Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

4.7 11
Director: Clint Eastwood

Cast: Clint Eastwood, Kevin Spacey, John Cusack, Jack Thompson

     
 

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Clint Eastwood directed this adaptation of John Berendt's non-fiction best-seller about a Savannah, Georgia, murder case. When this film was released, Berendt's book had been on best-seller lists for four years. As the film begins, New York journalist John Kelso (John Cusack), alter ego of author Berendt, arrives in Savannah to do a brief Town and Country article on

Overview

Clint Eastwood directed this adaptation of John Berendt's non-fiction best-seller about a Savannah, Georgia, murder case. When this film was released, Berendt's book had been on best-seller lists for four years. As the film begins, New York journalist John Kelso (John Cusack), alter ego of author Berendt, arrives in Savannah to do a brief Town and Country article on the annual Christmas party given by sophisticated, urbane antique dealer Jim Williams (Kevin Spacey), who restored many mansions in Savannah, including the famed Mercer House where he lives. After the party, Williams kills his rude, violent lover Billy Hanson (Jude Law), explaining it as a necessary act of self-defense. Kelso decides to stay in Savannah to cover the trial, encountering a variety of colorful locals, eccentric and otherwise, including black transvestite nightclub performer Lady Chablis (appearing as herself), financially challenged bon vivant Joe Odom (Paul Hipp), vocalist Mandy Nichols (Alison Eastwood), voodoo priestess Minerva (Irma P. Hall), and Williams's deceptively powerful defense attorney Sonny Seiler (Australian actor Jack Thompson with a very convincing Southern accent). Kelso develops a romantic interest in Mandy while tracking the events that led up to the killing.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Clint Eastwood re-affirmed his directorial talents with this adept, atmospheric portrait of Savannah, GA based on John Berendt's wildly popular non-fiction bestseller. Eastwood wonderfully captures the pervasive feel of the Southern city's idiosyncratic subculture: The Savannah of Midnight is a world in which the everyday and the bizarre are one and the same. The film itself has a similar Southern drawl, unhurried and rich with suggestion. Kevin Spacey plays the potentially-murderous Jim Williams such that the character becomes a metaphor for the internally-conflicted South. John Cusack is reliably likeable, though the film's dependence on his character to move the plot along is one of its chief weaknesses. A couple of factors may have harmed Midnight's success at the box office: its laid-back, 155-minute running time is a bit long for most attention spans; and Eastwood took on the near-impossible task of visualizing a story that had already been realized in the heads of millions of readers. Still, the film remains a wonderful snapshot of an original, completely American slice of life.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/01/2010
UPC:
0883929107711
Original Release:
1997
Rating:
R
Source:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Full Frame, Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
2:35:00
Sales rank:
510

Special Features

The Real People in the Garden: Comprehensive interactive tour of Savannah with historical notes and interviews with the people depicted in the book and the movie; Theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Kevin Spacey Jim Williams
John Cusack John Kelso
Jack Thompson Sonny Seiler
Lady Chablis herself
Alison Eastwood Mandy Nichols
Irma P. Hall Minerva
Paul Hipp Joe Odom
Jude Law Billy Hanson
Dorothy Loudon Serena Dawes
Anne Haney Margaret Williams
Kim Hunter Betty Harty
Geoffrey Lewis Luther Driggers
Shannon Eubanks Mrs. Hamilton
Rhoda Griffis Card Club Woman #2

Technical Credits
Clint Eastwood Director,Producer
John Berendt Source Author
James Murakami Art Director
Jack Gammon Taylor Art Director
Michael Maurer Associate Producer
Robert Lorenz Asst. Director
Phyllis Huffman Casting
Jack N. Green Cinematographer
Tom Rooker Co-producer
Joel Cox Editor
Anita Zuckerman Executive Producer
Arnold Stiefel Producer
Henry Bumstead Production Designer
Lennie Niehaus Score Composer
John Lee Hancock Screenwriter
John H. Anderson Set Decoration/Design
Richard C. Goddard Set Decoration/Design
Willie D. Burton Sound/Sound Designer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
1. "Skylark" [1:40]
2. Welcome/Savannah [3:34]
3. Walking the Dogs [4:17]
4. Enjoy Not Knowing [2:05]
5. On Edge of a Party [6:10]
6. Eye/Framing Things [1:54]
7. Armed Partygoers [4:48]
8. Colorful Character [4:58]
9. No Coincidences [2:08]
10. New York Is Boring [4:32]
11. Characters in Book? [3:22]
12. The Lady Chablis [6:53]
13. Luther Not Eating [3:11]
14. Good and Evil [8:28]
15. The Right Flower [1:33]
16. Doll's White Boy [4:47]
17. Btwn Jim & Billy [4:00]
18. The Dog Pound [1:51]
19. A Good Time.... [5:17]
20. Time for a Kiss [4:41]
21. All the Nuts [2:04]
22. Opening Statements [4:57]
23. Boone Coup/Grace [3:31]
24. Seiler Coup/Grace [:49]
25. Tucker Testimony [6:01]
26. The Lady Wants In [2:09]
27. Belle of the Ball [3:21]
28. Disturb the Peace [2:21]
29. Coming-Out Party [3:20]
30. All Else Pure Lady [1:22]
31. Get Under Control [2:58]
32. Not From Me [2:10]
33. Mission to Morgue [6:21]
34. A Confession [3:55]
35. Jimbo's Got 'Em [3:19]
36. Horrible Events [3:01]
37. You Be the Judge [3:50]
38. The Verdict [2:38]
39. Quarrel With Dead [3:19]
40. Eye of Beholder [2:29]
41. Dead Men's Eyes [1:56]
42. Picnic for Lovers [2:41]
43. Watch Over Dead [5:54]

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Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
SueMIL More than 1 year ago
I loved this movie when it first came out. Had read the book first & the movie followed closely. Shortly after seeing the movie I vacationed in Savannah & took one of the tours where we were shown all the locations & got more information about the real life characters. I've watched the movie 3 or 4 times since.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
The first time that I saw the movie was on tv a couple of years ago. I thought I would hate it but after about 15 minutes, I was hooked, it keeps you guessing as to what really happened. Overall it was a great movie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Leaves you wanting to know more about the intricate characters and their way of life after Jim Williams. A must see.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Saw it at the movies;purchased 2 copies. Excellent directing;acting;and casting. You wish you had made the list for the Christmas party!!
J-Mac More than 1 year ago
One of my favorite movies that not too many people know about. It is a movie I have re-watched and stands apart from so many others, but if your looking for something to compare it too- try Secret Window with Johnny Depp. It is truly one of the greatest movies I have ever watched.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Each character lingers in your memory like the frangrance of lilacs wafting through the soft summer evening. You want it to go on forever!