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  • Cast and crew clearly had fun putting together this tale of a gang of ingenious jewel thieves in foggy London. A perfect pace keeps the action and humor flowing, and the cast is spot on.

    Clive Brook, Helen Vinson and Alan Mowbray all play their own doubles as the gang who goes out on midnight runs to steal diamonds while their look-alikes stay at the night club under the watchful eye of the police. Sir Guy Standing is the frustrated commissioner who brings in George Raft as an undercover American cop to infiltrate the club and discover the secret of their success.

    Humorous all around, and the construction of their hideout is brilliant with hidden doors and secret alarms. Of note are the special effects in the "doubles" scenes. We see this so frequently, and yet here in 1933, it becomes a fascinating piece of work, with actors handing objects to themselves in the split screen.

    The cast already mentioned as well as Alison Skipworth as a potential victim of thievery are a kick. Raft is a wise guy and even briefly throws in a bit of the coin-flipping that made him famous. It's too bad the studio did not more fully explore the idea of him as an undercover cop in later films. As Sir Guy points out, no one would suspect a man with a face like that of being a detective. As one not familiar with Brook or Vinson, this was a delightful discovery in that regard as well.
  • Clive Brook was a top star for over ten years - now days it is hard to see why. He was typed as the reserved and sophisticated English gentleman and in the couple of films I have seen of his - "Charming Sinners" (1929) and the excellent "The Night of June 13th" (1932), he was quite stiff and unemotional. Obviously, the person you can't take your eyes off in this film is George Raft. Although often remembered today for movie roles he turned down, he sure was in some diverse films, and "Midnight Club" would have to be at the top of the list.

    With a sparkling script by Leslie Charteris, creator of "The Saint" - the latest crime wave has Scotland Yard baffled. Commissioner Hope (Sir Guy Standing) sends two of his officers (Billy Bevan and Charles McNaughton) to the Midnight Club to check up on a couple of shady characters - Colin Grant (Clive Brook) and Arthur Bradley (Allan Mowbray) and a girl, Iris Witney (Helen Vinson). There have been a number of jewel robberies around town recently, but, unknown to the police, these three have the perfect alibis!!! They have found "doubles", and while they are out committing the robberies, their doubles spend the night at the club, confusing the two officers who are on their tail.

    Suddenly a spanner is thrown into the works, Nick Mason (George Raft) a U.S. undercover agent has been bought over to solve the case. He hides out in Iris's car and causes her to lose her cool (as well as most of her clothes). He manages to get some stolen jewels off her without blowing his cover. Hope advises him to try to become part of the gang ("after all with a face like yours, they would never believe you're a detective") - because the trio already believe he is a crook it isn't too hard!!!

    What follows is a scintillating, witty action packed pre-coder. Raft proved he could still be a tough guy working with the Law. His opening scene with Helen Vinson is racy and sparkling, the type that would not be seen a couple of years later - after the code came in. I think most women in the audience would have wished to be in Helen Vinson's shoes (or her stockings)!! Helen was equally at home playing schemers or good women, she was always very classy. If I have any complaint, it is that George Raft didn't have a double - he was so yummy and delicious, there was room for one more!!!

    Highly Recommended.
  • Midnight Club is a place where British elite meet to eat and socialize otherwise. It's also the place where Clive Brook, a Raffles type character meets with his gang also of similar class stature, Ferdinand Gottschalk, Alan Mowbray, and the gang's alluring come-on Helen Vinson. She sure gives George Raft the come-on and how he comes.

    Scotland Yard Inspector Sir Guy Standing is tearing the hair out of his head trying to catch Brook and his gang from pulling off a lot of society robberies of jewels and whatever else they can lay their hands. These people are upper crust with influence so Standing knows he has to catch them red handed.

    And this is where American detective George Raft enters the picture. He's been brought over by Standing to go undercover as an American crook who's after the same scores that Brook is and then infiltrate the gang.

    Alison Skipworth and Ethel Griffies play a pair of Brook's robbery victims and Skipworth does it in grand style. She'd actually give up her jewels quite willingly for a night with Brook whom she eyes like a prime cut at a butcher's shop.

    As for Raft being an American detective is a role he fits comfortably into and does a good job. Vinson who is usually the man stealing other woman has both Brook and Raft interested in here and her part is a change for her.

    Probably with a bit more character development we could get an updated version of the Midnight Club. It holds up well and even today's audiences would enjoy it.If
  • "Midnight Club" is a 1933 precode starring Clive Brook, George Raft, Helen Vinson, Alan Mowbray, and Sir Guy Standing.

    The story takes place in England. Commissioner Hope (Standing) has been hoping indeed that he can catch a gang of jewel thieves led by Colin Grant (Brook). But they elude him. He sends a couple of detectives into their hangout, the Midnight Club, to watch them. Grant is aware of this, so he arranges for doubles to sit in the club as himself, Iris (Vinson), Bradley (Mowbray), and Rubens (Ferdinand Gottschalk). It's very frustrating for Hope.

    Then the gang realizes they have a rival in the form of Nick Mason (Raft), an American who wants to join the group.

    Good story that does not seem dated. Brook and Vinson are so elegant, and tough guy Raft is just the guy to cut them down to size. Looking at the film, it's amazing how formally people always dressed in those days. We've lost this.

    Good movie, recommended.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    In my youth, the most popular crime writer in the world was not Agatha Christie (her fame was to come later) but Leslie Charteris. His The Saint character was everywhere. Hollywood beckoned Charteris as early as 1933. His first script was "The Midnight Club" (formerly available on an excellent DVD from VintageFilmBuff) which not only offered a strong plot, racy dialogue and excellent acting opportunities for George Raft, Helen Vinson, Clive Brook, Billy Bevan and Sir Guy Standing but gave Paramount's special effects experts a chance to display some amazing photographic wizardry.

    On the same DVD, another but lesser Raft outing was provided by "Yours for the Asking" (1936) in which the accent is more firmly on comedy, though Raft does get a chance to rough-house Robert Gleckler. Unfortunately, the Raft character here is something of a simpleton, a fact which allows the lovely Ida Lupino (when she finally makes her entrance) to steal the show - and from Jimmy Gleason, Reg Owen, Edgar Kennedy and Dolores Costello Barrymore (sic) at that!