John Barrymore Jr is the star of this story, ineptly scripted by Stanley Ellin and Joseph Losey from Ellin's novel, Dreadful Summit. Losey's direction pars the writing and the playing is in keeping.

John Barrymore Jr is the star of this story, ineptly scripted by Stanley Ellin and Joseph Losey from Ellin’s novel, Dreadful Summit. Losey’s direction pars the writing and the playing is in keeping.

Plot line that can be sorted out of the muddled script gets underway on Barrymore’s 17th birthday. Just as he is ready to enjoy a birthday cake supplied by his father (Preston Foster), the latter is brutally caned, without resisting, by Howard St John, a disliked sports columnist. Barrymore, disturbed by the incident, later that night takes a pistol from his father’s bar and goes looking for St John. Much footage, all lensed in such lowkey lighting as to be almost obscure is involved with the people he encounters and side adventures during a night of wandering.

Young Barrymore is called upon to suffer extensively during his mental travail. Joan Lorring, a girl he meets during the night; Foster, St John, Dorothy Comingore, Philip Bourneuf and the others in the cast provide no lift or interest.

The Big Night

Production

Waxman/United Artists. Director Joseph Losey; Producer Philip A. Waxman; Screenplay Joseph Losey, Stanley Ellin; Camera Hal Mohr; Editor Edward Mann; Music Lyn Murray; Art Director Nicholas Remisoff

Crew

(B&W) Extract of a review from 1951. Running time: 70 MIN.

With

John Barrymore Jr Preston Foster Joan Lorring Howard St John Dorothy Comingore Philip Bourneuf
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