This is going to make me sound like some kind of sentimental or undisciplined sap, but the night before last I watched an HD Amazon stream of All Through The Night (’42), and I kind of loved it — fun performances (Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre, Conrad Veidt, Jane Darwell and a 25 year-old Jackie Gleason), great-looking, punchy, swiftly paced.
It’s a thoroughly lightweight, second-tier, studio-lot Warner Bros. comedy-thriller about a gang of Manhattan wiseguy gamblers vs. a team of Nazi saboteurs, and it really moves along — runs 107 minutes, feels like 80 or 85. And the Damon Runyon-esque dialogue (“Catch ’em with their panzers down”) really zips along. The writers are Leonard Spigelgass and Edwin Gilbert.
Produced by Hal Wallis and Jerry Wald and completely lacking in substance**, All Through The Night is the kind of par-for-the-course programmer that the studios used to crank out like sausage. But it’s surprisingly smooth and winning…a dopey goof-off flick but very well done for what it is, and stocked with Warner Bros. contract players, and extra enjoyable now because the 1080p resolution is so clean and sharp.
And the spiffy, smooth-sailing Bogart, wearing his Maltese Falcon toupee, looks and sounds great — he’s having fun and doesn’t give a shit. Ditto William Demarest, Judith Anderson, Phil Silvers, Barton MacLane, Kaaren Verne, etc.
** Except for feelings of anti-Nazi wariness and upcranking native patriotism.