Night After Night

  • 1932
  • 1 HR 10 MIN
  • NR
  • Drama

This was Raft's first starring role in films, but it was also West's first talking film and the hip-slinging, wisecracking, eye-batting blonde stole the show. Raft is an ambitious low-life with little education and a lot of cash who wants to crash society. He opens a posh nightclub and goes after the carriage trade, but he's fearful of his bad manners and...read more

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This was Raft's first starring role in films, but it was also West's first talking film and the hip-slinging, wisecracking, eye-batting blonde stole the show. Raft is an ambitious low-life with little education and a lot of cash who wants to crash society. He opens a posh nightclub and goes

after the carriage trade, but he's fearful of his bad manners and gutter diction offending his high-society patrons. To correct the situation, Raft hires speech coach Skipworth, who tips him on how to speak and even what to talk about. When he spies Park Avenue beauty Cummings, Raft has plenty to

say, but he learns that Cummings' once wealthy family is now on the rocks, ruined by the Depression. Worse, his hoity-toity club now occupies the very site where her family mansion once stood. Raft arranges for a quiet dinner at his club, with Skipworth on hand to chaperone the event. But just as

the dinner gets under way, in bursts West, one of Raft's uncouth old flames. She bears no ill will toward reformed thug Raft but is concerned only with furthering her own nest egg. West plays havoc with the intimate dinner and throws the very proper Skipworth into a tizzy when she explains the

facts of life in no uncertain and very suggestive terms. Meanwhile, Raft's henchman Karns tries to tell him that hoodlums and high society really don't mix and he shouldn't set his sights on Cummings. Then another ex-mistress of Raft's, the raucous Gibson, appears and just about chews up the

nightclub until she's subdued. In the end, Karns is proven right; Cummings gives Raft the heave-ho, telling him that she belongs with someone in her own class and intends to marry polo playboy Calhern. At least that's what the audience expects and gets until a turnabout at the last minute by

Cummings, who realizes Calhern is a snooty cad and Raft is the guy for her. West, though she's only in a supporting role, walks away with all the honors, delivering one sharp wisecrack after another. A hatcheck girl sees her diamonds and shouts: "Goodness!" West's classic retort: "Goodness had

nothing to do with it, dearie." West ran roughshod over director Mayo, who was then relatively inexperienced, altering his setup shots and doing as she pleased. "She stole everything but the cameras," Raft later quipped. From the first moment on the screen West lets her inimitable presence be

known. A doorman stares through a peephole of Raft's club to ask: "Who's dere?" Replies an impatient West: "The fairy princess, ya mug!" Skipworth is also a delight as the matron dithering over West's dubious occupation (although West later reveals that she owns a string of beauty parlors). It's

all very sleek and snappy and, when West cavorts before the cameras, it's a riot. Raft and West would not appear together again until 1978 in SEXTETTE. They both died in 1980 within two days of each other, she at 87, he at 85.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: This was Raft's first starring role in films, but it was also West's first talking film and the hip-slinging, wisecracking, eye-batting blonde stole the show. Raft is an ambitious low-life with little education and a lot of cash who wants to crash society.… (more)

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