The Horn Blows at Midnight (1945)

78m, 80m [original cut], 6988 feet, 2130 metres
35mm film, black and white, 1.37:1
mono, English

An American fantasy film directed by Raoul Walsh. The film was a box office failure and star Jack benny used this fact as source material for jokes throughout his subsequent television and radio career. He reprised his role in a radio version four years later and in a television version broadcast in 1953.

Plot Summary

An orchestra's third trumpeter falls asleep during a performance and that he's the angel Athanael, deputized to blow the Last Trumpet at exactly on Earth. Two other , Osidro and Doremus, try to steal the trumpet with the help of jewel thief Archie Dexter.


* = uncredited

Directed by: Raoul Walsh
Copyright MCMXLV [1945] by Warner Bros. Pictures Inc.
Warner Bros. Pictures Inc. presents a Warner Bros.-First National picture
Produced by: Mark Hellinger
Executive Producer: Jack L. Warner
Screen Play by: Sam Hellman & James V. Kern
Based on an Idea by: Aubrey Wisberg
Dialogue Director: Hugh Cummings
Director of Photography: Sid Hickox
Film Editor: Irene Morra
Music by: Franz Waxman
Musical Director: Leo F. Forbstein
Orchestral Arrangements: Leonid Raab
Sound by: Stanley Jones
RCA Sound System
Gowns by: Milo Anderson
Makeup Artist: Perc Westmore
Special Effects by: Lawrence Butler
Art Director: Hugh Reticker
Set Decoratons by: Clarence Steensen
Studio: Warner Brothers Burbank Studios, Burbank, California, USA *

Jack Benny [Athanael]
Alexis Smith [Elizabeth]
Dolores Moran [violinist/Fran Blackstone]
Allyn Joslyn [second trumpeter/Osidro]
Reginald Gardiner [composer/Archibald ‘Archie' Dexter]
Guy Kibbee [radio director/the chief]
John Alexander [first trumpeter/Doremus]
Franklin Pangborn [radio engineer/Sloan – house detective]
Margaret Dumont [Mme. Traviata/Miss Rodholder]
Bobby Blake [Junior Pulplinsky]
Ethel Griffies [Lady Stover]
Paul Harvey [Hotel Manager Thompson]
Mike Mazurki [bass player/Humphrey Rafferty]
Truman Bradley [radio announcer]

Alternative Titles

Der Engel mit der Trompete – Germany
Un toque de trompeta a medianoche – Spain
La tromba squilla a mezzanotte – Italy

Omnibus: The Horn Blows at Midnight (1953)

Extracts included in
The Projectionist (1971)

See also
The Leghorn Blows at Midnight (1950)



  • Castle of Frankenstein no.10 p.42
  • Kine Weekly no.2152 (29 July 1948) – review
  • Monthly Film Bulletin vol.15 no.176 (August 1948) pages 114 – credits, review
  • Motion Picture Herald vol.159 no.1 (7 April 1945) – review
  • Motion Picture Critics Reviews vol.2 no.13 (23 April 1945) pages 398,399 – credits, review reprints
  • Today's Cinema vol.71 no.5678 (23 July 1948) – review


  • The New York Times 21 April 1945 p.18 – review (The Screen: Horn Blows at Midnight, With Jack Benny as Trumpeter, of Strand by Bosley Crowther)


  • Feature Films, 1940-1949: A United States Filmography by Alan G. Fetrow p.214
  • Ghosts and Angels in Hollywood Films by James Robert Parish pp.189-192 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review
  • by Walt Lee p.199 – credits
  • The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Fantasy by David Pringle (general ed.) p.53 – credits, review
  • Variety Science-Fiction Movies by Julian Brown (ed.) p.54-55 – credits, review