Dannie Dupree

Written by Dannie Dupree

Modified & Updated: 22 May 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith

Source: Amazon.com

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is a captivating movie that delves into the mysterious and intriguing world of Savannah, Georgia. Directed by Clint Eastwood and based on the true crime novel by John Berendt, this film takes viewers on a thrilling journey filled with suspense, murder, and Southern charm. Released in 1997, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil quickly gained a cult following and became a favorite among movie enthusiasts and fans of the book alike. With its all-star cast, stunning cinematography, and gripping storyline, this movie has cemented its place as a classic in the realm of crime dramas. In this article, we will dive into 36 fascinating facts about Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, shedding light on the making of the film, its characters, and the real-life events that inspired it.

Key Takeaways:

  • “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” is a captivating movie set in Savannah, Georgia, filled with intriguing characters, Southern charm, and thought-provoking themes of morality and justice.
  • The film’s atmospheric storytelling, stunning visuals, and memorable performances have earned it a dedicated fanbase and a lasting legacy as a cult classic in the world of cinema.
Table of Contents

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is a 1997 American crime drama film directed by Clint Eastwood.

Based on the bestselling novel of the same name by John Berendt, the movie takes place in Savannah, Georgia, and explores the eccentric characters and mysterious events surrounding the murder of a local male prostitute.

The film stars John Cusack, Kevin Spacey, and Jude Law in lead roles.

John Cusack plays the character of John Kelso, a writer who becomes entangled in the intriguing world of Savannah’s elite. Kevin Spacey portrays Jim Williams, a wealthy antiques dealer who is accused of the murder, and Jude Law plays the young lover of the victim.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil was nominated for several awards, including three Academy Awards.

The film was recognized for its outstanding performances, screenplay, and cinematography. It received nominations for Best Supporting Actor (Kevin Spacey), Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Art Direction.

The movie showcases the unique atmosphere and charm of Savannah, Georgia.

Savannah’s historic architecture, lush landscapes, and southern hospitality serve as a backdrop for the intriguing story. The city itself is almost like a character in the film, adding to its allure.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil features a memorable score composed by Lennie Niehaus.

The music perfectly complements the film’s atmosphere, capturing both the beauty and the mystery of Savannah. The score adds depth and emotion to the storytelling.

The screenplay for the film was adapted by John Lee Hancock.

Hancock skillfully translated the intricate plot and colorful characters from the novel onto the big screen, ensuring that the essence of the story remained intact.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is filled with eccentric and unforgettable characters.

From the enigmatic Lady Chablis, a drag queen who becomes a key witness in the murder trial, to the reclusive antiques dealer Jim Williams, each character brings a unique energy and dimension to the story.

The film received critical acclaim upon its release.

Critics praised the performances, directing, and atmospheric storytelling. The movie’s intriguing blend of crime, drama, and Southern Gothic elements captivated audiences and earned it a loyal following.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil showcases the clash between old money and new money in Savannah’s high society.

The film delves into the complexities of social hierarchies and the lengths people will go to protect their reputation and maintain their status.

The movie’s title is a reference to the famous book of the same name written by John Berendt.

The phrase “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” alludes to the contrasting elements of beauty and darkness that exist in society and within human nature.

The film’s production design captures the essence of Savannah’s historic charm.

From the grand mansions to the moss-draped trees, every detail is meticulously crafted to transport viewers to the enchanting world of the Deep South.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil explores themes of morality, justice, and the nature of good and evil.

The film raises thought-provoking questions about the blurred lines between right and wrong and the power of perception.

The movie’s cinematography beautifully captures the atmospheric beauty of Savannah.

The lush visuals and moody lighting create a hauntingly beautiful backdrop for the story, enhancing the overall viewing experience.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil features a standout performance by Kevin Spacey.

Spacey’s portrayal of Jim Williams is nuanced and captivating, showcasing the actor’s ability to delve into complex characters. His performance earned him critical acclaim and a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

The film delves into the world of voodoo and supernatural beliefs that are deeply rooted in Southern culture.

These mystical elements add an additional layer of intrigue to the story, blurring the lines between reality and superstition.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil explores the power dynamics within romantic relationships.

The film highlights the complexities and vulnerabilities that arise when love and desire intersect with wealth and social expectations.

The movie’s screenplay expertly balances moments of tension and suspense with moments of humor.

These lighter moments provide relief amidst the darker themes, adding depth and complexity to the storytelling.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil features stunning costume design that reflects the characters’ personalities and social status.

The costumes help visually define each character and contribute to the overall authenticity of the film.

The film incorporates real-life events and people, blurring the lines between fact and fiction.

While the story is fictionalized, it draws inspiration from the true events surrounding the murder trial of Jim Williams in Savannah.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil showcases the unique Southern charm and hospitality.

The film captures the warmth and friendliness that are characteristic of the region, creating a sense of authenticity.

The movie’s dialogue is filled with Southern colloquialisms and distinctive accents.

These linguistic elements add richness and authenticity to the characters and settings, immersing viewers in the Southern culture.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil explores the concept of hidden secrets and the darkness that can lurk beneath the surface of seemingly idyllic communities.

The film challenges viewers to question their assumptions and confront the shadows that exist in society.

The movie’s editing enhances the pacing and suspense, keeping viewers engaged throughout.

The expertly crafted edits ensure that each scene flows seamlessly into the next, maintaining the tension and intrigue.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil highlights the importance of storytelling and the power of narratives to shape perceptions.

The film emphasizes the role of the writer as an observer and interpreter of events, blurring the lines between truth and fiction.

The movie’s atmospheric soundtrack adds depth and emotion to the storytelling.

The carefully selected songs and compositions enhance the overall viewing experience, immersing viewers in the world of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil was a financial success, grossing over $25 million at the box office.

The film’s success further solidified its place as a cult classic and contributed to its lasting legacy.

The movie’s tagline, “A Southern city, a Southern scandal”, captures the essence of the story.

The tagline succinctly encapsulates the intrigue and allure of the film, enticing viewers to delve into the world of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil explores the limitations of the justice system and the influence of wealth and power.

The film raises important questions about the fairness and impartiality of the legal system, shedding light on the vulnerabilities and biases that can impact the outcome of a trial.

The movie’s marketing campaign capitalized on the allure of Savannah’s mystique.

The promotional materials and trailers showcased the film’s stunning visuals and intriguing storyline, generating excitement and curiosity among potential viewers.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil has gained a dedicated fanbase over the years.

The film’s unique blend of genres, memorable characters, and atmospheric storytelling have made it a favorite among cinephiles and fans of Southern Gothic narratives.

The film’s runtime is approximately 2 hours and 35 minutes.

This allows ample time for the intricate plot and character developments to unfold, keeping viewers engrossed from beginning to end.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil explores the concept of the duality of human nature.

The film challenges viewers to confront the contradictions and complexities within themselves and the world around them.

The movie’s cinematographer, Jack N. Green, expertly captures the essence of Savannah’s beauty and mystery.

Green’s visually striking compositions and use of lighting create a mesmerizing visual experience, enhancing the overall impact of the film.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil was praised for its attention to detail in recreating the time and place of the story.

From the costumes to the sets, every element contributes to the authenticity and immersion of the film.

The film’s exploration of art, culture, and societal norms adds depth and substance to the narrative.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil challenges viewers to question their own assumptions and reevaluate their perspectives on morality and justice.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil continues to be celebrated for its rich storytelling and memorable performances.

The film’s enduring legacy is a testament to its ability to captivate audiences and provoke thought long after its initial release.


Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is a captivating movie that immerses viewers in the mysterious and enchanting world of Savannah, Georgia. With its intriguing plot, stellar cast, and stunning cinematography, it has become a cult classic over the years. From the real-life characters to the unique blend of genres, this film offers a one-of-a-kind cinematic experience.

Whether you’re a fan of thrillers, courtroom dramas, or just love a good Southern Gothic tale, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is sure to leave an impression. So, grab some popcorn, settle in, and prepare to be transported to the beguiling realm of Savannah’s secret society.


1. Is Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil based on a true story?
Yes, the movie is based on the true crime novel of the same name by John Berendt. It explores the murder trial of Jim Williams, a prominent Savannah antiques dealer.

2. Who directed Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil?
The movie was directed by Clint Eastwood, who also produced and starred in it as the character of Savannah-based writer John Kelso.

3. Where was the movie filmed?
Most of the movie was filmed on location in Savannah, Georgia, capturing the city’s distinctive charm and evocative atmosphere.

4. Who are some of the notable actors in the film?
The movie boasts an impressive cast, including Kevin Spacey, John Cusack, Jude Law, and Lady Chablis, who was a real-life Savannah drag queen and performer.

5. What makes Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil unique?
The movie seamlessly blends elements of crime, mystery, Southern Gothic, and courtroom drama genres, creating a captivating and genre-defying cinematic experience.

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