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Lunch » Tags » Movies » Reviews » Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997 movie) » User review

Strange Story, Great Acting.

  • Aug 10, 2004
I watched MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD AND EVIL for the first time about five years ago. At the time, I found it to be a very strange and bizarre movie, but one that was also fascinating. It captured my imagination. After finally being able to read the book that the film is based upon, I re-watched the movie again. After having read the book, my impressions of the film didn't change much. I was a little bit disappointed that some of the best characters from the book were compressed or totally deleted, but other than that I felt that the movie stayed close to the spirit of the book.

MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD AND EVIL examines a famous murder trial that took place in Savannah, Georgia. The movie revolves around the murder trial, but really isn't about murder at all. Instead, the trial serves as a backdrop for the character study that the film really is. The movie also illustrates a community of people living together in a city that operates more as a family rather than a socialized living environment.

MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD AND EVIL was directed by Clint Eastwood and in my opinion, it is one of the best films he has ever directed (so much better and more interesting than the ballyhooed MYSTIC RIVER). The movie is filled with vivid passing images that give the movie it's unusual tone which provides a bizarre pulse throughout. In addition to the excellent directing is some great acting. Kevin Spacey and John Cusack are perfectly cast for their roles as are many of the supporting performers. The movie is worth watching for their performances alone.

MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD AND EVIL is not a film that everyone will enjoy watching. It's kind of a quirky picture that makes people think. If you want a lot of action or even suspense, this probably isn't a movie you will want to watch. On the other hand, it you're looking for something a little out of the ordinary that might cause you to think, this garden might be a good place to start.

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September 13, 2011
One of my fave Eastwood movies ever.
More Midnight in the Garden of Good... reviews
review by . September 13, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
In this movie, John Cusack plays "Esquire' witer John Berendt who travels to Savannah to attend the annual holiday event hosted by antique dealer, Jim Williams.      Clint Eastwood directs the movie and stays close to the action in the book.      The setting is excellent and the characters are well placed and memorable.      I recently watched the movie and then re-read the book and was impressed by how they compimented each other.
review by . July 05, 2009
John Kelso (John Cusack) is a writer who has come to Savannah to cover a big party given by socialite Jim Williams (Kevin Spacey).  The next day, however, Williams is arrested for murder and John stays on to get to the bottom of the case.         Despite being a true story, directed by Clint Eastwood, and based on a successful novel, this movie left me bored and annoyed.  The plot is quite slim so the story is filled out with quirky …
review by . June 05, 2000
Pros: The Lady, of course     Cons: probably Eastwood     What makes a great movie? Transvestites, homosexuals and murder .... what else? First I read the book and then I saw the movie, which in this case was fine. Many details were left out of the movie which fortunately I retrieved from the book.      The setting is historic Savannah, we are entering the back doors and bedrooms of the filthy rich and powerful. Naughty and bizarre and …
review by . April 25, 2000
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: VERY unusual characters     Cons: adult situations     ...and Julia replied, "both!"      Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil touches this southern girl's heart and tickles her funny bone. My beautiful friend Michael told me a while back that it was a very interesting story about a Savannah "bachelor." Knowing my friend, I knew just what he meant.       I waited for it to come out on video, …
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About this movie


Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is a film directed by Clint Eastwood based on the book. The film features Kevin Spacey as Jim Williams and Jude Law as Danny Hansford. He was called Billy Carl Hanson in the movie, so as not to offend members of the Hansford family. The Lady Chablis appeared as herself.

Several changes were made from the book. Many of the more colorful characters were eliminated or made into composite characters. The reporter role, played by John Cusack, was based upon Berendt. However Cusack's character was given a love interest not featured in the book, a role played by Eastwood's daughter Alison Eastwood. The multiple Williams trials were combined into one on-screen trial. Jim Williams real life attorney Sonny Seiler appeared in the movie in the role of Judge White, the presiding judge at the film's trial.

Advertising for the film became a source of controversy when Warner Bros. used elements of Jack Leigh's famous photograph in its posters for the movie without his permission. They later settled out of court for an undisclosed sum.

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Director: Clint Eastwood
Genre: Drama
Release Date: November 20, 1997
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: John Lee Hancock, John Berendt
DVD Release Date: Warner Home Video (June 02, 1998)
Runtime: 2hr 35min
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