Tonight: Humphrey Bogart, Conrad Veidt, Kaaren Verne, Peter Lorre, Judith Anderson, Jane Darwell, William Demarest and Jackie Gleason and Phil Silvers in the 4 ½ star spy drama All Through The Night.
Tonight’s film was immediately after The Maltese Falcon.
Marlene Dietrich was originally mentioned as the female lead in a press release dated April 10, 1941.
A month later, on May 14, George Raft and Olivia DeHavilland were announced to star.
George Raft turned down the part, just as he had done with The Maltese Falcon.
Bogart was not announced until the film was about to begin production on August 14th.
Humphrey Bogart’s agent Sam Jaffe (not the doctor) wrote the studio at the start of production stating that Bogart “is unhappy about doing a role only because George Raft refused to do it.”
“I had a long discussion about All Through The Night with him, and I felt this would make a pretty fair picture, though he didn’t actually think so…
“You should bring this matter to the attention of Jack Warner and point out to him that a story should be prepared for which they have Bogart in mind and no other, because for the past two years he’s practically pinch-hit for Raft and been kicked around from pillar to post.”
Vincent Sherman was picked to direct.
Originally working as an actor in the 1930s, Sherman turned to screenwriting, and then directing, beginning with The Return of Dr. X in 1939, with Bogart in one of his most unusual roles.
Ingrid Bergman was considered for the female lead, but the role went to a relative newcomer Kaaren Verne. She had just played the lead in another Vincent Sherman anti-Nazi film, Underground.
During the making of tonight’s film, she fell in love with Peter Lorre, and later married him.
Conrad Veidt was borrowed by MGM to play the leader of the Nazi spy ring. He began his career in Germany in 1917 and came to international prominence in the silent classic The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919).
He fled Germany when the Nazis came to power, because his wife was Jewish.
Both Veidt and Lorre would co-star with Bogart in Casablanca a year after making tonight’s film.
A week before shooting, director Sherman received a phone call from Jack Warner. “Listen, Vince,” he began. “I’ve got two comics I want you to put in the picture.”
Sherman replied, “Mr. Warner, I already have all the comedians I need: Bill Demarest, Frank McHugh, Ed Brophy, Wally Ford. I don’t have parts for any more.”
“Well, make some parts,” Warner said. “I’m tired of paying these guys $250 a week to do nothing but sit on their ass.
“One’s a fat guy—a night club comic—Jackie Gleason. And the other is Phil Silvers—very funny. Talk to them.”
Sherman said, “Yes, sir.” And invited the two actors to “bring in some gags, and I’d try to fit them in.”
Gleason brought in a page of funny lines and Silvers submitted nine pages of jokes!
Warner Bros. was making the film The Man Who Came To Dinner with Monty Woolly and Bette Davis at the time.
The day Bogart met Gleason, he said, “You look like the man who came to dinner and ate the cast.”
Bogart was going through a difficult time while he was making this movie.
He and Sherman had a lot in common.
Bogart was unhappy in his marriage and both he and the director were underpaid and underappreciated.
They spent a lot of time together, reshaping and rewriting Bogart’s scenes—virtually every day, on every scene.
“Bogie had a good sense of what sounded right for him,” Sherman said.
The actor was irritable because he and his wife, Mayo Methot, were involved in a series of drunken brawls while the film was being shot.
One morning Bogart came in looking awful. Sherman asked what had happened.
“I came home last night,” Bogart said, “And the damn bitch locked me out. I had to sleep on the front lawn and nearly froze my ass off.”
Judith Anderson had a role in the film, and Peter Lorre liked to tease her on the set, as he had with Mary Astor during the making of The Maltese Falcon.
He got a big laugh out of the crew when he came out of Anderson’s dressing room pretending to zip up his fly. When she found out about it, she went after him with a hair brush.
Bogart shot an additional day on Maltese Falcon on September 11 before the completion of All Through The Night.
The picture was budgeted for $600,000.
It was edited by Rudi Fehr, who said, “It was budgeted at twice the amount allotted for Maltese Falcon. It was really a big budget ‘B’ but Bogart made it an ‘A.’”
The picture was previewed for the trades on December 1, 1941—six days before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.
It premiered in New York on January 23, 1942.
A spoof of espionage films, an ad line read: “Killer Bogart takes the Gestapo for a ride.”
Audiences loved the fact that tough guy Bogart, so associated with gangster roles in the 1930s, was now on our side!
The picture was a major hit—with a worldwide gross of $1,968,000, for a net profit of $708,000.
A 118% return on investment.
So now–from 1942–
All Through The Night.