Review: The Night of the Following Day
Blu-ray: The Night of the Following Day (1969)
Based on the novel The Snatchers by Lionel White, The Night of the Following Day was originally slated for Stanley Kubrick, but the director dropped the project due to rules about depicting kidnapping on screen in the early sixties.
By 1969 these rules had gone and director Hubert Cornfield began filming. Starring Marlon Brando as part of a criminal gang consisting of Chauffeur (Brando), Blonde (Rita Moreno), Leer (Richard Boone) and Friendly (Jess Hahn) who kidnap the daughter (Pamela Franklin) of a wealthy businessman at a French airport before taking her to a remote seaside house in Brittany to wait out a few days until her dad coughs up the dosh.
It has a slight ‘Euro’ feel to it, and Brando has never looked more handsome (he was quite distracting), it is quite something to see him in his prime.
It’s slow paced, concentrating more on the disintegration of the gang than the actual deed (Franklin spends all her time locked in a bedroom), and the choice of Moreno as the ‘moll’ is a weird one, only because I’m so used to her as Anita in West Side Story, but to be fair she’s actually very good in this as Friendly’s drug addict sister and Brando’s girlfriend.
Boone as Leer is the oddbod, turning out to be a possible rapist and sexual sadist, he wants to abuse the kidnapped girl and run away with the money, culminating in one of the oddest endings to a film ever (I won’t spoil it, but if you don’t wonder how one character enters the water unseen, you haven’t been paying attention).
Not a great film, and a very 1960s swinging sot of euro crime, but definitely worth a watch for Brando alone. It had a troubled shoot too, with Boone taking over director duties when the star refused to work with the director…just one of the insightful pieces of information to be found in the special features.
- High Definition remaster
- Original mono audio
- Audio commentary with director Hubert Cornfield (2004)
- Rita Moreno in Conversation (2013, 63 mins): archival video interview with the actor and singer in conversation with Matthew Sweet, recorded at BFI Southbank, London
- Dangerous to Know (2023, 20 mins): author and film historian Neil Sinyard examines the film’s offbeat qualities
- Original theatrical trailer
- Joe Dante trailer commentary (2013, 4 mins): short critical appreciation
- Image gallery: promotional and publicity material
- New and improved English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
- Limited edition exclusive 36-page booklet featuring a new essay by Jeff Billington, archival interviews with Marlon Brando and Hubert Cornfield, an overview of contemporary critical responses, and full film credits
- UK premiere on Blu-ray
- Limited edition of 3,000 copies for the UK
Release date: 27th February 2023.
Review by Tina from a disc kindly supplied by Powerhouse Films.