AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Somewhere in the Night
Alternate Title: The Lonely Journey
Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz (Dir)
Release Date:   Jun 1946
Premiere Information:   Los Angeles opening: 1 Jun 1946
Production Date:   21 Nov 1945--24 Jan 1946
Duration (in mins):   110
Duration (in feet):   9,926
Duration (in reels):   11
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Cast:   John Hodiak (George Taylor)  
    Nancy Guild (Christy Smith)  
    Lloyd Nolan (Lt. Donald Kendall)  
    Richard Conte (Mel Phillips)  
    Josephine Hutchinson (Elizabeth Conroy)  
    Fritz Kortner (Anzelmo)  
    Margo Woode (Phyllis)  
    Sheldon Leonard (Sam)  
    Lou Nova (Hubert)  
    Houseley Stevenson (Michael Conroy)  
    John Russell (Marine captain)  
    Philip Van Zandt (Navy doctor)  
    John Kellogg (Medical attendant)  
    Polly Rose (Nurse)  
    Paula Reid (Nurse)  
    Richard Benedict (Sergeant)  
    Charles Marsh (Hotel clerk)  
    Milt Kibbee (Tailor)  
    Harry Tyler (Baggage room attendant)  
    Jeff Corey (Bank teller)  
    Sam Flint (Bank guard)  
    Forbes Murray (Executive)  
    Henry ["Harry"] Morgan (Man at baths)  
    Whitner Bissell (Bartender)  
    Al Sparlis (Anzelmo henchman)  
    Charles Arnt ("Little Man")  
    Mary Currier (Miss Jones)  
    Jack Davis (Dr. Grant)  
    Clancy Cooper (Attendant)  
    Louis Mason (Brother William)  
    Henri De Soto (Headwaiter)  
    Elaine Langan (Hat check girl)  
    Edward Kelly Jr. (Thug at club)  
    Cy Schindel (Thug at club)  
    Maynard Holmes (Police stenographer)  

Summary: A U.S. Marine recovering from a combat injury in a Navy hospital in Hawaii suffers from undiagnosed amnesia, and while others call him George Taylor, he has no memory of that man. Upon recovery from his wounds, George is transferred to the hospital at Camp Pendleton, California, and is eventually discharged, even though he still has no memory. He returns to his old civilian address at the Martin Hotel in Los Angeles, but no one recognizes him there. At Union Station, he exchanges a bag check he found in his sea bag for a briefcase, which contains a gun and a three-year-old letter to a man named George stating that $5,000 has been deposited for him in a bank account by Larry Cravat. George goes to the bank, but the officials ask him too many questions and he leaves abruptly. The owner of the Elite Baths, from where Cravat wrote the letter, tells George he does not know Cravat but suggests that he check at a nearby nightclub, The Cellar. There, a bartender tips off two thugs that someone is asking about Cravat. While trying to lose the thugs, George enters the club's rear premises and ends up in singer Christy Smith's dressing room. George finds an old postcard to Christy from "Mary," stating that she will soon be Mrs. Larry Cravat. Back at his hotel, George is approached by a woman called Phyllis, who tries to pick him up. The bartender then phones him with instructions to return to the club for new information. When George gets there, he finds the club closed, but encounters a Mr. Anzelmo, who has him roughed up and warns him to stop looking for Cravat, then dumps him at Christy's place. Christy tells George that Mary, her best friend, was stood up by Cravat on her wedding day and was later reported killed while crossing a street. After George tells Christy his story, The Cellar's owner, Mel Phillips, stops by with the news that the bartender has been found dead in a vacant lot. Phillips suggests that a police friend, Lt. Donald Kendall, might be able to help George and arranges a meeting with him. Kendall reveals that Cravat was a private detective and, at the time of his disappearance, was in possession of $2,000,000 that had been smuggled out of Nazi Germany. George then receives an anonymous note, which leads him to a fortune-teller near Terminal Dock, where he encounters Anzelmo and Phyllis. Anzelmo informs George that Cravat is wanted by the police for a murder that took place on the dock three years previously. Anzelmo offers to provide evidence clearing Cravat of the murder in exchange for a considerable amount of money and suggests that George may have been involved in the murder and could be the "fall guy." Later, Christy tells Phillips that George has gone to see Michael Conroy, a witness to the dock murder, and adds that she is "nuts" about George. Conroy's daughter Elizabeth tells George that her father had an accident three years ago and has been confined to the Lambeth Sanitarium ever since. On leaving Elizabeth, George is almost run down by a truck, but eventually gains access to the sanitarium. George arrives to find Conroy has been stabbed, but before he dies, Conroy tells him that one of the killers dropped a suitcase which he, Conroy, hid under the dock. Christy and George recover the suitcase, which contains the $2,000,000 and an item of clothing with a tag indicating that it was made for Larry Cravat by "W. George-Tailor." George now thinks that perhaps he is Cravat and hid out with the Marines under the name George Taylor. Christy doubts George's theory, but when he asks her to read a letter he found in his wallet while he was hospitalized, she recognizes the handwriting as Mary's. They are then surprised by someone who shoots at them, but escape to a nearby mission, where they ask the director to deliver the suitcase to Lt. Kendall while they go to see Anzelmo. After George tries to convince Anzelmo and Phyllis that he is Cravat and that his face was altered as a result of the war wound, Phillips shows up and is surprised to learn that George is Cravat. When Anzelmo tries to frame Phyllis for the murder on the dock, she pulls a gun on them, but Phillips gets control of the weapon and he, Christy and George leave for The Cellar. Phillips then reveals that he is the killer and had arranged to pick up the $2,000,000 from a Mr. Steel, but Cravat heard about it, convinced Steel that he was Phillips and got the money. When Phillips arrived, Steel was alone and Phillips, thinking Steel had double-crossed him, killed him. George tells Phillips that they have recovered the money and offers him the suitcase in exchange for Christy's freedom. They return to the mission, where Lt. Kendall and his men have set up a stakeout, and Kendall shoots Phillips. At the police station, Kendall congratulates George for helping to solve the murder. His past restored, George and Christy then leave together. 

Production Company: Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.  
Distribution Company: Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.  
Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz (Dir)
  F. E. Johnston (Asst dir)
  Charles L. Smith (Asst dir)
  Lee Strasberg (Dial dir)
Producer: Darryl F. Zanuck (Exec prod)
  Anderson Lawler (Prod)
Writer: Howard Dimsdale (Scr)
  Joseph L. Mankiewicz (Scr)
  Lee Strasberg (Adpt)
  Marvin Borowsky (From a story by)
Photography: Norbert Brodine (Dir of photog)
  Curtis Fetters (Cam op)
Art Direction: James Basevi (Art dir)
  Maurice Ransford (Art dir)
Film Editor: James B. Clark (Ed supv)
Set Decoration: Thomas Little (Set dec)
  Ernest Lansing (Assoc)
  Frank Sullivan (Prop master)
Costumes: Kay Nelson (Cost)
Music: David Buttolph (Mus)
  Emil Newman (Mus dir)
  Arthur Morton (Orch arr)
  William May (Orch arr)
  Sonny Burke (Orch arr)
  Urban Thielmann (Orch arr)
Sound: Eugene Grossman (Sd)
  Harry M. Leonard (Sd)
  Paul Neal (Mus mixer)
  Murray Spivack (Mus mixer)
Special Effects: Fred Sersen (Spec photog eff)
  Edwin Hammeras (Process shots)
  Edward Snyder (Process shots)
  J. O. Taylor (Process shots)
Make Up: Ben Nye (Makeup artist)
Production Misc: A. F. "Buddy" Erickson (Unit mgr)
  Florence O'Neill (Scr supv)
  James Breen (Tech adv)
  Commander H. R. Hartwell (Medical adv)
Country: United States

Music: "Solitude" by Duke Ellington; "Christy's Waltz" by Urban Thielmann.
Songs: "In the Middle of Nowhere," music by Jimmy McHugh, lyrics by Harold Adamson.
Composer: Harold Adamson
  Duke Ellington
  Jimmy McHugh
  Urban Thielmann

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp. 29/5/1946 dd/mm/yyyy LP533

PCA NO: 11434
Physical Properties: b&w:
  Sd: Western Electric Recording

 
Genre: Mystery
 
Subjects (Major): Amnesia
  Frame-ups
  Los Angeles (CA)
  Money
  Murder
  War injuries
 
Subjects (Minor): Aliases
  Banks
  Bank tellers
  Bartenders
  Baths and showers
  Briefcases
  Chinese restaurants
  Docks
  Fortune cookies
  Fortune-tellers
  Gangsters
  Hospitals
  Hotels
  Letters
  Missions
  Nightclub owners
  Nightclubs
  Nurses
  Physicians
  Police detectives
  Private detectives
  Railroad stations
  Romance
  San Pedro (CA)
  Sanitariums
  Singers
  Suitcases
  United States. Marine Corps
  Witnesses

Note: According to documents in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department and the Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection at the UCLA Arts--Special Collections Library, the studio purchased Marvin Borowsky's original, unpublished story "The Lonely Journey" and his accompanying screenplay in Dec 1944 for $11,000. Ben Simkhovitch, Howard Dimsdale and Lee Strasberg worked on subsequent drafts of the script and there is a record of a Jul 1945 story conference held at director George Cukor's home in which producer Lawler, Mankiewicz, Strasberg and guest, W. Somerset Maugham, participated. Mankiewicz wrote the final version of the screenplay, which was greeted with some bewilderment by several contemporary critics. Bosley Crowther's review in the NYT complained about the complicated plot: "The further this un-remembering gentleman pursues his mysterious past and confronts odd and brutal characters, the more he--and you--become confused. Apparently he and his associates fit the pieces together in the end, but this writer is still completely baffled. Who was who, and who got shot?" James Breen, a Marine veteran and son of Production Code Administration director Joseph I. Breen, was technical advisor on the final screenplay.
       Somewhere in the Night was Nancy Guild's first film. According to a studio press release in the AMPAS Library, she was discovered after a studio executive saw a photograph of her in a Life article on the University of Arizona, which she was attending. A week after her screen test she was cast in Somewhere in the Night . Studio records list Polly Rose in the role of a nurse. Frank Meredith is also listed in studio documents as appearing in this film, but his participation in the released film has not been confirmed. A radio version of the film, starring John Hodiak and Lynn Bari, was broadcast on Lux Radio Theatre on 3 Mar 1947. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Box Office   11 May 1946.   
Daily Variety   3 May 46   p. 3.
Film Daily   7 May 46   p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter   23 Nov 45   p. 17.
Hollywood Reporter   18 Jan 46   p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter   3 May 46   p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter   17 Jun 46   p. 17.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest   23 Feb 46   p. 2859.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest   11 May 46   pp. 2986-87.
New York Times   13 Jun 46   p. 24.
Variety   8 May 46   p. 8.

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
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