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Film / Midnight Lace

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A 1960 thriller film, directed by David Miller and adapted from 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 no one believes her.

Doris Day stars as the woman and the ever-suave Rex Harrison plays 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: In a twist most viewers don't expect, Rex Harrison's character turns out to be the villain.
  • Billed Above the Title: A little overkill, as this trope applies to five of the actors: Day, Harrison, Gavin, Loy, and McDowall.
  • Break the Cutie: Kit.
  • The Charmer: Anthony
  • 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 Anthony who turns out to be the one who has been terrorizing Kit the whole time.
  • Genre Savvy: Anthony is certain that if he leaves the apartment, the stalker will show up. Subverted because Anthony turns out be the stalker.
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  • Hysterical Woman: Characters take turns thinking Day is this.
  • Idiot Ball: With Anthony and Kit getting ready to leave for Venice, there is no reason for Anthony to expose Kit to danger instead of just staying with her until they leave. Again, subverted because Anthony is actually the one trying to kill her.
  • Name's the Same: Myrna Loy plays an Aunt Bea, but not the one from the Andy Griffith show.
  • 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: natch, since you're supposed to wonder the whole time who is stalking Kit. At various times, different clues suggest Brian, Malcolm, Charles, or Roy could each be the culprit. None of those clues point toward the real would-be killer who is revealed to be Anthony.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Malcolm (Roddy Mcdowall's character) disappears from the narrative about halfway through.