Movie Mirrors Index

History Is Made at Night

(1937 b 97')

En: 6 Ed: 6

A divorcing woman falls in love with a Parisian head-waiter; but her jealous wealthy husband tries evil ways to get her back in this romantic melodrama.

Ship magnate Bruce Vail (Colin Clive) is upset that his wife Irene (Jean Arthur) is divorcing him. Vail has sent his chauffeur Michael Browski (Ivan Lebedeff) to be caught with her; but Paul Dumond (Charles Boyer) stops him from molesting her and pulls a gun on two intruders, taking her jewels and her. In a cab Paul gives Irene back the jewels he took so as not to compromise her. He takes her to the restaurant of chef Cesare (Leo Carrillo). Paul dances with Irene. In order to get money, Michael tells Vail that he saw Irene with Paul. Vail reports that his chauffeur was murdered. Irene tells Paul she is happy, and he kisses her. Irene finds Vail and police in her apartment and tells how she escaped, listing the jewels. Vail tells her that he saw her get the jewels back and demands that she live with him as his wife. Paul tells Cesare that he is going to marry Irene. Paul reads of Irene's reunion with Vail and calls her; but she tells him not to find her.

On a ship Vail is jealous toward Irene, who admits she loves Paul but not others. Paul and Cesare sail to New York. Vail has Irene followed. Paul and Cesare show Victor how to run a restaurant and are hired. As head-waiter Paul inspects the help and keeps a table ready for Irene. A detective tells Irene to go back to Paris to testify in the murder trial. Irene promises to stay with Vail if Paul goes free. Vail takes Irene to Victor's, and disappointed Paul gives them the table. In the cab Irene rips up Vail's travel tickets, and then she goes back to Paul, saying she is happy. Irene cooks for Paul, and they pretend to be married. Irene tells Paul they are going to Tahiti. She tells him he is wanted for murder, but someone else is being tried.

Paul won't let an innocent man be tried, and they sail for France on Vail's new ship. Paul and Irene clear the man charged. Vail is told that Paul will not be convicted. Vail by phone orders the ship captain to break the record despite fog and cold. Paul and Irene order their special dinner, and stow-away Cesare makes it. Paul tastes it and finds Cesare. The ship runs into an iceberg. People panic and get into lifeboats. Paul finds Irene and carries her. He puts her in the last lifeboat, but she climbs out into his arms. Vail hears that the ship probably sank with most of the passengers. He writes a confession that he also killed Michael and shoots himself. Paul and Irene prepare to die; but it is announced that the ship will not sink.

The suave Frenchman and his chef have contempt for Americans, who eat to live instead of the reverse, and Paul's romantic love and consideration for others far outshine the manipulative jealousy of the cold-hearted Vail.

Copyright © 2000 by Sanderson Beck

Movie Mirrors Index

BECK index