Thursday, March 28, 2013

After Tonight (1933).

After Tonight (1933). World War I spy film directed by George Archainbaud. The studio considered firing Bennett after the film lost $100,000 at the box office. Cast:  Constance Bennett, Gilbert Roland , Edward Ellis, Sam Godfrey, Lucien Prival, Mischa Auer. Bennett sings and does a fan dance! She and Roland later married in real life.

The start of World War I, Carla is befriended by German officer Rudolph Ritter, who seems smitten with her, at the train station while buying a ticket to Vienna.

After the over crowed train drops them at the Austrian border and while her new friend is looking for a car, Carla, kisses him good by and leaves without explanation.

In Vienna, Rudolph's job is to break into a Russian spy ring, unaware that Carla, who is actually Russian, is passing and receiving messages in fake coins under the code name K-14 while posing as a cabaret singer dressed in feathers.

After Carla is searched and almost caught with a message during a performance, she is reassigned to a seamstress' shop. When her fellow spy is shot and killed and her cover is exposed, she flees Vienna one step ahead of Rudolph and becomes a nurse at a German military hospital under new orders. She holds up well while the war is going on right outside the hospitals doors.

Later, one of Carla's messages, which she has written in invisible ink in a book, is intercepted by Rudolph as it is being passed from one agent to another.

Rudolph, travels to a German post and makes a promise that he will catch what is claimed to be the most intelligent spy so far.

They meet again and against her better judgment, they dine and dance and under the moonlight, Carla falls in love with her enemy. He finds evidence implicating her as the spy, after she is arrested while having her hair washed. Rudolph, is reluctant to admit that she is K-14. Forced by his sense of duty, Rudolph traps Carla by passing her a phony order, in the ear of a patient sent to the hospital, to meet a contact in a deserted cottage.

Finally caught by Rudolph, who was hoping something to happen to him to protect Carla, so he would not have to arrest her. As they are leaving, she is rescued by another spy dressed as a gypsy, who shoots and wounds Rudolph during the escape.

After the war is over, Rudolph and Carla meet again at a crowded Swiss train station after two years and are happy to find each other still alive.. they fall into each other's arms.

The film is very well made and the films fast pace, will hold your interest until the very end. The theme song of the film, which Bennett sings, is very sweet. This film may remind you of another spy film, Garbo's MATA HARI.

Virginia Weidler (March 21, 1927 – July 1, 1968) was a child actress, popular in Hollywood films during the 1930s and 1940s. Virginia Weidler made her first film appearance in 1933. Over the next few years, she was cast in minor roles for RKO and Paramount Pictures.

Neither studio made more extensive use of her and when Paramount did not extend her contract, she was signed by MGM in 1938. Her first film for MGM was with their leading male star Mickey Rooney in Love Is a Headache (1938). The film was a success and Weidler was now cast in larger roles, most often as precocious tom-boys.

She was one of the all-female cast of the 1939 film The Women, as Norma Shearer's daughter.

Her next major success was The Philadelphia Story (1940) in which she played Dinah Lord, the witty younger sister of Tracy Lord (Katharine Hepburn).

As a teenager she was less popular with audiences. After a string of box-office disappointments, her film career ended with the 1943 film Best Foot Forward.

At her retirement by age 17, she had appeared in more than forty films, and had acted with some of the biggest stars day: Clark Gable and Myrna Loy in Too Hot to Handle, Bette Davis in All This and Heaven Too and Judy Garland in Babes on Broadway.

 On March 27, 1947, Weidler married Lionel Krisel. They had two sons, Ronnie and Gary. Her older brother, saxophonist George Weidler (01/11/1926 – 12/27/1989) was married to Doris Day from March 1946 to May 1949.

Weidler refused to be interviewed for the remainder of her life, living in private. She remained married to Krisel until her death on July 1, 1968 when she suffered a heart attack in Los Angeles at age 41.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your writeup on this film and for mentioning Virginia Weidler since she has but a small walk on part. For years the Weidler bio included the publicity buildup that she got that job due to her extensive knowledge of languages at age 6, but her scene shows no evidence that it was actually required.

    We talk Ginny everyday at:


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