Night Life of the Gods Movie

by Michael D Walker on April 26, 2012

Night Life of the Gods Movie

Did you know the very first movie made from a Thorne Smith book was not TOPPER? That’s right.  Most people are surprised to learn there was a Night Life of the Gods movie first!

Universal released the movie in 1935, just about a year after Thorne Smith had passed away. Reviews were mixed at best.

The film has yet to be released in any home video format.  Why? I quite honestly don’t know.  To the best of my knowledge it has not been shown on Turner Classic Movies either.

Many years ago I managed to track down a very poor quality dupe of the Night Life of the Gods movie on VHS.  I’m not sure where it was copied from but it was difficult to watch because of the poor copying job.  Later, I learned that around 2005 the film was restored for the UCLA Film Archive.

Here’s a synopsis of the Night Life of the Gods movie from my friends at TCM.

Scientist Hunter Hawk sets off a series of explosions in his laboratory and is knocked unconscious. When he comes to, he discovers his experiment has been successful. With the use of a magic ring that emits a supernatural ray, Hunter can turn people into stone and, with a second ring, back to life, and can turn statues into flesh and blood.

Hunter first tries his ray on his greedy, annoying relatives, turning all but his niece Daphne into stone. That night, Daphne and her boyfriend, Cyril Sparks, go dancing with Hunter and his gardener Turner’s daughter Meg, who claims she is nine hundred years old. Hunter and Meg fall in love and sit up together through the night. The next day, they go New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and bring to life eight statues of gods and goddesses: Mercury, Bacchus, Neptune, Apollo, Perseus, Hebe, Diana and the Venus de Milo, without her arms. After buying them clothes and checking them into the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, Meg and Hunter show the deities civilization.

Eventually, however, the gods realize they cannot fit into modern life. Bacchus cannot stomach modern alcohol; Venus is unable to find a lover; and Neptune cannot tolerate having to pay for fish. Meanwhile, policeman Mike Mulligan, whom Hunter had turned to stone but who was able to free himself from the spell, is after Hunter for wreaking havoc around town. Hunter gets the gods back to the museum, where they all agree to return to stone, but strike different poses. Hunter then tells Meg that, for her own safety, it would be better if she left him. She vows to stay with him, however, and they turn themselves into stone for eternity. Hunter then wakes up in an ambulance and realizes it was all a dream.

Note: Night Life of the Gods synopsis published by permission of Turner Classic Movies

Hopefully one day TCM will finally see fit to air the restored version of the Night Life of the Gods movie for everyone to enjoy.

In the meantime, you can go watch the first three minutes of the movie at:

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Kevin Hogan April 26, 2012 at 4:45 AM

Hopefully, not only will this movie be restored and aired, but more will be made in honor of Thorne.

Mark Hogan

Learn Covert Hypnosis Techniques


Clare Delaney April 26, 2012 at 10:26 AM

What a great concept for a book / movie – I love it!

EcoFriendly Matters


Margarita @ Body Language Decoding April 26, 2012 at 11:30 AM

I enjoyed the 3 min preview of Night Life of the Gods Movie. I love this kind of science fiction and mystery plots. I hope the movie will be released. may be there will be a remake? Thanks.


Law Of Attraction Interview April 26, 2012 at 1:45 PM

I just checked Fandango to see what is playing at my local cinema today and I will tell you that, “Night Life Of The Gods” sounds much more interesting than anything currently out there.

Yours In Health!

G.E. Moon II
Vitamins For You And Your Family


Dating with Integrity Online Profiles Veracity April 26, 2012 at 5:07 PM

Hi Michael,

I’ve never heard of “Night Life of the Gods” movie before. Typically I am quite a fan of classic Hollywood movies. Sounds like an interesting movie to seek out and find.

Happy Dating and Relationships,

April Braswell
Online Dating Profile Marital Status Lying?


Happy New You April 27, 2012 at 1:26 AM

Please post some more Thorne Smith videos. 🙂

Yours In Health!

Dr. Wendy


Ignacio April 27, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Even in my country I´ve seen some marketing for the movie. It is going to be a hit in Chile
Pendrives Publicitarios


Cherie Miranda April 27, 2012 at 10:04 PM

The movie sounds hilarious! I would love to see it! As you’ve pointed out, I can see where they got the inspiration for “Night at the Museum.”

Cherie Miranda
Meditation for Caregivers


Body language April 28, 2012 at 1:29 AM

Michael, this is a book that sounds interesting and I will add it to my list to read in the future.
Scott Sylvan Bell


Eva Palmer April 28, 2012 at 4:02 PM

Hi Michael!
I saw the 3 minutes!
I love old movies! This seems like a good one!


Lyle R. Johnson: The Sales Wizard & Mentor April 29, 2012 at 5:13 PM

Enjoyed the clip of the movie … need to get more – the whole movie.

Fair Winds and Following Seas


Andrew February 18, 2015 at 2:24 PM

I would love to see this film! I have the second printing of the Thorne Smith novel which has the film tie-in.


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