Kiss in the Dark, A (1949): Delmer Daves’ Comedy, Starring David Niven, Jane Wyman, Victor Moore, Broderick Crawford

Delmer Daves directed A Kiss in the Dark, a middling comedy, starring David Niven and Jane Wyman, and featuring Wayne Morris, Victor Moore, Broderick Crawford, and Maria Ouspenskaya (in her final appearance).

Grade: C+ (** out of *****)

A Kiss in the Dark
A Kiss in the Dark (1949 film).jpg

The plot revolves around a pianist who purchases as a hands-off investment apartment house, populated by loony tenants.

Niven plays Eric Phillips, a concert pianist who, after touring for 21 years, he finally returns home.

One day, served a warrant to perform repairs on the building he owns, he learns that financial advisor Peter Danilo had bought the building as an investment.

Eric then meets some of its tenants, including the young and beautiful photo model Polly Haines (Jane Wyman). While they speak, Polly’s suitor, an insurance salesman, Bruce Arnold (Wayne Morris), arrives.

Afraid of damaging his piano hands, Eric buys insurance before he starts the repairs.

Eric and the tenants agree to fix up the building together, beginning with roof garden with a day care center.

When Eric returns from the hike, an inspector tells him that the building repairs are insufficient. Eric blames the former owner and present manager, Horace Willoughby (Victor Moore), for the poor quality, and fires him. However, under pressure from Polly, filled with remorse, Eric rehires Horace as chief of repairs.

Eric and Polly fall in love, much to the dismay of Bruce, who’s jealous. Bruce somehow convinces Eric that Polly isn’t really interested in him. Eric decides to go on a tour again, but Horace locks him in with Polly in his apartment.

The duo discovers that both Bruce and Peter Danilo wanted them to separate, for different selfish reasons. Eric then leaves on tour, bringing Polly along, to what becomes their honeymoon.

Jane Wyman as Polly Haines
David Niven as Eric Phillips
Wayne Morris as Bruce Arnold
Victor Moore as Horace Willoughby
Broderick Crawford as Botts


Directed by Delmer Daves
Written by Everett Freeman, Harry Kurnitz
Music by Max Steiner
Cinematography Robert Burks
Edited by David Weisbart
Distributed by Warner Bros.

Release date: March 26, 1949

Running time: 87 minutes


TCM showed the movie on March 1, 2021.