13 June 2004 | Doylenf
A forgettable item among Reagan's resume at Warner Bros...
NIGHT UNTO NIGHT ('49) struggles to be a message film with something important to say about life and love--and does carry an unusual theme. However, despite the dramatic intensity in the performance of Swedish actress VIVECA LINDFORS (who looks radiant in all of her close-ups), no one else in the cast seems to be in the same picture. RONALD REAGAN seems to be sleepwalking through a role he clearly doesn't comprehend, displaying none of the emotional fireworks that Lindfors is capable of. He makes any notion of chemistry with Lindfors seem absurd. A stronger actor might have brought some credibility to his role of a botanist who keeps a dark secret from the woman he loves.
And unfortunately, the supporting roles are too colorless to add much to the proceedings. BRODERICK CRAWFORD is cast inexplicably as an artist in touch with "the truth" and OSSA MASSEN is a bit over the top in her drunken stupor as the jealous sister who reveals Reagan's dark secret to Lindfors at the height of a thunderstorm.
Could have been so much better with a tighter script and more emotional response from Reagan, but this is clearly not one of his better films at WB. Technically, the storm is a stunning sequence--too bad it isn't supporting a better script. Reagan redeemed himself later with some better roles at his home studio but this is clearly a dud.