Initial DVD releaseMay 15, 2001 Duration LanguageEnglish
David Wechter Release dateFebruary 8, 1980 (1980-02-08) WriterDavid Wechter, Michael Nankin DirectorsMichael Nankin, David Wechter CastMichael J. Fox (Scott Larson), David Naughton (Adam Larson - Yellow Team Leader), Stephen Furst (Harold - Blue Team Leader), Maggie Roswell (Donna - Red Team Leader), Eddie Deezen (Wesley - White Team Leader), Debra Clinger (Laura - Yellow Team) Similar moviesSleepover, Scavenger Hunt, Gable and Lombard, Girls Nite Out
TaglineThe most fun you'll ever have...in the dark!
Midnight madness 1980 tv trailer
Midnight Madness is a 1980 American comedy film produced by Walt Disney Productions and starring David Naughton, Stephen Furst and Maggie Roswell.
The city of Los Angeles is the game board as five teams of college students attempt to win "The Great All-Nighter," a dusk-to-dawn competition dreamed up by an eccentric graduate student. David Naughton and Stephen Furst are paired with a grab-bag group of fellow students including Michael J. Fox in his first film appearance. The film was directed by Michael Nankin.
Midnight madness scenes
Graduate student Leon (Alan Solomon) summons five college students to his apartment and challenges them to participate in his latest game creation: The Great All-Nighter. He tells them about his game and instructs them to form teams. At first, the leaders refuse to play. However, rivalries between them lead all five to change their minds by the game's start time.
Leon, as "game master," keeps track of the teams locations with a giant map, and various radio equipment. The teams are supposed to call and check in at each clue (though many of the teams end up skipping at least one location).
The adventures of the other three teams are subplots, as well as the situation at Leon's apartment ("Game Control"). Here, along with his female assistants Candy and Sunshine (Debi Richter and Kirsten Baker), Leon monitors the progress of the game. Already unpopular with his landlady, Mrs. Grimhaus (Irene Tedrow), for the amount of noise he makes, Leon faces eviction if any of the other tenants complain. Several of them do show up to complain, but as Leon explains the mechanics of the game to them, they become fascinated with it and help run it, much to the annoyance of Grimhaus.
The game culminates in a race-to-the-finish at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel where the yellow team ultimately prevails and wins the game. A huge party consisting of all contestants and game control follows.
David Naughton as Adam Larson - Yellow Team Leader
Debra Clinger as Laura - Yellow Team
David Damas as Marvin - Yellow Team
Michael J. Fox as Scott Larson (credited as Michael Fox)
Stephen Furst as Harold - Blue Team Leader
Patricia Alice Albrecht as Lucille - Blue Team
Andy Tennant as Melio - Blue Team
Brian Frishman as Barf - Blue Team
Joel Kenney as Flynch - Yellow Team (credited as Joel P. Kenney)
Sal Lopez as Blade - Blue Team
Maggie Roswell as Donna - Red Team Leader
Robyn Petty as Berle - Red Team
Betsy Lynn Thompson as Peggy - Red Team
Carol Gwynn Thompson as Lulu - Red Team
Eddie Deezen as Wesley - White Team Leader
Marvin Katzoff as Debater #1 - White Team
Christopher Sands as Debater #2 - White Team
Michael Gitomer as Debater #3 - White Team
Brad Wilkin as Lavitas - Green Team Leader
Dirk Blocker as Blaylak - Green Team
Curt Ayers as Armpit - Green Team
Trevor Henley as Cudzo - Green Team
Keny Long as Gerber - Green Team
Irene Tedrow as Mrs. Grimhaus
Alan Solomon as Leon
Deborah Richter as Candy (credited as Debi Richter)
Kirsten Baker as Sunshine
John Fiedler as Wally Thorpe
Ceil Gabot as Mrs. Thorpe
Charlie Brill as Jerry - Tenant #1
Loretta Tupper as Mr. Thorpe's Mother
Eddie Bloom as Game Control Bookie
Dave Shelley as Harold's Father
Marvin Kaplan as Bonaventure Desk Clerk
Bert Williams as Security Captain
Arthur Adams as Police Sergeant
Thomas Wright as Cop #1 (credited as Tom Wright)
Elven Havard as Cop #2
Ernie Fuentes as Miniature Golf Dad
Pilar Del Rey as Miniature Golf Mom (credited as Pillar Del Rey)
Georgia Schmidt as Old Lady in Car
J. Brennan Smith as Bratty Kid
Don Maxwell as Bratty Kid's Dad
Paul Reubens as Pinball City Proprietor
John Voldstad as Bellboy
Jack Griffin as Tow Truck Driver
Dick Winslow as Tourist
Emily Greer as Teenage Girl #1
Paula Victor as Cashier
Tony Salome as Irving
Donna Garrett as Busty Waitress
Release and reception
Midnight Madness was rated PG—only the second film from the Disney company to receive anything other than a "G" (the first was The Black Hole). Although produced by Disney, the company's name did not appear on the credits.
The film only experienced a limited release, and garnered bad reviews. Roger Ebert, in his review, expressed disappointment at the work, as he was already a fan of the early work of Nankin and Wechter. It ultimately grossed $2.9 million in the North American box office. However, the film achieved a small cult following after it began airing on the HBO cable network. After a 2001 DVD release from Anchor Bay Entertainment, Midnight Madness was re-released in 2004 by Disney DVD with the "Walt Disney Pictures Presents" logo—the first time that Disney has officially associated itself with the film.
Midnight Madness has inspired many spin-offs and other Alternate Reality Games (ARG). Among some of the more popular recreations are:
Midnight Madness (Hot Springs, Arkansas) - Played every December
Midnight Madness (Austin, Texas) - The Austin game is played biannually and was created by several Austin transplants including, two veterans from the Hot Springs game.
Midnight Madness Brevard (Brevard County, Florida) - Played on a regular basis, with multiple games being held each year.
Midnight Madness VT (Greater Burlington, VT) - Runs multiple games per year. midnightmadnessvt on Facebook.
The Game - a non-stop 24- to 48-hour puzzle solving race that is currently active in the San Francisco Bay Area and the Seattle Area
Mike's Hunt, a 24-hour game played by the members of the Rutgers University Glee Club, has a heavy clue-solving component, with the clues leading to the development of a storyline in which the players become involved.
Get-a-Clue (Atlanta, Georgia) - Played annually by members of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket Marching Band and friends. Interactive and "nerdy" clues centering on a theme/storyline lead participants around the city and nearby counties.
In popular culture
Rap duo Heltah Skeltah sampled the film's theme for their song of the same name.
The stop motion animation program Robot Chicken (shown on Adult Swim) has featured brief homages to Midnight Madness, two in "Episode 1-10: Badunkadunk", and one in "Episode 2-6: 1987". In the first episode, two scenes from the film are reenacted, one where Leon reveals himself to the team leaders, another where Blue Team member Barf assembles the letters of a clue into the nonsense word "Fagabeefe". In the second, the chant of "Meat Machine" is reenacted.