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Film / Midnight Lace

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A 1960 Psychological Thriller film, directed by David Miller and based on Janet Miller's 1958 play Matilda Shouted Fire, about an American woman living in London who begins to suspect someone is trying to kill her, but can't get anyone to believe her.

Doris Day stars as the woman, with the ever-suave Rex Harrison as her British businessman husband. Also in the cast are John Gavin, Myrna Loy, Roddy McDowall, and Herbert Marshall.

This film contains examples of:

  • Affably Evil: Kit's husband Tony (Rex Harrison's character) turns out to be the villain.
  • Billed Above the Title: This trope applies to five of the actors: Day, Harrison, Gavin, Loy, and McDowall.
  • Break the Cutie: Kit.
  • The Charmer: Tony Preston.
  • Driven to Madness: Kit is almost this when it seems that no one believes her.
  • Driving a Desk: Especially when Kit and her Aunt Bea ride from the airport back to the Prestons' London home.
  • Evil Makes You Ugly: Played straight with Anthony Dawson's character, and even lampshaded by a barmaid in one scene. Subverted with Tony, who turns out to be the one who has been terrorizing Kit the whole time.
  • Genre Savvy: Tony is certain that if he leaves the apartment, the stalker will show up. Subverted when Tony himself turns out be the stalker.
  • Hysterical Woman: Characters take turns thinking Day is this.
  • Idiot Ball: With Tony and Kit getting ready to leave for Venice, there is no reason for Tony to expose Kit to danger instead of just staying with her until they leave. Again, subverted because Tony is actually the one who's trying to kill her.
  • Police Are Useless: Played straight for most of the movie as they spend more time questioning Kit's sanity than trying to find her stalker. Subverted at the end when the police show up just in the nick of time.
  • Red Herring: At various times, different clues suggest that Brian, Malcolm, Charles, or Roy could each be the culprit. None of those clues point toward the real would-be killer, who's eventually revealed to be Tony.
  • Remake: A 1981 Made-for-TV Movie version, with Mary Crosby (Bing's daughter) in the lead role.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Malcolm (Roddy McDowall's character) disappears from the narrative about halfway through.