Night and Day (1946) - Rotten Tomatoes

Night and Day (1946)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Night and Day Photos

Movie Info

Faced with the challenge of writing a screenplay based on the life of fabulously wealthy, fabulously successful composer Cole Porter, one Hollywood wag came up with a potential story angle: "How does the S.O.B. make his second million dollars?" By the time the Porter biopic Night and Day was released, the three-person scriptwriting team still hadn't come up with a compelling storyline, though the film had the decided advantages of star Cary Grant and all that great Porter music. Roughly covering the years 1912 to 1946, the story begins during Porter's undergraduate days at Yale University, where he participated in amateur theatricals under the tutelage of waspish professor Monty Woolley (who plays himself). Though Porter's inherited wealth could have kept him out of WWI, he insists upon signing up as an ambulance driver. While serving in France, he meets nurse Linda Lee (Alexis Smith), who will later become his wife. Focusing his attentions on Broadway and the London stage in the postwar years, Porter pens an unbroken string of hit songs, including "Just One of Those Things," "You're the Top," "I Get a Kick Out of You," "Begin the Beguine," and the title number. The composition of this last-named song is one of the film's giddy highlights, as Porter, inspired by the "drip drip drip" of an outsized rainstorm, runs to the piano and cries "I think I've got it!" The film's dramatic conflict arises when Porter is crippled for life in a polo accident. Refusing to have his legs amputated, he makes an inspiring comeback, even prompting a WWI amputee to remark upon his courage! Corny and unreliable as biography, Night and Day is redeemed by the guest appearances of musical luminaries Mary Martin (doing a spirited if disappointingly demure version of her striptease number "My Heart Belongs to Daddy") and Ginny Simms, the latter cast as an ersatz Ethel Merman named Carole Hill. Jane Wyman, seen as Porter's pre-nuptial sweetheart Gracie Harris, also gets to sing and dance, and quite well indeed. Beset with production problems, not least of which was the ongoing animosity between star Grant and director Michael Curtiz, Night and Day managed to finish filming on schedule, and proved to be an audience favorite -- except for those "in the know" Broadwayites who were bemused over the fact that Cole Porter's well-known homosexuality was necessarily weaned from the screenplay.

Watch it now


Cary Grant
as Cole Porter
Alexis Smith
as Linda Lee Porter
Jane Wyman
as Gracie Harris
Ginny Simms
as Carole Hill
Eve Arden
as Gabrielle
Victor Francen
as Anatole Giron
Alan Hale
as Leon Dowling
Selena Royle
as Kate Porter
Donald Woods
as Ward Blackburn
Paul Cavanagh
as Bart McClelland
Milada Mladova
as Specialty dancer
Sig Rumann
as Willowsky
Mary Martin
as Herself
Carlos Ramirez
as Specialty singer
Harry Seymour
as Clarence
George Meader
as Minister
Virginia Sale
as Minister's Wife
Gregory Muradian
as Small Caroler
Garry Owen
as Bartender
Crane Whitley
as Commercial Artist
Bob McKenzie
as Hansom Cab Driver
George Zoritch
as Specialty dancer
Edward Biby
as Surgeon
Emile Hilb
as Orchestra Leader
Bernard DeRoux
as Assistant to Giron
Marie Melesch
as Scrub Woman
Frank Marlowe
as Army Driver
Regina Wallace
as Tina's mother
Rune Hultman
as American Lieutenant
Peter Camlin
as French Lieutenant
George Riley
as O'Halloran
Fern Emmett
as Secretary
Frank Ferguson
as Tina's father
Mayo Newhall
as Bearded Man
George Nokes
as Wayne Blackburn Child
Laura Treadwell
as Woman in Theater
Frank Miliott
as Man in Theater
Bobby Watson
as Director
Philip Van Zandt
as Librettist
John W. Goldsworthy
as Yale Gentleman
Harry Crocker
as Newspaperman
Herman Bing
as `Peaches'
Chester Clute
as Music Publisher
Richard Bartell
as Photographer
Eddie Kane
as Headwaiter
Rudy Friml
as Orchestra Leader
Helen Pender
as Pretty Nurse
Edward Kelly
as Callboy
Gene Garrick
as Soldier
Jacqueline Milo
as French Girl
George Kirby
as Cab Driver
Scott Wallace
as Chauffeur
Colin Kenny
as Doorman
Buddy Gorman
as English Page Boy
Harold De Becker
as English Workman
Jack Mower
as Livery Chauffeur
Elizabeth Valentine
as Matron in Hospital
Charles Miller
as Professor
Pat Gleason
as Dance Director
Don Roy
as Band Leader
Hans Herbert
as Headwaiter
George Boyce
as Stage Manager
Henry Hasting
as Bartender
Vivien Oakland
as Married Couple
Albert Petit
as French Waiter
Jack Richardson
as Surgeon (uncredited)
Robert Arthur
as Customer
Maurice Brierre
as French Waiter (uncredited)
Frank Dae
as Professor (uncredited)
Fred Santley
as Yale Alumni
Creighton Hale
as Man in Theater (uncredited)
Almira Sessions
as Couple in Hospital Corridor
Eric Wilton
as English Officer
Ernest Golm
as Foreign Couple
Paul Gustine
as Men in Theater
Rebel Randall
as Chorus girl
View All

Critic Reviews for Night and Day

All Critics (6)

To demur that it let a few false notes get into Porter's life story is merely querulousness that will never enter the heads or the reactions of the multitudes who will enjoy it.

July 31, 2020 | Full Review…

a notorious example of the fantasizing Hollywood freely dealt to contemporary reality, but its strength comes from the use of close to two dozen Porter songs, so that the narrative, in which Porter is always too busy with his next Broadway show to spend q

June 15, 2007 | Rating: 4/5

More a series of musical numbers strung together with bits of drama than a truly thoughtful look at the life of one of America's greatest talents.

October 29, 2006 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Laughably sanitized biopic.

September 13, 2004 | Rating: 2/5

Audience Reviews for Night and Day

Typical Hollywood hard sell designed to keep you from thinking too long on the fact that you're actually getting very little. So there's oodles of scantily clad dancing girls in Technicolor (in typically extravagant, over-the-top MGM Busby Berkely inspired dance numbers - which ain't bad at all = one star), lotsa close-ups of Grant (one star), and of course those unforgettable Porter songs (the only real reason to see this), used even as background music when not being used as centerpieces (one star). Its very, very shiny, but that's all.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

Grant plays Cole Porter in this biography of his life. It features many of his hit songs too. If you're a fan of either Grant or Porter, you will enjoy this movie.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

Almost total fabrication of Cole Porter's life, but you can't beat the music and even though Cary Grant is unusually stiff in the title role the rest of the cast is fun, especially Jane Wyman in one of her last light hearted and blonde roles.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

Night and Day Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

News & Features