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Happy Halloween Made for TV Flashback 1985’s “The Midnight Hour”

October 31, 2013

Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays-I couldn’t wait to dress up.  I was always happy to get into my costume which really didn’t change as I got older but only got more elaborate.  One of the things I loved most was getting to see all the Halloween specials on TV which were more plentiful, or at least seemed so, when I was a kid and it just seemed that more networks got into the spirit.

One of the examples of the old network spirit was a made for TV movie from 1985 entitled “The Midnight Hour”.  I remember seeing this movie on ABC and being instantly smitten.  I simply loved it, and as a matter of fact it made such an impression on me that, being a young girl, I wrote about it in my diary.  Well, that was quite a long time ago, and it still holds its magic for me.  A good friend sent me a copy several years ago, just before the prices went through the roof-they have come back down to earth since then.

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“The Midnight Hour” is a sweet and simple romantic ghost story that takes place in a small town, Pitchford Cove, on Halloween night.  There are zombies, werewolves, witches and vampires but there is also love and an inexplicable song and dance number as well.  I know it sounds crazy and campy and yes it is both of those things; but each time I watch this movie I relive all those feelings I had the first time I saw it and I remember what it was like to be thirteen again and to see this movie for the first time.  This particular made for TV offering still holds the magic of childhood for me as I know it does for many others as well, there is just something special about it.

Phil Grenville dressed up for the big party at Melissa's

Phil Grenville dressed up for the big party at Melissa’s

A few party goers

A few party goers

The two central characters of the story that we follow on Halloween night are Phil Grenville (played by Lee Montgomery) and Sandy Matthews (Jonna Lee).  Phil is a descendent of a town founder/witch hunter and Sandy is out of her element and trying to tend to some unfinished business and the two are brought together under unusual circumstances.  Phil and Sandy will soon experience a night that neither will ever forget and a bond that transcends time.

Phil and Sandy cruise the town

Phil and Sandy cruise the town

Along for the ride is Shari Belefonte, LeVar Burton, Deedee Pfeiffer and Peter DeLuise rounding out the group of character Phil’s teenage friends.  Belefonte, as the descendent of the town’s witch, delivers the movie’s one song and dance scene with “Get Dead”, there is more than a little ham in that Halloween musical number and throughout, but it only adds to the fun.  Veteran actors Kevin McCarthy and Dick Van Patten also put in appearances as the fathers of two of the characters.  The soundtrack is also filled with 80’s music as well as older classics, that help give the movie a nice sense of two separate times colliding.

I guess you had to be there...

I guess you had to be there…

Shari Belefonte getting ready to strike as Melissa Cavender

Shari Belefonte getting ready to strike as Melissa Cavender

Dick Van Patten camping it up as Phil's dentist father Martin Grenville

Dick Van Patten camping it up as Phil’s dentist father Martin Grenville

I still love this movie all these years later, and it is great fun when you want to watch something that is low on gore but high on fun and is sweet yet bittersweet at the same time.  The Midnight Hour, as well as its cast, will always have a special place in my heart.

Thinking of Sandy

Thinking of Sandy

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. October 31, 2013 12:04 pm

    Love this one all around it is hard to believe that people cared at one point while making a movie for TV. Well a movie period!

    • October 31, 2013 12:23 pm

      So true!!! This is one of my favorites for so many reason-hard to believe a made for TV movie tried so hard and got it right! 🙂

  2. November 9, 2016 5:05 pm

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