Midnight Lace (1960): David Miller’s Oscar Nominated Suspense Thriller, with Doris Day Threatened by Husband Rex Harrison

At the height of her popularity, after the romantic comedy Pillow Talk, Doris Day changed pace and made the domestic thriller, Midnight Lace, which became one of the year’s box-office hits.

In this suspenser, well directed by David Miller, Day plays Kit, an American married to wealthy London businessman Tony Preston (Rex Harrison).

She becomes the terrified victim of a mysterious stalker, who she hears but can never see. She is threatened by the eerie, high-pitched voice as she walks in the thick London fog.

She then begins to receive repeated phone calls, which sound more and more threatening. Things escalate to the point, where the perpetually panicked Kit is nearly killed when someone pushes her in front of a bus.

Unfortunately for Kit, no one but she hears the voice or the telephone calls. Worse, neither Tony, Kit’s visiting aunt Bea (Myra Loy), or Scotland Yard take any of her stories seriously.

The only one who seems to believe Kit is Brian Younger (John Gavin), a construction foreman, but Kit is not convinced that she can trust him.

The tension builds to a thrilling climax as Kit flees for her life on a scaffolding outside her apartment building.

Though nit as expertly executed as Hitchcock’s similarly themes, “Dial M for Murder,” “Midnight Lace” is tautly directed thriller, containing the requisite plot twists and turns. The acting, especially by a sinister Rex Harrison is good.

Roddy McDowall plays the son of Kit’s housekeeper, who keeps hitting up his mom for money and in doing so becomes a supsect too.

Oscar Nominations: 1

Costume Design (Color): Irene

Oscar Awards: None

Oscar Context:

The winners of the Costume Design Oscar were Valles and Bill Thomas for “Spartacus.”

MPAA: R.

Running time: 108 Minutes.

Directed by David Miller

Released: June 1, 1960.

DVD: April 30, 1996

 

Cast

Doris Day as Kit Preston

Rex Harrison as Tony Preston

John Gavin as Brian Younger

Myrna Loy as Aunt Bea

Roddy McDowall as Malcolm

Herbert Marshall as Charles Manning

 

 

 

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