Night Court

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"Its Frankness Will Thrill You---Its Truth Hold You Breathless---"
  • Passed
  • 1932
  • 1 hr 32 min
  • 7.0  (420)

Night Court is a captivating drama that unfolds in the city of New York in the early 1930s, where a group of individuals from different walks of life finds themselves interwoven in a single day-long storyline that takes place in the titular night court, a place where morality and justice are constantly put to the test. Starring Phillips Holmes, Walter Huston, and Anita Page, Night Court is a timeless classic that explores themes of love, social class, discrimination, and redemption in a way that is as compelling today as it was nearly 90 years ago.

The movie opens with a desperate young man named John Gordon (Phillips Holmes) who is caught stealing a purse from a wealthy woman in a park. As he is dragged into the night court, he comes face to face with Judge Moffett (Walter Huston), a wise and compassionate judge who presides over the court with integrity and fairness. As John awaits his hearing, he realizes that the people around him are all struggling with their own demons, from a prostitute named Nelly (Anita Page) who is accused of soliciting, to a young girl who has been abandoned by her father and is struggling to survive on the streets.

What follows is a gripping tale that is both heartwarming and heartbreaking. John, who is revealed to be a struggling artist with noble intentions, finds himself caught in a web of deceit and corruption as he tries to clear his name and win the heart of the girl he loves, played by Constance Cummings. Meanwhile, Judge Moffett is faced with a terrible dilemma as he discovers that the people around him are not always what they seem, and that the justice system he upholds so dearly is often flawed and unfair.

With its crisp black and white cinematography, its poignant score, and its honest and nuanced portrayal of the human condition, Night Court is a true masterpiece of early cinema. The performances are all top-notch, with Walter Huston shining as the wise and empathetic judge who struggles to maintain his integrity in a world that is often cruel and senseless. Phillips Holmes is also superb as the young artist who learns the hard way that life is not always fair, while Anita Page brings a touch of grace and humanity to her role as the fallen woman who longs for a better life.

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about Night Court is its ability to explore complex themes without ever becoming preachy or heavy-handed. The characters are all fully realized, with their own strengths, weaknesses, and desires, and the audience is left to draw their own conclusions about the nature of justice, love, and morality. The film also manages to avoid the sensationalism that often defined early Hollywood, opting instead for a more subtle and nuanced approach that is both thoughtful and engaging.

Overall, Night Court is a classic that deserves to be seen by anyone who loves powerful drama, rich character development, and expert storytelling. Its themes are universal and timeless, and its message is as relevant today as it was in the early 1930s. It is a film that reminds us of the power of cinema to touch our hearts and minds, and to illuminate the dark corners of the human soul.

Night Court
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 32 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.0  (420)