One Exciting Night (1922 film)

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One Exciting Night
One Exciting Night lobby poster.jpg
1922 lobby poster
Directed by D. W. Griffith
Written byD. W. Griffith
(as Irene Sinclair)
Produced byD. W. Griffith
Starring Carol Dempster
Henry Hull
Morgan Wallace
Margaret Dale
Porter Strong
CinematographyIrving B. Ruby
Hendrik Sartov  [ fr ]
Distributed by United Artists
Release date
  • October 2, 1922 (1922-10-02)
Running time
128 minutes
CountryUnited States
Language Silent (English intertitles)
One Exciting Night

One Exciting Night is a 1922 American Gothic silent mystery film directed by D. W. Griffith. [1]


The plot revolves around a series of murders on a wealthy estate and the attempts of the cast to uncover the murderer's identity. The success of both the Mary Roberts Rinehart and Avery Hopwood play The Bat (1920), as well as the 1922 stage play The Cat and the Canary, led Griffith to write and produce his own variation on the theme, which in turn led to the production of similar "murder mystery/old dark house" films such as The Ghost Breaker (1922), previously filmed by C. B. DeMille in 1914, The Bat (1926) based on the 1920 play, Midnight Faces (1926), The Cat and the Canary (1927), The Old Dark House (1932) and even the fabled London After Midnight (1927) with Lon Chaney. [2]

At the time of this film, Henry Hull was starring on Broadway in the stage version of John Willard's The Cat and the Canary .


Agnes Harrington's uncle separates her from her family in Africa when her wealthy father passes away, so that he won't have to share his brother's fortune with the child. Years later on his deathbed, he sees to it that Agnes is restored to her rightful place in society, cutting his own son John Fairfax out of the chain of inheritance in the process. John, Agnes and a number of other people gather at a social event at the famous Fairfax Estate, unaware that it is being used by a gang of bootleggers, and that a hidden treasure is concealed somewhere on the grounds. To make matters worse, a creepy madman is stalking the grounds, and one by one people start turning up dead.



One Exciting Night saw an underwhelming response at test screenings. Director D. W. Griffith decided that the problem was that the film lacked the spectacular climax audiences had come to expect from his films, so he reassembled the cast and shot a new ending involving a terrifying storm, using a combination of real hurricane footage which he had shot earlier and studio footage filmed with special effects. [3]

Home media

This film received a brief release on VHS in the 1990s. [4] In March 2014 the film was released on all-region DVD by Alpha Video. [5]

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  1. The AFI Catalog of Feature Films:One Exciting Night
  2. The American Film Institute Catalog of Feature Films: 1921-30, c.1971 by The American Film Institute
  3. Hallenbeck, Bruce G. (2009). Comedy-Horror Films: A Chronological History, 1914-2008 . McFarland & Company. p. 5. ISBN   9780786453788.
  4. Progressive Silent Film List: One Exciting Night at
  5. The Library of Congress American Silent Feature Film Survival Catalog: One Exciting Night