with titles. So is the case with "Midnight" starring Claudette Colbert and one of my faves, Don Ameche. I realized I had seen this picture about 4 seconds in, but this time I was happy, because I remember it being so cute.
Claudette plays Eve Peabody. She is asleep on the train as it arrives in rainy Paris. She is dressed to the nines but without any cash.
All of her luggage was sold to a pawn shop and she needs a job. She runs into hottie taxi driver Don Ameche aka Tibor (he's Hungarian he tells her)who enjoys living pay check to paycheck and instantly fancies Eve. He drives her around and buys her din din.
She likes him but she likes money more. She runs off when he gets too fresh with her and stumbles upon an invite only party. She gives up her pawn shop ticket as her invitation and joins the fun.
She needs money bad, look at that manicure!
Bored and tired she meets loaded John Barrymore and is asked to play cards. She pretends she is rich and takes Tibor's name and says she is a Baroness. During poker she meets Jacques who is secretly dating John's wife and is smitten over
Eve the Baroness. She sweats a bit knowing she has no funds but John realizes this, slips some cash into her purse, and shares her secret.
She winds up at the Ritz and wakes up to realize she got there because of John. He saw how much Jacques was falling for
Eve the Baroness and "hires" her to break him and John's wife apart. In return she gets a kick ass wardrobe and all the funds she would want. She agrees.
Look at this adorable night gown with fringe!
So worth the trade off.
Paris looks so much nicer from the Ritz.
With all this money, what does the girl do? She goes shopping of course. Eve and the gang are going to John's summer estate so she needs a new hat. Meanwhile, Tibor is gathering his taxi gang to find his escapee. While shopping, Eve sees John's wife and Hedda Hopper who is playing "Stephanie" (I love Hedda in movies). She is in trouble for throwing out the wrong person last night at the party. Suspicion grows as they realizes someone is an impostor...dum dum dum!
Don't all French hat shops look like this?
Off they go to the summer house. Jacques is informed that
Eve the Baroness is married, which doesn't really bother him. John's wife is convinced that the Baroness is not who she claims to be and does some digging. She finds what could be a picture of Eve and is about to blow her cover when Tibor, uh, I mean, the Baron shows up! He found out about her scheme and is there to get his gal.
How is Eve going to get out of this one! She argues, makes up lies about Tibor and must choose to lead a life of gold digging or true love.
She needs the overly puffy sleeves to store dollar bills.
This film is classic screwball comedy. I love the cute scene when Eve tells her new friends that Tibor is nuts and that she once received a gift of one roller skate with Thousand Island Dressing on it from his grandfather!
John Barrymore would only read cue cards, Mary Astor was knocked up, and Billy Wilder fought like cats and dogs with director Mitchell Leisen over the writing, which inspired Wilder to start directing his own scripts. With all the drama, "Midnight" turned out to be a superb film about a gold digger who finds romance.