Midnight Mary is the 1933 pre-code drama directed by William A. Wellman. Mary Martin is on trial for murder. She had a hard life until she meets Leo, a gangster. However, when she tires of gang life, she tries to find an honest job and fails. She then goes back to Leo until she meets lawyer Tom Manning; whom she falls in love. Mary gets a job and things seem to run smoothly. However, when a robbery threatens Tom’s job, she gives herself up to the police and goes back to Leo after she is released from jail. Tom gets married, but still has feelings for Mary. Leo realizes this and plans to kill him. Instead, it is Mary who kills Leo. What will be Mary’s ultimate fate?
This is a melodrama with a little bit of social commentary. It’s implied that if there were more jobs available, Mary wouldn’t have had to become a criminal. It does give the melodrama an edge since the Great Depression was happening at the time. The characters are three dimensional, while Leo is jealous and a criminal, he is nice to Mary. In fact, when she returns, they actually celebrate. The movie is also not afraid to show the consequences. When Tom decides to return to Mary, his wife divorces him. Although for a pre-code film, it’s not shocking. Honolulu film fans should rent this film first.
More at: Tricia’s Retro Film Reviews
Buy Midnight Mary at Amazon.com