Tonight or Never | Milestone Films
Tonight or Never

Tonight or Never

 

Tonight or Never tells the story of Nella Vago (Gloria Swanson), an opera singer about to make her Venice debut. While the audiences love her, Nella's voice teacher tell her that she will never have the soul of a true artist until she experiences real passion. Nella is soon distracted by a romantic anonymous admirer who paces the courtyard outside her window each night. Unfortunately, her would-be suitor also seems to be a gigolo keeping company with an elderly Marchessa (Alison Skipworth) with a notorious past. When the lovely diva "accidentally" finds her way to the Marchessa's apartment one evening, her mysterious suitor insists that it is "Tonight or Never!" Needless to say, her next performance is sublime.

After middling success in her first two talkies, Samuel Goldwyn promised Gloria Swanson a lavish production to renew her career. Tonight or Never was based on the successful stage comedy starring Melvyn Douglas and his new bride, Helen Gahagan. Douglas reprised his role while Swanson took over as the female lead. Swanson was sent to Paris for two months to have her gowns for the film personally designed and fitted by Coco Chanel. Swanson affects a perfect knowing yet innocent portrayal and her early years studying opera singing proved valuable to the role. Melvyn Douglas, in his feature debut (though Swanson was only four years older than Douglas, she had already appeared in forty features over the past sixteen years!) more than holds his own with the legendary actress. Mervyn Leroy (Little Caesar and Waterloo Bridge) was borrowed from Warner Brothers to direct the film. Skilled at various genres, Leroy enlisted the help of scriptwriter Ernest Vajda, who wrote many of Lubitsch's best films. This witty comedy features subtle and not-so-subtle sexual innuendo - a staple of pre-Code Hollywood Cinematographer Gregg Toland (ten years before Citizen Kane) added his own visual signature - complex and ingenious deep-focus shots add to the film's luster. Tonight or Never is a fun, dazzling film from Hollywood's Golden Age.

There are a limited number of DVDs left for sale (fewer than 50 total), so order soon!

Also available in 35mm prints for theatrical and nontheatrical screenings. Contact Milestone for price and availability!

This DVD is also available for Institutional Purchase, which includes public performance rights and a 3-year streaming license. Please click on the “Format” button and select “DVD Institutional Rate.”



Type: DVD

Vendor: Milestone Films


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