Broadway gambler Gloves Donahue wants to find who killed the baker of his favorite cheesecake. He sees nightclub singer Leda Hamilton leaving the bakery. When her boss Marty\'s partner Joe is murdered, Leda and her accompanist Pepi disappear. It turns out that beneath all the mystery is a gang of Nazi operatives planning to blow up a battleship in New York harbor.
Humphrey Bogart ... Mr. Alfred \'Gloves\' Donahue
Conrad Veidt ... Franz Ebbing
Kaaren Verne ... Miss Leda Hamilton
Jane Darwell ... \'Ma\' Donahue
Frank McHugh ... Barney, Gloves\' chauffeur
Peter Lorre ... Pepi, the piano player
Judith Anderson ... Madame, at Continental Art Gallery
William Demarest ... Sunshine
Jackie Gleason ... Starchy (as Jackie C. Gleason)
Phil Silvers ... Louie, at Charlie\'s restaurant
Wallace Ford ... Spats Hunter, Gloves\' lawyer (as Wally Ford)
Barton MacLane ... Marty Callahan, Duchess Club owner
Edward Brophy ... Joe Denning, Callahan\'s partner
Martin Kosleck ... Steindorff, at meeting of spies
When I was a kid a local station had a package of films from the 30\'s and 40\'s it would run constantly. My young friends and I developed 6-8 favorites we would all congregate together to watch- everything in the neighborhood stopped for Errol Flynn, (Charge of the Light Brigade, The Sea Hawk, Santa Fe Trail, They Died With Their Boots On, Gentleman Jim, Objective Burma), or Abbott and Costello, (Buck Privates, A&C meet Et Al). The one Humphrey Bogart feature that I remember from this package is All Through the Night. I saw him in this years before Casablanca, The Maltese Falcon and the many other classics he was in.
I got my first chance to look at it in perhaps 40 years recently. It\'s a strange film in many ways, but still entertaining and a significant part of the Bogart film legacy even if it\'s far from a classic. We think the great stars just went from one classic to another because that\'s all we see but just as with modern stars, they made many movies like this between them that also rely on their appeal and mostly fulfill their assignment of entertaining the viewer. Those films should not be forgotten.
This film suffered from ill timing, taking a semi-comic spin on the Nazi threat only to be released just after Pearl Harbor. It must have been about as funny under those circumstances as Ishtar would have been on September 12th. As so many reviewers have commented it unites the Bowery Boys strain of humor, (by way of Damon Runyan) with a Fifth column plot such as we see in the same year\'s Saboteur, (both films make reference to the burning of the Normadie without actually naming it and say their set of villains was responsible). The Nazis seems to have seen Bogart\'s previous gangster flicks and consider him a dangerous criminal, (You\'re just like us…), but the film takes pains to depict him only as a gambler whose biggest vice is that he doesn\'t mind liberating out of town gamblers from their bankrolls with a crooked deck. He credits his skill with firearms to days he spent at Coney Island.
One interesting aspect is the reference to the Dachau concentration camp. I had thought the concentration camps were just rumored until they were liberated after the war. Maybe their true nature was not known until then. The heroine\'s father is supposed to have died of \'natural causes\' there, if that\'s possible in such an unnatural place. This is surely the only time Dachau was ever mentioned in a film with any kind of comedic element.
The film is a mother lode of noted character actors and soon to be famous comics, including these future TV icons, Jackie \'C\' Gleason and Phil Silvers. It has the pace of a \'B\' but the length of and \'A\' film. Towards the end you can\'t believe how much has happened and presume the film must have lasted 3 hours. Some of the dialog is corny but most of it is funny. Frank McHugh gets stuck on his wedding night hanging out with William Demarest and complains about it. Bill tells him \'I can cook!\' Maybe he was looking forward to cooking for the Douglases on My Three Sons.
I was pleased to see how many reviewers noted the similarities in the plot of this and North by Northwest, with the auction scene and the police being led to the headquarters of the fifth columnists only to find nothing of interest. Always borrow from the best- or at least the pretty good, such as this.
Vincent Sherman\'s \"All Through the Night\" has a feeling of a B picture, although probably was not intended to be that way. This 1942 Warner Bros. film is much more enjoyable than we suspected, because even though the film was supposed to tackle a serious problem, it has a lot of fun moments that make the film much lighter in tone than perhaps the film makers intended.
At the center of the story we find \'Gloves\' Donahue, a small time gangster and his crew. They are a fun group that are drawn into an international spy story right in their own backyard. Ma Donahue comes to ask her son\'s assistance in trying to solve the murder of her baker neighbor, and the fun and games begin in full force.
There are a lot of good moments in the film, but it is dominated by Humphrey Bogart who runs away with the picture. His crew is also a great asset to the film, Frank McHugh, a fantastic actor, no matter in what picture is excellent, as well as William Demarest, one of the best character actors in the movies of that era. A much slender Jackie Gleason puts in an appearance as Starchy, a member of Donahue\'s team.
The heavies are amazing. Conrad Veidt is wonderful as the Nazi spy trying to blow up a ship in New York\'s harbor. Mr. Veidt was such an elegant figure in everything he did. Judith Anderson is seen as the mysterious assistant to Mr. Veidt\'s character. Ms. Anderson had a way about her that she dominates the scenes in which she appears. Peter Lorre does a lot with his small piano player, Pepi.
The film never ceases to entertain. Thanks to Mr. Humphrey and the wonderful cast assembled for the movie, it will not disappoint anyone with an open eye for a lighter take on a serious matter.
I have to start this review by mentioning that I saw this Bogart film before \"Casablanca\", \"The Maltese Falcon\", and \"The African Queen\". I was just a teenager, and boy did I love this film! I waited years to be able to see it again, and it continued to remain among my favorites. When it came out on video, I bought a copy, and watched it several times a year just to see why I enjoyed it so much. Although it has been a while since I have watched it, I wanted to re-visit an old favorite by giving it my review.
Gloves Donahue (Humphrey Bogart) is about as interested in World War II as Scarlett O\'Hara was in the Big Apple. He finds more contentment eating his favorite Papa Miller\'s cheesecake (and will eat no facsimille!) or going to the race track or ballgame. So when the baker who makes his favorite cheesecake mysteriously turns up dead, Gloves is naturally upset, and does all he can to a.) find the secret cheesecake recipe; b.) woo his widow; or c.) find the killer.
If you said \"C\", then you were right, but the tongue-in-cheek wisecrack remarks of \"A\" and \"B\" are keeping within the theme of this light-hearted World War II propoganda film. Gloves eventually discovers that Miller was involved with a group of Fifth Columnist spies (against his will), and sets out to break them up, much to his own suprise. Yes, his crew is an over-aged group of Bowery Boys (played comically by William Demarest, Frank McHugh, Jackie Gleason, and Phil Silvers), and yes, the villains are much like the ones the overripe Bowery Boys used to face in their movies. (In fact, the Bowery Boys had plotlines during World War II very similar to this movie...)
The Nazis are a nasty bunch of seemingly civilized creatures. Conrad Veidt, General Strasser of \"Casablanca\", is the epitome of dashing villainy as the head of the Nazi Ring who hides behind the innocent appearance of an Auction shop owner. Peter Lorre, also from \"Casablanca\", is the evil Pepe, who we see early on doing the nasty deed to poor Mr. Miller (Ludwig Stossel, also in \"Casablanca\"). To civilize his murderous character, Lorre\'s Pepe is seen as the piano player in a nightclub. The wonderful (Dame) Judith Anderson, seen two years earlier as the evil housekeeper Mrs. Danvers in \"Rebecca\", is all in black here again, but with sequins and a touch of glamour added to her role as Veidt\'s obvious mistress. While she has fewer scenes than Veidt or Lorre, Anderson adds subtle touches to her character through her unspoken love for Veidt that makes the viewer feel sympathetic to her character.
The heroine, Leda Hamilton, is played by Kaaren Verne, the real-life wife of Peter Lorre off-screen. Here, Verne can\'t stand Pepe, who obviously lusts after her. Verne is first seen after Miller\'s murder visiting him, then disappearing before Gloves can question her. Gloves\' nosy mother (played by the wonderful Jane Darwell), who informed Gloves about Miller\'s disappearance in the first place, later locates Leda in a nightclub, causing a disturbance with the nightclub\'s owners (Barton MacLane and Edward Brophy). When Brophy is shot by Pepe, he lives long enough to give Gloves a sign that will ultimately reveal what is going on.
The film moves at such a fast pace that to go through every scene would take away a lot of the excitement, and take a lot of space. We\'ll just stop with the synopsis here and say that this film moves like lightning. While longer than most \"B\" films of this nature (100 minutes), \"All Through the Night\" moves just as quickly, and is ultimately more entertaining. The writers spent more time with character developement, but that doesn\'t slow down this film one bit. Every character who crosses Glove\'s path has a chance to reveal a thing or two about them which makes them more than just one-dimentional villains or comic relief. Even flighty McHugh gets his chance with a minor secondary plot involving his girl.
During World War II, there were many anti-Nazi dramas and comedies, and \"All Through the Night\" stands out as a unique one in the sense that it takes place in our own back yard. Released just two months after Pearl Harbor, \"All Through the Night\" served its purpose in bringing the idea of spies in our neighborhoods to the forefront of the public\'s mind. I\'m sure many people in the audience upon seeing this film looked at the person sitting next to them in the darkened theater, and wondering, \"Is this person really a Nazi Spy?\"
# Some cast members in studio records/casting call lists did not appear or were not identifiable in the movie. These were (with their character names, if any): Vera Lewis (Mrs. Fogerty), Creighton Hale (Waiter) and Stuart Holmes.
# George Raft and Olivia de Havilland were originally assigned to the film in 1941, but Raft turned the role down. As with High Sierra (1941) and The Maltese Falcon (1941), Humphrey Bogart benefited from Raft\'s refusals.