Watch Midnight Mary
- 1 hr 14 min
Set in the early 1930s, Midnight Mary is a crime drama movie that follows the story of Mary Martin (Loretta Young), a young woman who becomes involved in a life of crime after a difficult childhood. The movie opens with Mary being sentenced to death for her participation in a murder case. As she awaits her execution, Mary reflects on her troubled past, starting from her childhood.
Mary had a difficult upbringing, growing up in a tenement housing project in New York City. Her father was an abusive alcoholic who often beat her mother, and eventually abandoned the family. Mary's mother eventually turned to prostitution to support the family, and Mary was forced to grow up quickly and fend for herself.
As a young woman, Mary found work as a telephone operator, and it was there that she met her first love, a young attorney named Tom Mannering (Ricardo Cortez). However, Tom was already engaged to another woman, and he and Mary's brief affair ended when he discovered she was pregnant. Mary gave birth to a son, but the child was stillborn, and she was fired from her job when they discovered she had been pregnant.
Desperate for money, Mary turned to a life of petty crime, befriending the wealthy and corrupt playboy Leo Darcy (Franchot Tone). Leo is impressed with Mary's beauty and takes her under his wing, showing her the finer things in life and convincing her to become involved in more dangerous criminal activities.
However, Mary's involvement in Leo's criminal activities leads to disastrous consequences. When she and Leo are involved in a botched robbery that results in a murder, Mary is convicted and sentenced to death. As she awaits her execution, Mary hopes for a last-minute reprieve or for Tom to come back into her life and help her.
Midnight Mary was directed by William A. Wellman and was released by Warner Bros. Pictures in 1933. It was one of the last movies Loretta Young made before becoming a major star at Twentieth Century Fox. The film is remembered today for its pre-Code themes of sex, crime, and corruption, as well as for Loretta Young's powerful performance as the doomed Mary.
The movie is also notable for its depiction of the social and economic conditions of the Great Depression, particularly the plight of working-class women like Mary who are forced to turn to crime to survive. The film shows how the social and economic pressures of the time can drive people to desperate measures, and how the criminal justice system can be harsh and unforgiving for those caught up in a life of crime.
At its heart, Midnight Mary is a tragic love story, with Mary and Tom's ill-fated romance at the center of the narrative. Their love is genuine, but it is ultimately doomed by the class differences and social expectations of their time. As Mary reflects on her life in prison, she looks back on her relationship with Tom with regret and love, hoping that he may one day return to save her.
Overall, Midnight Mary is a powerful and insightful movie that offers a compelling portrait of crime, love, and social inequality in Depression-era America. It is a movie that remains relevant today, reminding us that the economic and social challenges of the past are not so different from those we face today. With its stunning performances, sharp dialogue, and dark themes, Midnight Mary is a classic film noir that has stood the test of time.