History Is Made At Night (1937) - Rotten Tomatoes

History Is Made At Night1937

History Is Made At Night (1937)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

History Is Made At Night Photos

Movie Info

History is Made at Night has been described as a romantic tragedy, which it indeed is, up to a point. The film begins deceptively in screwball-comedy fashion with socialite Jean Arthur and handsome head waiter Charles Boyer "meeting cute." But there's nothing cute about Arthur's estranged husband, shipbuilder Colin Clive. Insanely jealous, Clive arranges for the ship on which his wife and her lover are travelling to hit an iceberg--then, aghast at what he has done, Clive commits suicide. As the ship lists dangerously close to sinking beneath the waves, the terrified passengers--Boyer and Arthur included--huddle on the deck. The fog-enshrouded scene in which Charles and Jean affirm their love in the face of death is among the most heartrending sequences ever filmed (the director was Frank Borzage, a past master at transforming potential maudlin material into high-gloss art). Even the happy ending of History is Made at Night does not diminish the power and poignancy of that shipboard scene.


Charles Boyer
as Paul Dumond
Jean Arthur
as Irene Vail
Colin Clive
as Bruce Vail
Lucien Prival
as Detective Witness
Georges Renavent
as Inspector Millard
George Davis
as Maestro
Adele St. Maur
as Hotel Maid
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Critic Reviews for History Is Made At Night

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (1)

History Is Made at Night is a patchwork quilt genre bender that stands as one of Frank Borzage's supreme achievements.

July 19, 2006 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

A go-for-broke approach to genre conventions imbues History is Made at Night with a sparkling infusion of "what comes next," making it feel more alive than most movies from the era.

November 29, 2021 | Full Review…

Borzage's gift is that he makes this bizarre, convoluted story somehow flow, while feeling totally natural and honest. The emotions felt in it are absolutely genuine, and it truly is a thing of beauty.

August 12, 2021 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Jean Arthur was a bright light of the screwball comedy genre...

June 28, 2021 | Full Review…

a wild and entertaining mis-mash of styles, tones, and genres, a kind of barely controlled chaos reflected in its production

June 21, 2021 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Something quietly enchanting, a guileless and wide-eyed paean to romance whose innocence never feels in any way cloying - it's just pure classical Hollywood magic.

May 13, 2021 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for History Is Made At Night

Charles Boyer and Jean Arthur share some nice chemistry in the standard love story that is not standard at all. Arthur is married unhappily to Colin Clive (yep, he of Frankenstein fame) and the reason for her unhappiness is as grownup as any I've seen in any movie ever. The film flickers meanwhile from screwball comedy to melodrama to disaster flick in the blink of an eye and, rather than distract, the method keeps one involved. Keep an eye out for this one, as is a classic.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer


what an odd film that covers every genre from romantic comedy to thriller to heavy melodrama to disaster film! the lovely jean arthur has great chemistry with her dashing leading man charles boyer, but their love is thwarted by her dastardly, and psychotically jealous, ex-husband colin clive. the original dr frankenstein died shortly after this film was completed

Stella Dallas
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer


This is a very interesting movie because it combines so many different elements of different genres, but it gets to be too much, and I really didn't like the ending.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

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