Night in Paradise
|Night in Paradise|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Arthur Lubin|
|Produced by||Walter Wanger|
|Written by||Ernest Pascal|
|Based on||the novel, The Peacock's Feather |
by George S. Hellman
|Cinematography||W. Howard Greene|
|Edited by||Milton Carruth|
Walter Wanger Productions
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
In 560 BC King Croesus of Lydia incurs the wrath of the sorceress Queen Attossa he had promised to marry, when he chooses the beautiful Delarai of Persia instead. Attossa, in disembodied form, mocks Croesus nearly to the point of madness, so he seeks a solution from the fortune-teller Aesop, who is very young and handsome, but believes that people only receive wisdom with age, arrived from the Isle of Samos in disguise of an old man with a hunch, a limp, and a cane. But Aesop also has eyes for Delarai.
This expensive, lavish Technicolor production of plaster Grecian temples and painted skies was Wanger's second attempt to film the novel, and ended up costing $1.6 million and losing Universal some $800,000. One source describes it as a kitschy "Maria Montez vehicle without Maria Montez". (The correct title is Night in Paradise, not "A Night in Paradise" as some sources have it.)
In 560 BC King Croesus of Lydia incurs the wrath of the sorceress Queen Attossa he had promised to marry, when he chooses the beautiful Delarai of Persia instead. Attossa, in disembodied form, mocks Croesus nearly to the point of madness, so he seeks a solution from the fortune-teller Aesop, who is very young and handsome, but believes that people only receive wisdom with age, arrived from the Isle of Samos in disguise of an old man with a hunch, a limp, and a cane. But Aesop also has eyes for Delarai. One day, Delarai invites Aesop to interpret a charm. As he does, he goes as his young self but with a different name, Jason. Delarai doesn't know at first, but as she sees the same scar on Jason's hand as Aesop's hand, she knows, and reveals that a hunch and a limp may be faked, but a scar remains a scar, and they fall in love with each other, but Atossa and the people in the palace suspect something is going on with Aesop and Delarai. Croesus wanted the Oracle to tell him the truth and sends Aesop to retrieve it. As Aesop is packing, Delarai talks him out of it but fails. Aesop goes anyway, and Delarai cries herself to sleep. Aesop does go fetch it from a priest, but the priest refuses, saying his life is valuable. Aesop claims that if a priest's words do not mean anything, then his life means less and strangles him. He takes the priest's clothes and hides his face in the hood. Delarai comes to the temple, wanting to seek for Aesop, but before she could say anything, Aesop reveals his young face slightly, and Delarai breaks out a smile. As the security guards see her smile, they unmask Aesop, and Aesop and Delarai run hand in hand. They are forced to jump off a cliff. They jump in each other arms, and Attosa reveals her image at sea, saying that Aesop and Delarai actually survived because of their faith, their love, and a little help from Attosa. They live in a small cottage with a lake and a garden. Delarai is mending and Aesop's hand around on her shoulder, 12 boys come out saying "daddy!" which reveals that they got married and have children. "Another fable to bed?" asks the eldest son. Aesop replies "not tonight, tonight is mommy's night." Delarai and Aesop smile and they have a family hug.
- Merle Oberon as Delarai
- Turhan Bey as Aesop
- Thomas Gomez as King Croesus
- Gale Sondergaard as Attosa
- Ray Collins as Leonides
- Ernest Truex as Scribe
- George Dolenz as Frigid Ambassador
- John Litel as Archon
- Jerome Cowan as Scribe
- Douglass Dumbrille as High Priest
- Paul Cavanagh as Cleomenes
- Marvin Miller as Scribe
- Moroni Olsen as High Priest
- Richard Bailey as Lieutenant
- William 'Wee Willie' Davis as Salabaar
- unbilled players include Julie London
- unbilled singer Juli Lynne Charlot Opening title song
The film was announced in 1944 with Bey attached from the beginning. Louise Albritton was to star as well.
The film recorded a loss of $790,711.
- Matthew Bernstein, Walter Wagner: Hollywood Independent, Minnesota Press, 2000 p442
- Universal horrors: the studio's classic films, 1931-1946, by Tom Weaver, Michael Brunas, John Brunas, page 532
- SCREEN NEWS HERE AND IN HOLLYWOOD: Louise Allbritton, Turhan Bey to Co-Star for Universal New York Times 9 June 1944: 20.