UCLA Festival of Preservation
(F. Harmon Weight, USA, 1928, 35mm, 65 min)
Part of our Silent Starlet Double Feature!
Saturday, Nov 09 at 09:00PM
Midnight Madness is a 1928 retelling of The Taming of the Shrew in the most unlikely of settings: a South African diamond mine, where a bitter husband brings his wife after discovering that she married him for money. Far away from the familiar world, however, this husband and wife discover the last thing they thought they'd ever find.
In 1925, Cecil B. DeMille, by then one of Hollywood's most bankable film directors, broke off with Paramount and the confines of the studio system to set up his independent DeMille Picture Corp. While the company's biggest hit was the highly successful 1927 biblical epic The King of Kings, it mostly produced smaller melodramas, often involving the messy tangles of romance and capricious lovers.
Ultimately, however, DeMille's entrepreneurial efforts were met with a lack of success. In 1928 he returned to the studio system and signed with MGM, later rejoining Paramount, where many of his greatest successes were eventually produced.
Midnight Madness is noteworthy as a remnant of this transitional period of DeMille's career, and those of others. Little remains of the directing career of F. Harmon Weight, who although noted in contemporaneous press reports as showing exceptional promise, did not survive Hollywood's conversion to sound. The stardom of leading lady Jacqueline Logan (who achieved her biggest success as Mary Magdalene in The King of Kings) likewise waned with the onset of talking pictures. Meanwhile, Paramount star Clive Brook, often cast as the reserved Englishman, successfully bridged the sound gap and continued his prolific career in Hollywood and later in his native Britain.
Preservation funding for Midnight Madness provided by Sony Pictures Entertainment.
Northwest Film Forum (View)
1515 12th Ave
Seattle, WA 98122