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The Horn Blows at Midnight

Angel on my Shoulder title card

Year - 1945
Studio - Warner Bros.
Stars - Jack Benny, Alexis Smith, Dolores Moran, Allyn Joslyn, Reginald Gardiner, Guy Kibbe, John Alexander
Director - Raoul Walsh
Writing Credits - Sam Hellman, James V. Kern (screenplay), Aubrey Wishberg (idea)
Music - Franz Waxman


From an orchestra of thousands in Heaven, trumpeter Athanael (Jack Benny) is summoned to the Chief's (Guy Kibbee) office, where lovely Elizabeth (Alexis Smith) has recommended him for an important assignment. He is instructed to go to the planet Earth, which has "gotten out of control", to end its existence by blowing his trumpet exactly at midnight.

Horn Blows at Midnight poster

As the clock approaches the hour, he prepares to blow the horn on a hotel rooftop, but is distracted by the antics of Fran Blackstone's (Dolores Moran) threat to jump, and he fails his mission. Planning to retry the following day, two previously fallen angels, Osidro (Allyn Joslyn) and Doremus (John Alexander), who have become comfortable with earthly pleasures, attempt to steal his trumpet to again foil his efforts. Midnight finds all of them dangling precariously from the hotel roof, with Athanael trapped in a giant, animated coffee cup advertising display.


The story is the Jack Benny character's dream, within the framing device of a radio orchestra third trumpeter falling asleep during a soothing coffee commercial.