Night Watch
Film poster
Directed byAlexander Korda
Written byLajos Bíró (continuity)
Dwinelle Benthall (titles)
Rufus McCosh (titles)
Based on'In the Night Watch
1921 play
by Michael Morton
Veille d'Armes
1917 play by Claude Farrère and Lucien Nepoty
Produced byNed Marin
StarringBillie Dove
Paul Lukas
Donald Reed
Nicholas Soussanin
CinematographyKarl Struss
Edited byGeorge McGuire
Music byEmil Bierman
Mortimer Wilson
Distributed byFirst National Pictures[1]
Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • September 9, 1928 (1928-09-09) (US)
Running time
72 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
LanguagesSound (Synchronized)
English Intertitles

Night Watch is a 1928 American synchronized sound drama film directed by Alexander Korda and starring Billie Dove, Paul Lukas and Donald Reed. While the film has no audible dialog, it was released with a synchronized musical score with sound effects using the sound-on-disc Vitaphone process. The film was an adaptation of the dramatic 1921 play In the Night Watch, written by Michael Morton. The film is set almost entirely on a French warship at the beginning of the First World War.[2] Night Watch was the first of Korda's films to feature sound.[2][3]


On the night of August 1, 1914, Commander Corlaix of the French Navy and his wife, Yvonne, arrange a shipboard dinner for the officers of his cruiser. Afterward, Lieutenant D'Artelle asks Yvonne to stay on board with him, and when Corlaix (learning by classified wireless that war has been declared) abruptly orders her from the ship, she goes instead with D'Artelle to his cabin. The ship is sunk by a torpedo, and Corlaix is brought before the Admiralty Court on charges of incompetence. Yvonne comes forward to testify and, by compromising herself, proves her husband's adherence to duty. Corlaix, realizing Yvonne's great love for him, forgives her for her indiscretions, and they are reunited.



The theme song for this film was entitled "Yvonne" and was composed by Mortimer Wilson.

Preservation status

A print of Night Watch is preserved at Cineteca Italiana in Milan.[4]

See also


  1. ^ a b Night Watch at the AFI Catalog of Feature Films
  2. ^ a b Kulik, Karol (1990). Alexander Korda: The Man Who Could Work Miracles. Virgin Books. pp. 49–51. ISBN 0870003356. OCLC 1827622.
  3. ^ The Night Watch at
  4. ^ The Library of Congress American Silent Feature Film Survival Catalog: Night Watch