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Midnight Lace (1960)

aka Midnight Lace

Directed By: 
Written By: 
Details: 110 mins · English

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Cast:

Small
Small Anthony 'Tony' Preston
Small Brian Younger
Small Beatrice
Small Malcolm
Small Charles Manning
Small Aunt Bea
Small
No_movie_poster
Small
Small
Small Kit Preston
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Crew:

No_movie_poster Ben Roberts Screenplay
No_movie_poster David Miller Director
No_movie_poster Edward Muhl Executive Producer
No_movie_poster Frank Skinner Original Music Composer
No_movie_poster Ivan Goff Screenplay
No_movie_poster Janet Green Theatre Play
No_movie_poster Leon Barsha Editor
No_movie_poster Martin Melcher Producer
No_movie_poster Ross Hunter Producer
No_movie_poster Russell F. Schoengarth Editor
No_movie_poster Russell Metty Director of Photography

Plot:

Newlywed American heiress Kit Preston is living with her financier husband Tony on Grosvenor Square in London. Returning home in a dense fog, she is startled by an eerie, electronic-like voice threatening to kill her within the month. The voice calls her by name and torments her as she runs to escape. Tony tries to convince her she has been the victim of a practical joker and suggests they travel to Venice for the honeymoon they never had.

The next day, business matters force Tony to cancel a lunch date with Kit at the last minute. She shows him recent purchases, including a nightgown called "Midnight Lace" which interests Tony. As she returns home, a falling girder from the construction site adjacent to her building nearly hits her, but she is pushed to safety by contractor Brian Younger, who startles her when he addresses her by name. Inside she encounters Malcolm Stanley, her maid Nora's shiftless son, whose unctuous behavior annoys her.

Just after he leaves, she receives a call from the voice in the park, repeating his intention to kill her. Neighbor Peggy Thompson urges Tony to take Kit to Scotland Yard to discuss the situation. After questioning her, Inspector Byrnes tells Tony he suspects that Kit is merely a lonely wife in need of attention. Meanwhile, Kit's Aunt Bea arrives. When Kit tells her of the phone calls, they both put it down to "telephone talkers".

Tony must cancel the trip to Italy due to continuing problems at work. Kit receives another call, but before Tony can take the phone to hear the voice, she hysterically hangs up. That evening, Tony and Kit meet Aunt Bea and her former beau Charles Manning at a nightclub, where Aunt Bea questions Tony about Kit's nervousness. When Tony repeats the inspector's suspicions, Bea wonders if he may be right: Kit received the last call after hearing that the Italy trip was cancelled.

The next day, Kit is trapped in her apartment-building elevator when the power goes out. She panics when she hears footsteps ominously approaching in the dark, and is relieved to discover that it's Brian, who was on his way to warn her that his crew has blown a circuit. When the electricity comes back on, Brian escorts the visibly shaken Kit to a pub for a brandy. During their conversation he relates an experience he had in a burning tank during World War II. He tells her he has suffered "blackouts" and once lost a whole day. Kit, disturbed by his intense manner, returns home. The pub owner asks Brian if she should include last night's phone charges in his bill. He seems a bit startled but tells her to include them.

Kit, Tony, and Aunt Bea are at the ballet when Tony's assistant Daniel Graham calls him away to tell him it appears £1 million has been embezzled from the firm. Daniel knows company treasurer Manning has large gambling debts and suggests he is responsible for the loss. Meanwhile, Malcolm confronts Kit at the ballet and asks for money. When she hesitates, he vaguely threatens her.

As time passes, Kit becomes increasingly paranoid. Her reports of more calls and a visit from a mysterious stranger nobody else sees are met with scepticism by everybody. On the street she sees the man she claimed had come to her apartment, and soon she's pushed in front of an approaching bus. Kit frantically begs Peggy to lie that she heard the voice on the phone, but the plan backfires: Tony reveals that their phone has been out-of-order.

Now certain that Kit is delusional, Tony and Bea take her to a physician who suggests that she may be suffering from a split personality and that they should take her to a psychiatrist. After consulting further with the doctor, Tony decides to take Kit to Venice immediately and asks Bea to help her pack while he attends a board meeting.

Having dinner at the pub across the street, Brian sees a very ill-at-ease-looking man. The pub owner tells him that the man has recently been hanging around staring at the building across—the one where Kit lives.

Before Tony leaves for the meeting, the phone rings and he hears the voice. He calls Inspector Byrnes and asks him to come to the apartment, then tells Kit he will pretend to leave the building and secretly return, hopefully to catch her stalker.

As soon as Tony leaves, the caller phones to announce he is coming to kill Kit. Tony returns and they turn off all the lights. Inside the apartment, the voice calls to Kit, telling her he's there to kill her. A man with a gun is seen at the terrace doors. Tony tackles him; as they struggle throughout the apartment, the gun goes off and hits the intruder.

Wondering why Scotland Yard is taking so long, Kit starts to call them but Tony stops her and confesses that he never called them—but he soon will, after she's been thrown from the terrace and killed "fighting off the intruder." He explains his plan to kill her and make her death appear a suicide she was driven to by mental illness; then he would collect her inheritance and repay the money he stole from his business. But the intruder has changed the plan: Tony now has to come down the stairs to kill the intruder after the intruder has killed Kit.

Just then Peggy enters the apartment and Kit asks for her help. But Tony explains that Peggy has actually been helping him—with the phone calls and pushing her at the bus stop. When the gunman regains consciousness, he turns out to be Peggy's husband Roy, who had planned to murder Tony and Peggy after learning of their affair.

As Tony and Peggy deal with Roy, Kit works her way out on the terrace into the construction site gliding across girders. Brian and a policeman see her and shine a light on her, stopping Tony from following and throwing her off. When Brian reaches her he helps her to the elevator and down to the street, where Aunt Bea waits.

When Inspector Byrnes arrives, he reveals that he had tapped Kit's phone and knew she was in trouble when Tony pretended to call the police. Brian and Aunt Bea comfort Kit while the inspector arrests her husband and his mistress.