›› No Night Is Too Long ‹‹

a film by Tom Shankland.

2006 | UK - Canada.
85 mins Canada | 116 mins UK.

a decidedly dark tale of love and betrayal.

Dave says:

For those yearning for something different in the gay narrative department, then this engrossing thriller is one for you.

It tells the story of opera loving Tim Cornish (Lee Williams); a model student studying for his University finals, that is when not courting the attention of palaeontology lecturer Dr Ivo Steadman (Marc Warren); a man whose love of fossils doesn't stop him for taking an active interest in the youth of the day. As the two become one in seemingly no time at all, Ivo impulsively confesses his love for Tim. Yet this is a young man who loves to be loved, provided you don't say it to his face. With his feelings for Ivo subsequently turning as frozen as the snow-clad Alaskan glaciers of a pre-arranged trip, it's only a matter of time before Tim, in Ivo's absence, turns his attention to the welcoming smile of Isabel Winwood (Mikela Jay), joining her for conversation and a lot more besides. Only upon his return, is Ivo prepared to let go of the love of his life, without a fight?

Adapted for the small screen by deeply missed actor and writer Kevin Elyot of Clapham Junction and Christopher and His Kind fame, this decidedly dark tale of love and betrayal has a lot going for it and not just the series of chilling twists and turns that you would expect to find in a drama based on the novel by noted author Ruth Rendell, writing as Barbara Vine. To that end, both Williams as cutie Tim and Warren as redundant lover Ivo shine throughout, with the intensity of their initial passion for each other wonderfully juxtaposed with later scenes of a love, turned cold. Then again, this is a story of murder. Not that this is a spoiler, given within minutes of the opening Tim is heard to confess to the act itself. Told in flashback for the main part thereafter, the result is a work full of menace, one that keeps you guessing right up to the end and not just as to the identity of Tim's confessor.

That Tim is a Dorian Gray type character almost goes without saying; namely a good-looking young man with a life full of promise, only to end up as a tormented soul. Yet whilst feelings of sadness, regret and moments of poignant reflection on what could have been are to be found at almost every cinematic turn, at heart this is a beautifully told tale of a love, forever lost, complete with stunning Alaskan vistas, let alone some sensuous man-on-man action, being as integral to the plot as is its hetero counterpart, with Mikela Jay showcasing an acute sense of vulnerability in her role as Isabel.

Yet for all of the positives of this piece, its Canadian television premiere was brutally cut down to an 85 minute version. A crying shame, given this is but an all too rare example of an atypical gay feature that brilliantly runs the gauntlet of emotions; from joy to jealousy and from love to hate and yes, even murder. Need more be said? Only that and for those wondering about the title, such originates from the line "without me, without me, everyday is a misery; with me, with me, no night is too long". Say no more.

›› check out the Official Trailer on YouTube.
›› revised: Thursday, 25th March, 2021.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - bare-arsed cheek. 
Overall - file under ... 4 stars. 

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