I just watched The Horn Blows at Midnight
. Indeed it wasn't as bad as Jack Benny always joked about it being. It's rather silly, but it was a well-made movie with some really impressive visual effects for 1945, and a rich musical score by Franz Waxman (with an uncredited Carl Stalling scoring the climactic action in his familiar cartoon style -- this was a Warner Bros. picture). And the two leading ladies, Alexis Smith and Dolores Moran, were both stunning.
The funniest line, though, was when Jack Benny's character said at the beginning that he didn't care about money...
I also decided to record the movie TCM showed just before THBaM, which was the Dick Tracy
movie from the same year. Coincidentally, Mike Mazurki was in both movies, playing the villain in Dick Tracy
and a henchman in THBaM. (I figure it's a coincidence because Mazurki doesn't strike me as a prominent enough actor for TCM to build a theme day around.) The Tracy film was okay, although its star Morgan Conway didn't look much like the comics character (but then, neither did Warren Beatty). He was more a sort of bargain-basement Bogart. Otherwise it seemed to be a decent adaptation of the source, though hardly an origin story or anything; the character was so familiar already from comics, radio, and matinee serials that even though this was the first feature-length Dick Tracy film, it felt like a routine installment of an ongoing series. It did set up kind of an interesting mystery about the motive and purpose behind the crimes, though I figured it out ahead of the characters.