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"This is the Night"

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Character's Name: Stephen
Release Date:  April 8, 1932
Director: Frank Tuttle
Studio:  Paramount
Running Time: 73 minutes

Cast: Lily Damita (Germaine ), Charlie Ruggles (Bunny West), Roland Young (Gerald Grey), Thelma Todd (Claire), Cary Grant (Stephen), Irving Bacon (Jacques)

- by ZoŽ Shaw
Stephen has signed a contract as a new Paramount player. He goes home to find his wife in the arms of a Parisian chap called Gerald. It all gets quite complicated, when Stephen falls in love with a woman, Germaine, who is hired to pose as Gerald's wife. Eventually, Stephen and his wife get back together, and Gerald falls for Germaine.

- by Cheryl Trahan
"This Is The Night" was made in 1932, the first full feature film for Cary Grant. Cary plays an Olympic javelin thrower who returns home to find his wife with another man, Roland Young. Roland Young immediately invents a wife and then must produce one. He hires an actress, Lily Damita, to play the wife, then falls in love with her. Cary is suspicious, questions the "wife" and feels attracted to her. His wife, Thelma Todd, then becomes jealous and regrets her affair with Roland Young. "This Is The Night" is a forerunner to the Screwball comedies that Cary becomes famous for later on. The humor is great and Cary's entrance into film is very funny, he is singing at the top of his lungs!! Some of the humor is forced, but still very funny. The silent film influence is still evident with a great deal of physical action going on. Thelma Todd's dress gets caught in the door of the car at the beginning of the movie and this scene is priceless. The gag is carried out through the remainder of the movie, with the chauffeur/servant always as the culprit.

VARIETY Film Review - April 19, 1932
- by "Bige"
- submitted by Barry Martin
Smartly produced and directed Frenchy bedroom chase that could have been assured of a better showing with more marquee strength Lily Damita and Charlie Ruggles will have do to the personal drawing, with Roland Young problematical and Thelma Todd doubtful; but the cast's excellent work and the picture's directorial quality make it entertainment that should see moderately good returns all over.  

By his satirical application of music to comic situations and the tongue-in-cheek treatment from start to finish, Frank Tuttle's meg work cannot escape comparison with Lubitsch brand.  It follows the same trend of thinking and the results are as near perfect as they could be with a flimsy farce plot as the framework.  

The yarn was built for a Chevalier by nature.  Since there's no such male personality in the troupe, the romance burden was given to Miss Damita.  The stage version ('Naughty Cinderella') was handled similarly with Irene Bordoni the lead.  Masculine phase is devoted chiefly to high comedy, as handled by Ruggles and Young.  No heavy lover type is Young but his droll, dry wit carries him through.

Dialog on the whole is spicy for the screen, with a strip that's somewhat Minsky by Miss Damita, and some leg stuff for comedy and other purposes boosting the s. a. total.

Fooling the old man in the familiar manner is the basis of the plot, which is enough evidence that the story could not have made the grade without the treatment received.  Young succeeds in combining pathos and laughs, a trick that every high-grade film comedian must know.  His comedy side kick, Ruggles, continues to be a sure-fire laugh grabber, but the sure-fire point seems likely to get him into trouble and possibly shorten his screen life.  They're go Ruggles doing a stew again, and, as there is but one way to play soused, for Ruggles or anyone else, repetition is beginning to hurt.  In non-alcoholic moments Ruggles is an exceptionally versatile and suave comic.

Mis Damita plays the misunderstood French girl well enough, and, as usual, is physically effective, although a switch in make-up, chiefly the bangs, is a slight setback.  Thelma Todd is the other woman - tall, blonde, stunning and perfect.  It's hard to tell about Cary Grant in this talker due to limitations of his role, but he looks like a potential femme rave.

Miss Todd as a married lady who's stuck on another fellow, although her much better looking and younger husband is a champ javelin tosser, has the bad habit of losing her dress in slammed doors.  The first breakaway dress bit and the picture's opening are advance notice of the director's plans.  Gown bit No. 1 occurs as she steps from a limousine to enter the theatre.  The crowd starts to chant 'She's Lost Her Dress,' and the lyrics are reprised all over town.  Stunt photography is largely responsible for the effective opening, and the camera is relied on for good results through out the footage.

Technical production end very good, especially the Venice canal views, which carry the bulk of the action.  

NEW YORK TIMES Film Review - April 15, 1932
- by Mordaunt Hall
- submitted by Barry Martin
Clever farcical incidents and intriguing melodies make "This is the Night," the present screen attraction at the Paramount, a most enjoyable entertainment. It is an expert adaptation of the late Avery Hopwood's stage offering, "Naughty Cinderella," which was presented with Irene Bordoni in the latter part of 1925. The film cast is headed by Roland Young, Lily Damita and Charles Ruggles, whose intelligent fun aroused constant chuckles and hearty laughter from an audience yesterday afternoon.

Frank Tuttle, the director, has succeeded in giving to this production a foreign aspect. It is by all odds the best of his pictorial contributions. In some respects it is an opera bouffe, in which nothing is taken seriously. George Marion Jr. has furnished a capital script with a few lyrics, which are as pleasing as most of those in light films that have come from either France or Germany.

Paris and Venice are the locales of this bright and cheery subject. In one of the early sequences, Gerald Grey (Mr. Young) is escorting Claire Mandanich, the blond wife of an athlete named Stepan, to a party, when the automobile door closes on her long skirt, which is torn from her. This gives the producers the opportunity to have a variety of persons chanting "Madame has lost her dress," and one even perceives the Eiffel Tower sending forth the news that "Madame has lost her dress." Agents de Police sing "Madame has lost her dress," and Claire, having a fur coat, does not bother any further about her dress, but rides back to her domicile with Gerald.

On the way, Claire hazards that her husband, who is supposed to be on the Atlantic, is a javelin thrower who is competing in the Olympic Games. Gerald tells Claire that she might at least have told him that her husband was a javelin thrower, as it makes a great deal of difference in his demeanor toward her. Then, in Claire's apartment, at the moment Bunny West is delivering two railroad tickets for Venice, Stepan returns. He could not stay away from his wife, he explains. He is carrying his javelins in a leather bag, and when Gerald appears with Claire, it is quite obvious that the philanderer is not a little disconcerted by the sight of the long weapons. He decides, after he has told Stepan he is married, that he must find a woman to pose as his wife and Germaine consents to play the role. In view of the fact that Germaine is impersonated by the attractive Miss Damita, it is not astonishing that she causes Stepan to be interested in her. This happens when the characters are in Venice. Subsequently Claire is furious with Gerald for paying ardent attention to Germaine.

As time goes on and hectic happenings occur, Bunny and Gerald, one day while talking over matters become intoxicated. First they profess their great affection for one another and then Bunny offers to take Germaine off his friend's hands and when the latter objects Bunny declares that Gerald is being very "doggy in the mangerish." Gerald says that he is liable to break some of Bunny's most important bones, which elicits from Bunny that Gerald thinks that he is "the menace of Venice."

All sorts of happy ridiculous things take place and Germaine not only wins the admiration of all save Clare, but the devotion of Gerald.

It is a handsomely mounted and beautifully photographed picture. Mr. Young is a joy to behold. Miss Damita is vivacious and competent. Mr. Ruggles vies with Mr. Young in making the most of the humorous situations. Thelma Todd does splendidly as Claire and Cary Grant is efficient as the stalwart Stepan.

On the surrounding program are Duke Ellington and his band, George Dewey Washington and others.  

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