Review: ‘The Midnight Man’

The Midnight Man stars Burt Lancaster as a paroled ex-cop stumbling into a series of small-town murders. With Roland Kibbee, Lancaster adapted, produced and directed on some refreshingly different locations in South Carolina. The cluttered plot's twists and turns get tiring after 117 minutes, but the violence highlights are well motivated and discreetly executed.

The Midnight Man stars Burt Lancaster as a paroled ex-cop stumbling into a series of small-town murders. With Roland Kibbee, Lancaster adapted, produced and directed on some refreshingly different locations in South Carolina. The cluttered plot’s twists and turns get tiring after 117 minutes, but the violence highlights are well motivated and discreetly executed.

Script derives from a David Anthony novel, The Midnight Lady and the Mourning Man. Lancaster, out on parole after killing his wife’s lover, is reduced to a campus security job under the auspices of his longtime pal (Cameron Mitchell). Susan Clark is Lancaster’s sexy parole officer.

The murder of Catherine Bach, whose personal trauma was committed to a tape stolen from psychologist Robert Quarry, triggers an awful lot of storytelling.

The Midnight Man

Production

Universal. Director Roland Kibbee, Burt Lancaster; Producer Roland Kibbee, Burt Lancaster; Screenplay Roland Kibbee, Burt Lancaster; Camera Jack Priestley; Editor Frank Morriss; Music Dave Grusin; Art Director James D. Vance

Crew

(Color) Extract of a review from 1974. Running time: 117 MIN.

With

Burt Lancaster Susan Clark Cameron Mitchell Morgan Woodward Harris Yulin Joan Lorring
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