Joe Dante on

The Horn Blows At Midnight

Released 1945
Distributor Warner Bros.

Jack Benny used this film’s disappointing box office as a long-running gag but that shouldn’t keep fans (or even non-fans) from seeking it out, it’s a real curio. Supposedly a jaunty comic-fantasy, Raoul Walsh’s 1945 film carries an undeniably dark undertone as musician Benny dreams he’s an angel of doom whose trumpet will signal the end of the world… a barrel of laughs, right? Not that you could tell from this low-information trailer. The brilliant composer Franz Waxman (Bride of FrankensteinSunset Boulevard) provided the score. Benny reprised his angelic role on a restaging for NBC’s Omnibus in 1953.

About Joe Dante

Joe Dante is a lifelong film buff who turned his obsession into a career. He got his start cutting trailers for Roger Corman and later directed the hit movie Gremlins, as well as Gremlins 2: The New Batch, Innerspace and Small Soldiers for producer Steven Spielberg. His feature films include The Howling, Piranha, Matinee, The ‘burbs , Looney Tunes Back in Action, The Hole (first winner of the 3D Persol Award at the Venice Film Festival) and the zom-com Burying the Ex. His TV directing work includes: Police Squad, Amazing Stories, the HBO film The Second Civil War, the Masters of Horror titles Homecoming and The Screwfly Solution, and episodes of Eerie, Indiana, CSI: NY, Hawaii 5-0, Witches of East End, Legends of Tomorrow and Salem. His latest big screen credit is an episode of the upcoming Nightmare Cinema.