AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Between Midnight and Dawn
Alternate Title: Prowl Car
Director: Gordon Douglas (Dir)
Release Date:   Oct 1950
Production Date:   14 Feb--23 Mar 1950
Duration (in mins):   89 or 92
Duration (in feet):   8,006
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Cast:   Mark Stevens (Rocky Barnes)  
    Edmond O'Brien (Daniel Purvis)  
    Gale Storm (Katherine Mallory)  
    Donald Buka (Ritchie Garris)  
    Gale Robbins (Terry Romaine)  
    Anthony Ross (Lieutenant Masterson)  
    Roland Winters (Leo Cusick)  
    Tito Vuolo (Romano)  
    Grazia Narciso (Mrs. Romano)  
    Madge Blake (Mrs. Mallory)  
    Lora Lee Michel (Kathy)  
    Jack Del Rio (Louis Franissi)  
    Philip Van Zandt (Joe Quist)  
    Cliff Bailey (Sergeant Bailey)  
    Tony Barr (Harry Yost)  
    Peter Mamakos ("Cootie" Adams)  
    Earl Breitbard (Rod Peters)  
    Wheaton Chambers (Building superintendent)  
    Lee Fredericks (Officer Zeigler)  
    James Brown (Haynes)  
    Ted Jordan (Carr)  
    Douglas Evans (Detective captain)  
    Don Kohler (Plainclothesman)  
    Harry Lauter (Plainclothesman)  
    Robert Bice (Detective)  
    Gaylord Pendleton (Detective)  
    Janet Fay (Girl)  
    Mary Ellen Kay (Girl)  
    Richard Karlan (Officer Nichols)  
    John Butler (Drunk)  
    Myron Healey (Officer Davis)  
    Ruth Warren (Policewoman)  
    Eric Mack (Booking officer)  
    Marc Krah (Rocco)  
    Dudley Dickerson (Garbage man)  
    Paul Baxley (Policeman)  
    Charles Marsh (Husband)  
    Harry Harvey, Jr. (Driver)  
    Maudie Prickett (Wife)  
    Mary Alan Hokanson (Broadcaster)  
    Louise Kane (Broadcaster)  
    Edwin Chandler (Supervisor)  
    Billy Gray (Petey)  
    Tony Taylor (Thurlow)  
    Donald Fields (Boy)  
    Tommy Mann (Boy)  
    Robert Foulk (Fred, the jailor)  
    Arnold Daly (Deputy)  
    Tom Daly (Deputy)  
    Gayne Whitman (Doctor)  
    Joe Recht (Busboy)  
    Mike Lally (Waiter)  
    Ted Stanhope (Head waiter)  
    Alex Gerry (Oliver)  
    Sydney Mason (Captain Evans)  
    Nolan Leary (Foreman)  
    William E. Green (Judge)  
    Jack Gargan (Court clerk)  
    Frances Morris (Superintendent's wife)  
    Paul Palmer    
    Al Caruso    
    Fred Shellac    
    Symona Boniface    
    Frank Pharr    
    Richard La Marr    
    Carlo Tricoli    
    Ralph Brooks    
    Thomas F. Quinn Jr.    
    George Ford    
    John Kascier    

Summary: Rocky Barnes and Daniel Purvis, two policemen working the night shift, have been partners since they served in the war together. Although Rocky believes that even criminals have some good inside, Daniel is more cynical. Daniel is particularly anxious to capture petty criminal Ritchie Garris, but is hampered by the fact that the victims of Garris' strong-arm tactics refuse to testify against him. Rocky is more interested in the face that belongs to the sultry voice of the night dispatcher than he is in Garris and soon discovers that the attractive voice is that of Katherine Mallory, a policeman's daughter and the captain's secretary. Rocky and Daniel invite Kate to dinner at Garris' club, and there they spot Leo Cusick, an important mobster from the East. Rocky and Daniel believe that Cusick's presence at the club signals the beginning of a gang war to take control of the city. When the policemen drop Kate off at her home, she tells them there will be no more dates because she does not want to repeat her mother's experience as a policeman's widow. Kate's mother, on the other hand, encourages the men's interest in her daughter by renting them the flat next door. When a man is killed outside Cusick's loan company, the police converge on the building. Rocky and Daniel arrive first and chase Garris and his henchman, Joe Quist, as Kate listens over the radio. After the two policemen catch the criminals, Kate realizes that she has fallen in love with Rocky and agrees to marry him. Garris is found guilty of murder and as he leaves the courtroom, threatens revenge on Rocky and Daniel. Later, Garris escapes from jail and carries out his threat, killing Rocky. Determined to avenge his partner, Daniel sets up a constant watch on Garris' girl friend, Terry Romaine, refusing to believe her protests that she is finished with the gangster. When Garris shows up at Terry's apartment, she tells him that she wants nothing to do with him. In order to prevent her from leaving him, Garris then takes Terry's young neighbor Kathy hostage. Alerted by a listening device that has been planted in Terry's apartment, police surround the building, but Garris spots them and holds Kathy out the window, threatening to drop her unless the police leave the area. Daniel offers to try to reach Garris without harming Kathy. Once he is outside Terry's apartment, Daniel uses tear gas and shoots at Garris. Garris returns his fire, but Terry takes the bullet that was meant for Daniel. Daniel then kills Garris. Terry's unselfish action alters Daniel's belief that people do not change for the better, and Kate expresses her approval of his new attitude. 

Production Company: Columbia Pictures Corp.  
Distribution Company: Columbia Pictures Corp.  
Director: Gordon Douglas (Dir)
  James Nicholson (Asst dir)
Producer: Hunt Stromberg (Prod)
Writer: Eugene Ling (Scr)
  Gerald Drayson Adams (Story)
  Leo Katcher (Story)
Photography: George Diskant (Dir of photog)
Art Direction: George Brooks (Art dir)
Film Editor: Gene Havlick (Film ed)
Set Decoration: Frank [A.] Tuttle (Set dec)
Costumes: Jean Louis (Gowns)
Music: George Duning (Mus score)
  Maurice Stoloff (Mus dir)
Sound: Russell Malmgren (Sd eng)
Make Up: Olay Campbell (Makeup)
  Helen Hunt (Hair styles)
Country: United States

Songs: "Please Don't Kiss Me" and "Either It's Love or It Isn't," music and lyrics by Allan Roberts and Doris Fisher; "I Want to Learn About Love," music and lyrics by Allan Roberts and Lester Lee.
Composer: Doris Fisher
  Lester Lee
  Allan Roberts

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Columbia Pictures Corp. 31/8/1950 dd/mm/yyyy LP5599, LP323

Physical Properties: b&w:
  Sd: Western Electric Recording

 
Genre: Drama
  Drama
Sub-Genre: with songs
  Police
 
Subjects (Major): Gangsters
  Partnership
  Police
  Romance
 
Subjects (Minor): Criminals--Rehabilitation
  Dogs
  Eavesdropping
  Gunfights
  Hostages
  Moral reformation
  Mothers and daughters
  Nightclubs
  Secretaries
  Self-sacrifice
  Tear gas
  Widows

Note: The film's working title was Prowl Car and it was reviewed in HR under that title. It was also copyrighted under both titles. A 1 Feb 1950 HR news item noted that Larry Parks was to play one of the two starring roles. According to a 21 Feb 1950 HR news item, both Mark Stevens and Edmond O'Brien demanded top billing for their work in the film. The principal spot was eventually awarded to Stevens even though he played the smaller part. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Box Office   18 Nov 1950.   
Daily Variety   27 Sep 50   p. 3.
Film Daily   28 Sep 50   p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter   1 Feb 50   p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter   21 Feb 50   p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter   24 Feb 50   p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter   6 Mar 50   p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter   17 Mar 50   p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter   24 Mar 50   p. 48.
Hollywood Reporter   26 May 50   p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest   30 Sep 50   pp. 501-2.
New York Times   2 Oct 50   p. 19.
Variety   27 Sep 50   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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