My first viewing of Mae West’s debut film, NIGHT AFTER NIGHT(1932) was interesting.
Overall, an ok story made worth watching by a couple of scenes which I liked a lot.
If ever a poster was misleading, this is it – it is by no stretch a ‘sinister house.’
George Raft runs a high class speakeasy . He gets a lot of well off clients and wants to be more like them.
Mae West sashays in almost half way through the film – and steals it, even though she only has about fifteen minutes screen time.
Right from the starting gate, she’s off and quipping in her very first scene, as she comes into the club and the hat check girl admires her jewels :
”Goodness, what beautiful diamonds!”
”Goodness had nothing to do with it, dearie.”
I’m not sure what that is skulking round Wynne Gibson’s shoulders but it looks dangerous . She’s mad because Raft has taken an interest in Constance Cummings, a high society woman.
Constance Cummings was only 22 and showed she had a big career in front of her. However she married an Englishman in 1933 and moved to England the following year. She made about twenty films in the early 30s and only acted sporadically in England – including “ Blythe Spirit.”
I was very impressed with 70 year old English actress, Alison Skipworth , as ‘Miss Jellyman’, who has some lovely scenes, both with Raft and with Mae West.
Raft has employed her to help him speak properly and to give him topics for conversation when he finally gets round to inviting Ms. Cummings for dinner.
We generally don’t rate George Raft’s acting range, but I love how, in this film, whenever he meets Alison, his manner and tone change completely. He respects and admires her . And even invites her to his dinner date, so that she can introduce some news items they have been talking about.
Unfortunately Mae , playing a former girlfriend of Raft, interrupts the tete-a-three and ends up getting Alison drunk.
There is a very funny scene the following day when Mae suggests Alison could work for her. Alison thinks Mae is a ‘lady of the night’ and says: ”Dont you think I’m a bit old?”
Mae laughs and points out she runs a chain of beauty parlours and thinks Alison would make a great hostess.
Roscoe is so good as George’s wing man, ready to step in any time for his boss and pal.
The ladies in Raft’s life. He should end up with Mae but settles for Constance.
Seems a waste not to give Mae a song in the film.
Some translations I don’t have to look up.
The recent blu-Ray release has Mae West’s name up first . And why not.
’Variety’ in 1932 got it right: “Paramount won’t be taking a chance to shoot the works on her from now on.”
Not short of 90 years old, the Blu-ray print of “Night After Night” is excellent.
I’d like to see some more of Alison Skipworth. She was in “Six of a Kind”, “Madame Racketeer”, “Hitch Hike Lady.”
Paramount were giving George Raft his first starring role.