I love this trailer for Midnight Alibi, mainly because it gives very little indication of what the movie is actually about. The film focuses on Richard Barthelmess, a gangster who is torn between his “job” and his love for an adversary’s kid sister (Dvorak). While on the run, he winds up in the house of a reclusive elderly spinster who convinces him love is the way by telling her tale of youthful sorrow, via a lengthy flashback featuring Barthelmess in a dual role.
The trailer for Midnight Alibi gives the impression that viewers are in for a hi-lar-ious and “swellegent” romantic romp with a “hard-boiled egg” and a “sweet petunia.” In actuality, Ann Dvorak’s role is not a big one and a large chunk of the film is taken up by the flashback, which is not even hinted at in this promo. My best guess is that Warner Bros was attempting to capitalize on the success of Columbia’s It Happened One Night by promoting this as a screwball comedy, which it is most definitely not.
Compared to some of Dvorak’s mediocre Warner films from the period, I actually think Midnight Alibi is somewhat enjoyable, even though her screen time is limited.
If I may stray away from the Divine Miz D for a moment, I would like to give Los Angeles residents a heads up that the 3rd annual Archives Bazaar will be held at the University of Southern California on October 25th. Over 60 institutions with local history collections will be participating, including the Los Angles Public Library where I am employed. I will be representing the Library at this event, so please stop by the LAPL table and talk to me about how much you love Ann Dvorak!
Additional info can be found here:
Hope to see you there!!
Archives Live! – 3rd Annual Los Angeles Archives Bazaar
Saturday, October 25th 2008 – 10am – 5pm
USC Davidson Conference Center
3415 S Figueroa Street (at Jefferson Blvd.)
Los Angeles, CA 90089
Admission is free, though parking is $8