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.