Monday 19 February 2024

CINEMA REBORN 2024 - OPENING PROGRAM - MIDNIGHT (Mitchell Leisen, USA, 1939) World Premiere of 4K Restoration by Universal Pictures

Claudette Colbert, Midnight


Cinema Reborn 2024 will open its forthcoming Sydney and Melbourne seasons with the World Premiere of the 4K restoration of one of the greatest screwball comedies of the 1930s, MIDNIGHT, made in 1939, directed by Mitchell Leisen, from a laceratingly funny script by Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett and starring Claudette Colbert, Don Ameche, John Barrymore, Francis Lederer and Mary Astor. 


MIDNIGHT will screen at 7.00 pm on Wednesday 1 May at the Randwick Ritz in Sydney and at 7.00 pm on Thursday 9 May at the Hawthorn Lido in Melbourne


Cinema Reborn is proud to have been entrusted with the very first screenings of the new restoration and gives special thanks to Universal Pictures.

John Barrymore, Claudette Colbert, Midnight


Universal Pictures has been a longtime friend and supporter of Cinema Reborn and in the past has brought such titles as RUGGLES OF RED GAP, TROUBLE IN PARADISE, CRISS CROSS and DESTRY RIDES AGAIN to Cinema Reborn audiences. As Universal Pictures’ Managing Director Mike Baard acknowledges: Cinema Reborn has become a most welcome annual celebration of some of the finest works in cinema history. The Festival’s mission is of utmost importance, helping showcase the latest restoration efforts thereby allowing audiences to appreciate them anew and keep their legacy alive. Universal Pictures is thrilled to partner with Cinema Reborn to present the World Premiere of the 4K restoration of director Mitchell Leisen’s Midnight, from a script by the legendary Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett. This film is part of our Studio’s on-going film restoration program making classic titles in our 100+ year old library available for today’s audiences for enjoy”


Back in 1939 MIDNIGHT was an immediate hit. Frank S Nugent in the New York Times called it:  One of the liveliest, gayest, wittiest and naughtiest comedies of a long hard season. Its direction, by Mitchell Leisen, is strikingly reminiscent of that of the old Lubitsch…it’s really too daffy to be synopsized. You’ll have to take our word for it that it’s fun…Pictures like Midnight should strike more often.” – 


Wilder and Brackett’s script takes aim at European aristocrats, fashion trends and the ostentatious rich while exploring the frictions between wealth and love. Claudette Colbert plays an unemployed, gold-digging American showgirl stranded in a Parisian rainstorm, when she meets an amorous Hungarian taxi-driver (Don Ameche). Gate-crashing a party held by a socialite (Hedda Hopper), she meets a wealthy industrialist (John Barrymore) who hires her to pose as an American wife married to a Hungarian Baron. …


Claudette Colbert, John Barrymore, Midnight

Cinema Reborn is being presented in both Sydney and Melbourne in 2024. This will be its first Melbourne screening. In Sydney the film will be introduced by the President of the Film Critics’ Circle of Australia CJ Johnson and in Melbourne the screening will follow an introduction by critic Keva York who contributes to ABC Online and publications such as the Metrograph Journal, Reverse Shot, Screen Slate, and MUBI Notebook.


The Original Trailer


Bookings for the Opening screenings in Sydney and Melbourne are now open and may be made direct through these links to the  Ritz website or the  Lido website


Restoration Details

For this restoration, Universal Pictures primarily used a 35mm nitrate comp fine grain. The picture element was dry gate scanned in 4K on an ARRI film scanner for a 4K workflow. Universal applied digital processes to improve flicker and stability, address diagonal streaking issues, and clean up film damage, dirt, scratches, and stains. Audio was restored from the 35mm comp fine grain. Digital audio restoration tools were applied to reduce optical anomalies, noise floor, hum, rumble, and sibilance where possible. Restoration services conducted by NBCUniversal StudioPost.

Francis Lederer, Mary Astor, Midnight

 (from the original on set still camera) available on request to


For further information


Geoff Gardner

0416 912567

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