Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

2021_0515_credits_02

This week’s mystery movie was the 1959 Columbia film “Middle of the Night,” with Kim Novak, Fredric March, Glenda Farrell, Albert Dekker, Martin Balsam, Lee Grant, Lee Philips, Edith Meiser, Joan Copeland, Lou Gilbert, Rudy Bond, Effie Afton and Jan Norris.

Middle_Review_harrisonsreports41harr_0094 Screenplay by Paddy Chayefsky, based on his play as presented on Broadway by Joshua Logan.

Photography by Joseph Brun. Music composed and conducted by George Bassman.

Art direction by Edward S. Haworth, edited by Carl Lerner.

Assistant director Charles H. Maguire, production coordinator Irving Temaner, assistant art director Leo Kerz. Set decoration by jack Wright Jr. Casting and dialogue supervision by Everett Chambers.

Costumes by Frank L. Thompson, Miss Novak’s clothes by Jean Louis. Sound by Richard Gramaglia and Richard Vorisek. Camera operator Saul Midwall. Script supervisor Marguerite James. Technical advisor Lionel Kaplan.

Production manager Stephen Bono, assistant editor Jerry Michaels. Gaffers Buddy Fortune and Edward Knott. Grip Tom Browne. Wardrobe by Flo Transfield. Makeup by George Newman. Optical effects by Film Opticals.

Delbert Mann’s services by arrangement with Caroline Productions.

Produced by George Justin. Directed by Delbert Mann.

“Middle of the Night” is available on DVD from Amazon.

imageB.J. Merholz dropped a note recalling a production of “Middle of the Night” that he directed in 1959. And here it is.

I picked “Middle of the Night” by rooting around in Lantern for movies released in 1959 until I found something that sounded interesting. “Middle of the NIght” has aired on TCM in the last 25 years, most recently in 2019.

“Middle of the Night” makes a good mystery movie because it was shot in New York using several members of the original Broadway cast (Betty Walker, Martin Balsam, Effie Afton and Lee Philips) and other local actors, less familiar than the Hollywood faces.

According to the AFI catalog, “Middle of the Night” was performed as a one-hour teleplay in 1954, directed by Mann, with Eva Marie Saint and E.G. Marshall. It opened on Broadway in 1956 for 477 performances, starring Edward G. Robinson and Gena Rowlands.

Let’s see which New York Times critic hated it…. Oh, Bosley Crowther. This should be interesting….

And Crowther does not disappoint (New York Times, June 18, 1959):

In the first place, the garment manufacturer that a hard-working Fredric March plays looks a little too old and doddering to be taking a 24-year-old bride. And the young lady, played by Kim Novak, seems too much of a badly mixed-up kid to be settling down quietly with a grandpa on West End Avenue.

…. In this respect, the picture has more to offer than did the play. The characters are more intense and driven by their lonely and neurotic moods. They fumble and paw at each other in a more avid and frenzied way, and their squabbles and indecision are more violent and sweaty with pain. Mr. Chayefsky and Delbert Mann, the director, have worked for the taut, dramatic thing. They haven’t wasted much time on humor. This is loneliness, boy, and it is grim.

….Mr. March is an excellent actor when it comes to showing joy and distress, but he isn’t successful at pretending to be a Jewish papa and businessman. He goes with the flavor of his family, which is very colloquially played by Edith Meiser, Joan Copeland and Martin Balsam, about as poorly as spoonbread goes with lox.

There’s more, but you get the idea.

May 10, 2021, Mystery Photo

For Monday, we have a mystery woman. Her companion, Back of the Head Guy, has been cropped out due to lack of mysteriousness and will appear Friday.

Update: For Friday, we add Back of the Head Guy No. 1.

Update: This is Betty Walker with Fredric March as Back of the Head Guy.

May 11, 2021, Mystery Photo

For Tuesday, we have another mystery woman. Her companion, Back of the Head Guy II, has been cropped out due to lack of mysteriousness, and will appear for “Aha Thursday.”

For “Aha Thursday,” I’m adding Back of the Head Guy II.

Update: This is Martin Balsam as Back of the Head Guy II with Joan Copeland.

May 12, 2021, Mystery Photo

For “Hm Wednesday,” we have a mystery woman. And, incredibly enough, she does not approve of such goings-on. I mean she really does not approve.

Update: This is Edith Meiser.

May 12, 2021, Mystery Photo

Also for “Hm Wednesday,” we have a mystery gent wearing a skinny necktie. Back of the Head Woman has been cropped out due to insufficient mysteriousness and will appear Friday.

Update: For Friday, we add Back of the Head Woman.

Update: This is Kim Novak as Back of the Head Woman, with Lee Philips.

Brain Trust roll call: Jenny M. (mystery movie and Tuesday’s mystery woman).

May 13, 2021, Mystery Photo

For “Aha Thursday,” we have three mystery women.

Update: This is Lee Grant, Glenda Farrell and Jan Norris.

May 13, 2021, Mystery Photo

We also have Tuesday’s Back of the Head Guy II.

Update: This is Martin Balsam.

Brain Trust roll call: Jenny M. (Wednesday’s mystery guests), L.C. (mystery movie and mystery cast), Howard Mandelbaum (mystery movie and all mystery guests), Mike Hawks (mystery movie, Tuesday’s mystery woman and Wednesday’s mystery gent), Sarah (mystery movie and Wednesday’s mystery gent) and Alexa F. (mystery movie and Wednesday’s mystery gent).

May 14, 2021, Mystery Photo

For Friday, we have a group of mystery gents.

Update: This is Rudy Bond, Fredric March, Albert Dekker and Lou Gilbert.

May 14, 2021, Mystery Photo

And finally, we have our mysterious leading lady and leading man.

Update: This is Kim Novak and Fredric March being photobombed by an Edsel.

Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (mystery movie and all mystery guests), Tucson Barbara (mystery movie and all mystery guests), Beachgal (mystery movie, Tuesday’s, Wednesday’s and Thursday’s mystery guests), Howard Mandelbaum (Thursday’s mystery guests), B.J. Merholz (mystery movie), Earl Boebert (Thursday’s mystery gent), Mike Hawks (Thursday’s mystery guests), Mark G. (Tuesday’s Back of the Head Guy), Allie Francis (Thursday’s mystery gent), Gary (mystery movie and Thursday’s mystery gent), Sylvia E. (mystery movie, Monday’s Back of the Head Guy, Tuesday’s, Wednesday’s and Thursday’s mystery guests, and predicting Friday’s mystery leads), Thom and Megan (mystery movie, Tuesday’s Wednesday’s and Thursday’s mystery guests) and Benito (mystery movie, Wednesday’s skinny tie gent, Thursday’s mystery woman No. 2 and mystery gent).

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1959, Film, Hollywood, Mystery Photo and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

41 Responses to Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

  1. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Argentina Brunetti.

    Like

  2. tucsonbarbara says:

    Tuesday’s guest looks like Sue England.

    Like

  3. Jenny M says:

    Joan Copeland in Middle of the Night.

    Like

  4. Sylvia E. says:

    So far, everyone has a ‘continental’ look. Is the story set in Europe?

    Like

  5. Jenny M says:

    Edith Meiser and Lee Philips.

    Like

  6. LC says:

    Middle of the Night (1959) w/Fredric March, Kim Novak, Glenda Farrell, Lee Philips, Joan Copeland, Lee Grant, Edith Meiser, Effie Afton…

    Like

  7. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Monday: Dora Weissman in MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT (1959); Fredric March
    Tuesday: Joan Copeland
    Wednesday: Edith Meiser; Lee Philips, Kim Novak

    Like

  8. mike hawks says:

    Tuesday is Jaon Copeland and Lee Philips today in MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT.

    Like

  9. Sarah says:

    Wednesday’s guy is Lee Philips, which means the movie is 1959’s “Middle of the Night.”

    Like

  10. Alexa F says:

    Lee Philips
    Middle of the Night

    Like

  11. mary Mallory says:

    MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT. Betty Walker Monday, Joan Copeland and Martin Balsam as BOTH guy Tuesday, Edith Meiser and Lee Phillips Wednesday, and Lee Grant, Glendale Farrel, Jan Norris, and Balsam today. I saw this on TCM last year I think, but it didn’t stick with me. What was most familiar was the sunburst mirror and that ram statue on the mantel, I think there is a closeup shot of those in the film.

    Like

  12. tucsonbarbara says:

    “Middle of the Night”

    Mon – Betty Walker
    Tues – Joan Copeland, aka Judge Rebecca Stein (this picture is the youngest I’ve ever seen her.)
    Wed – Edith Meiser, Lee Phillips
    Thurs – Lee Grant, Audrey Peters, Jan Norris, Martin Balsam

    Like

  13. beachgal says:

    Martin Balsam for Thurs and Tues BOTHG. Movie is Middle of the Night. Fri we will see Kim Novak and Fredric March.

    Like

  14. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Lee Grant, Glenda Farrell, Jan Norris; Martin Balsam.

    Like

  15. B.J. Merholz says:

    Middle of The Night

    Like

  16. Earl Boebert says:

    Martin Balsam on Thursday?

    Like

  17. mike hawks says:

    Martin Balsam, Lee Grant and glenda Farrell.

    Like

  18. Mark G says:

    Tuesday’s Back of the Head Guy II is Martin Balsam.

    Like

  19. Allie Francis says:

    Martin Balsam?

    Like

  20. Gary says:

    Martin Balsam in Middle of the Night. He was the first actor to appear on the broadway stage completely naked…in a Play titled You Know I can’t Hear You When the Water is Running…or what it’s worth.

    Like

  21. Gary says:

    …for…what it’s worth.

    Like

  22. Sylvia E. says:

    “Middle of the Night” 1959
    Mon – I think is Effie Afton and BOTHG leading man is Frederic March
    Tues – Joan Copeland and Martin Balsam is the BOTHG
    Weds – Edith Meiser and Lee Philips
    Thurs – Lee Grant and I think Glenda Farrell and Jan Norris / Martin Balsam
    Fri – Frederic March and Kim Novak

    Like

  23. Thom and Megan says:

    The movie this week is “Middle of the Night”. Monday’s guest is Effie Afton. Tuesday’s guest is Joan Copeland. Wednesday has Edith Meiser and Lee Philips. The three ladies for today are from left to right: Lee Grant, Glenda Farrell and Jan Norris. We also have Martin Balsam.

    Like

  24. Benito says:

    Lee Philips, Glenda Farrell and Martin Balsam in MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT 1959

    Like

  25. Mary Mallory says:

    Fredric March and Kim Noval appear earlier in the week before Rudi Bond, March, Albert Dekker, and Lee Richard appear, followed by Novak and March.

    Like

  26. beachgal says:

    Fri Rudy Bond, Fredric March, Albert Dekker, Lou Gilbert. Kim Novak and Fredric March.

    Like

  27. tucsonbarbara says:

    Rudy Bond, Fredric March, Albert Dekker, Kim Novak

    Like

  28. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Rudy Bond, Fredric March, Albert Dekker, Lou Gilbert; Kim Novak, Fredric March.

    Like

  29. mike hawks says:

    Kim Novak and Fredric March drive on into the sunset.

    Like

  30. Patrick says:

    Middle of the Night from 1959.

    Like

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