Movies that take place in one night
November 29, 2018 8:03 AM   Subscribe

A friend is planning a mini film fest at his place featuring films that all take place in a single night between dusk and sunrise. It's okay if it starts or ends in daytime, but he's shooting for films that are like 80% in the middle of the night. Ideas?

Criteria:
1. Takes place over one night
2. Can start or end in daylight, but like 80% of the film at least should happen after dark
3. Ideally involves some sort of thriller or conflict that involves walking around dark/dangerous/unfamiliar streets at night
4. Ideally, some sort of problem-solving/”quest” element
5. Preferably urban/a big city location, though that can be relative and not a deal-breaker

So far, he has:
1. The Warriors
2. After Hours
3. Miracle Mile
4. Midnight Madness
5. Judgment Night
6. Mikey & Nicky

What else can you add?
posted by DirtyOldTown to Media & Arts (81 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
 
The obvious one is "Before Sunrise."
posted by brianogilvie at 8:05 AM on November 29, 2018 [17 favorites]


(Though it doesn't exactly meet criteria #3 and #4.)
posted by brianogilvie at 8:05 AM on November 29, 2018


The Purge movies all take place overnight. The first one is set inside a house but the other involve moving around a city I think.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 8:08 AM on November 29, 2018 [3 favorites]


Escape from New York hits all 5 criteria out of the park.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 8:09 AM on November 29, 2018 [10 favorites]


Dazed and Confused takes place entirely on May 28, 1976 (which incidentally is my birthday).
posted by mmascolino at 8:09 AM on November 29, 2018 [13 favorites]


After.Life (I can't remember if this is only one night)

Collateral
posted by Pig Tail Orchestra at 8:10 AM on November 29, 2018 [5 favorites]


Adventures in Babysitting - 1987
License to Drive
posted by The_Vegetables at 8:12 AM on November 29, 2018 [13 favorites]


Good Time (not sure if it's all 1 night, but most of the movie and plot is in 1 )

Adventures In Babysitting

Locke
posted by fizzix at 8:12 AM on November 29, 2018 [3 favorites]


From Dusk Till Dawn
posted by Pig Tail Orchestra at 8:13 AM on November 29, 2018 [10 favorites]


The Strangers - meets 1 and 2 but not so much the others.
posted by humuhumu at 8:13 AM on November 29, 2018


Adventures in Babysitting
Date Night
Die Hard
Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle
Clue
posted by jenny76 at 8:13 AM on November 29, 2018 [11 favorites]


Sixteen Candles, though I don't necessarily recommend this film, it didn't age well.
posted by wellred at 8:14 AM on November 29, 2018


11:14 (written and directed by a guy I went to high school with)
posted by jozxyqk at 8:16 AM on November 29, 2018


Shaun of the Dead
This is the End

Both hilarious apocalyptic movies shot focused basically over one night.
posted by valoius at 8:19 AM on November 29, 2018 [5 favorites]


Clue, as well as the similarly themed Murder by Death
posted by Champagne Supernova at 8:19 AM on November 29, 2018 [1 favorite]


Liam Neeson has to Run All Night.
posted by fuse theorem at 8:21 AM on November 29, 2018


Into the Night
posted by beatnik808 at 8:21 AM on November 29, 2018 [3 favorites]


Airplane!
posted by bondcliff at 8:22 AM on November 29, 2018 [4 favorites]


Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist is this, IIRC
posted by goodbyewaffles at 8:27 AM on November 29, 2018 [3 favorites]


I think Go mostly takes place in one night.
posted by ftm at 8:29 AM on November 29, 2018 [7 favorites]


American Graffiti
posted by tman99 at 8:30 AM on November 29, 2018 [9 favorites]


200 Cigarettes. Takes places in one night, lots of people walking around NYC at night, some of them lost.
posted by Yoko Ono's Advice Column at 8:31 AM on November 29, 2018 [5 favorites]


The Ice Storm, maybe. IMDB Wiki
posted by achrise at 8:31 AM on November 29, 2018 [1 favorite]


Always liked this one.

Quiet City
posted by prepmonkey at 8:32 AM on November 29, 2018


I cant believe I left out Can’t Hardly Wait!
posted by Champagne Supernova at 8:33 AM on November 29, 2018 [2 favorites]


Night Owls
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 8:37 AM on November 29, 2018


Victoria takes place over the course of two hours at night, shot in one virtuoso take. It's very, very good.
posted by Del Chimney at 8:38 AM on November 29, 2018 [2 favorites]


I think that Attack The Block fits the bill also.
posted by Del Chimney at 8:40 AM on November 29, 2018 [12 favorites]


Tangerine
posted by miles per flower at 8:49 AM on November 29, 2018 [2 favorites]


What We Do in the Shadows doesn't take place over one night, but it does feature vampires exclusively hanging out at night!
posted by tooloudinhere at 8:49 AM on November 29, 2018 [1 favorite]


Cloverfield
posted by TWinbrook8 at 8:55 AM on November 29, 2018 [1 favorite]


Superbad
posted by fso at 8:57 AM on November 29, 2018 [1 favorite]


Game Night with Rachel McAdams and Jason Bateman was surprisingly funny, and I believe it would fit most of your criteria.
posted by cpatterson at 9:03 AM on November 29, 2018 [2 favorites]


The IMDB has a one-night tag. It also has a one-day tag, which also includes daytime movies but might contain some additional candidates.
posted by Johnny Assay at 9:04 AM on November 29, 2018 [6 favorites]


Murder Party - Jeremy Saulnier's debut, takes place entirely on Halloween night at an NYC warehouse party. Will likely eventually become a cult classic, and as a bonus has a literal nod to The Warriors.
posted by mannequito at 9:05 AM on November 29, 2018


Night on Earth.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 9:16 AM on November 29, 2018 [9 favorites]


Night on Earth?

Night of the Comet?
posted by Admiral Haddock at 9:17 AM on November 29, 2018


Quick Change is an underrated crime comedy which I think happens over one night. I'm not sure how much happens during the day, it might be too much for your criteria, but it does have some awesome wandering around unfamiliar streets scenes. Parts of it remind me of After Hours quite a bit.

It's got a great cast:
  • Bill Murray as Grimm
  • Geena Davis as Phyllis Potter
  • Randy Quaid as Loomis
  • Jason Robards as Chief Walt Rotzinger
  • Tony Shalhoub as Cab Driver
  • Philip Bosco as Bus Driver
  • Phil Hartman as Edison
  • Jamey Sheridan as Mugger
  • Stanley Tucci as Johnny
  • Kurtwood Smith as Lombino
  • Bob Elliott as Bank Guard

posted by under_petticoat_rule at 9:23 AM on November 29, 2018 [4 favorites]


Oh yeah, there's always Pitch Black.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 9:24 AM on November 29, 2018 [6 favorites]


Minority Report. Time in the movie is also timed to the time the viewer is spending watching the movie. Watch the watches.
posted by effluvia at 9:25 AM on November 29, 2018 [1 favorite]


Someone can correct me, if these aren't one-nighters.

Cube
Hotel Artemis
Detroit
posted by Pig Tail Orchestra at 9:25 AM on November 29, 2018


No The Big Night yet, really?

It's one of the greatest movies. I mean, it's no Ronin, but...
posted by humboldt32 at 9:27 AM on November 29, 2018 [4 favorites]


Night People, if you’d like a Scottish addition.
posted by penguin pie at 9:28 AM on November 29, 2018


Whoa, I forgot about Mystery Train!
posted by miles per flower at 9:30 AM on November 29, 2018 [3 favorites]


The Game was over one night, wasn't it?
posted by orrnyereg at 9:32 AM on November 29, 2018


The Man from Earth
posted by odinsdream at 9:37 AM on November 29, 2018


Dark City doesn’t technically take place in one night, but it is always night, and the feel is much like one ongoing night, without going into spoilers, and would definitely fit the other criteria.
posted by catatethebird at 9:39 AM on November 29, 2018 [2 favorites]


Is It Happened One Night too on the nose?
posted by chaiminda at 9:46 AM on November 29, 2018


Coherence is about a group of friends dealing with weird events following a comet sighting. It takes place over one night. I'd say more, but this is a movie where spoilers really do hurt the experience.

The Invitation features friends (some estranged) meeting for a dinner party. Over the course of the night we learn more about their relationships/history and there is a growing tension and sense that something is wrong.
posted by forbiddencabinet at 9:50 AM on November 29, 2018 [2 favorites]


The Daytrippers starts in the late afternoon and ends after dark the same day, but not actually the middle of the night. It's got a hell of a cast and a lot of really claustrophobic indoor (or in-car) scenes, they get lost in unfamiliar neighborhoods, and there's an inciting mystery.
posted by fedward at 10:07 AM on November 29, 2018


The Ref I think would work.
posted by gudrun at 10:13 AM on November 29, 2018 [4 favorites]


L'ascenseur pour l'echafaud (Lift to the scaffold).

Probably missing #4, but in return you get a magnificent soundtrack by Miles Davis.
posted by Stoneshop at 10:26 AM on November 29, 2018 [1 favorite]


Carnage
Margin Call
posted by Pig Tail Orchestra at 10:31 AM on November 29, 2018 [1 favorite]


I will exploit the arctic loophole and suggest "30 Days of Night".
posted by uberchet at 11:03 AM on November 29, 2018 [5 favorites]


They Might Be Giants is a quirky and great movie. The band was named for the movie. Most of it happens in 1 night.
posted by theora55 at 11:08 AM on November 29, 2018


Sleuth
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
posted by SemiSalt at 11:14 AM on November 29, 2018 [1 favorite]


Pitch Black meets criteria 1, 2, and 4.
posted by Lexica at 11:17 AM on November 29, 2018 [1 favorite]


There's a French film Irreversible that happens in one night. It definitely shows the dangers of darkend areas at night.

It's a good movie, but really intense and brutal. Should have a trigger warning just on the synopsis.
posted by BenevolentActor at 11:21 AM on November 29, 2018


Wait Until Dark. Definitely a thriller, also an exploration of different kinds of seeing. Plus Audrey Hepburn.
posted by SemiSalt at 11:41 AM on November 29, 2018


I really hope the film fest will have them all running on different screens with, hm, sunset synched between them.
posted by clew at 12:04 PM on November 29, 2018 [1 favorite]


After Hours: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088680/

Something Wild (iirc): https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091983/
posted by askmehow at 12:19 PM on November 29, 2018


HOLY SHIT do not watch *Irreversible* unless you are absolutely and completely okay with watching very brutal, unflinching portrayals of sexual violence against women.

I'm not exactly on team "trigger warning" but that film includes material that would be dismissed as torture porn if it had been marketed as a horror movie.
posted by uberchet at 12:39 PM on November 29, 2018 [2 favorites]


Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist.
posted by mollywas at 1:02 PM on November 29, 2018


SubUrbia fits the criteria except a big-city location, though its quest portion is more self-discovery than a literal quest.

Strongly seconding Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle! Less strongly seconding Coherence unless you've got WB fans in the audience, in which case, you need to go for it for the Roswell joke alone.

If you want to be a rules lawyering pain in the butt (like me), you could see if you could sneak in Groundhog Day.
posted by snaw at 1:05 PM on November 29, 2018


If you like Tom Hardy, definitely don't miss Locke.
posted by ourobouros at 1:09 PM on November 29, 2018 [1 favorite]


Die Hard is already listed above but, for the sake of completeness, I'll point out that Die Hard 2 also takes place over the course of one night.
posted by mhum at 1:47 PM on November 29, 2018


Jodie Foster 2-fer

Panic Room
Flightplan
posted by Pig Tail Orchestra at 1:52 PM on November 29, 2018


Last Night with Don McKellar and Sandra Oh. Gentle Canadian apocalyptica.
posted by maudlin at 2:23 PM on November 29, 2018


Yeah, I kind of feel bad about recommending Irreversible - uberchet's warning is probably more appropriate than my lowkey warning was.

If it hasn't been mentioned yet, the movie adaptation of The Mist takes place overnight and ends the next morning.
posted by BenevolentActor at 3:43 PM on November 29, 2018


Sean of the Dead takes place over two consecutive days, and mostly in daylight. There’s also a “six months later” bit at the end. One of my favorite films, but it does not qualify.
posted by w0mbat at 5:28 PM on November 29, 2018


Any version of The Front Page (e.g. His Girl Friday).

12 Angry Men.

Clerks.

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist.

Airplane.

There is a useful list here: https://www.imdb.com/list/ls063654949/
posted by w0mbat at 5:39 PM on November 29, 2018


It might be a little artsy but Playtime!
posted by Admiral Viceroy at 6:19 PM on November 29, 2018 [1 favorite]


His Girl Friday!!
posted by Lisitasan at 6:34 PM on November 29, 2018 [2 favorites]


I thought Le Notti Bianche (White Nights) took place over one night but it is actually 3. Great movie that seems like it would fit. Was filmed on a set, which will blow your mind.
posted by perhapses at 8:44 PM on November 29, 2018


Hmm, okay, this one doesn't satisfy most of the criteria, and I'm not even sure if it happens all in one night (I think it does, but it's been a long time since I've seen it) but I'm going to recommend it anyway because it's an underappreciated cultural oddity that I think deserves to be better known...

Francis Ford Coppola's One from the Heart starring Teri Garr, Raul Julia, Nastassja Kinski, Frederic Forrest, Lainie Kazan and Harry Dean Stanton.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 5:01 AM on November 30, 2018


Although TECHNICALLY taking place over a span of two nights, if you want a quest-driven thriller on dangerous urban streets at night time, The Crow would tick all of those boxes.

Edit: for the exact same reasons as The Crow, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang might also fit the bill, save for the "technically two nights" thing.
posted by helloimjennsco at 6:28 AM on November 30, 2018


Night of the Living Dead takes place over one night - at least the 1968 original version does, I don't remember the remake well enough.
posted by five toed sloth at 7:17 AM on November 30, 2018


Yeah, came here to recommended Irreversible, but as mentioned, YIKES is that film disturbing. Once you've seen it you won't ever be able to unsee it.
posted by SystematicAbuse at 7:19 AM on November 30, 2018


(BenevolentActor, given that your movie list includes Irreversible and The Mist (which is someone even darker than the novella), remind me to never go to a double feature with you!)
posted by uberchet at 7:55 AM on November 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


Roger Dodger
posted by churl at 5:13 PM on November 30, 2018


Rope.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:23 PM on December 1, 2018


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