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Night and the City (Criterion Collection) (1950)

Cast: Richard Widmark, Richard Widmark, Gene Tierney, more...
Director: Jules Dassin, Jules Dassin
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Studio: Criterion
Genre: Foreign, Film Noir, Crime, UK, Criterion Collection
Running Time: 95 min.
Languages: English
Subtitles: English
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Jules Dassin's Night and the City opens with cheap grifter Harry Fabian (Richard Widmark) running for his life through the streets of London. Harry wants to be big-time, and he does not care how he raises cash for his schemes. Like a junkie, he uses and steals from his girlfriend Mary (Gene Tierney), a singer at the Silver Fox, a seedy nightclub owned by the physically grotesque Phil Nosseross Francis L. Sullivan. Harry, who also works for Phil steering unsuspecting customers to the club, comes up with a plan to wrest control of professional wrestling from promoter and underworld kingpin Kristo (Herbert Lom) by manipulating Kristo through his father, retired wrestling great Gregorius (Stanislaus Zbyszko). For financial backing, Harry turns to Phil and Phil's wife Helen Googie Withers, both of whom give him the money, but only to further their own ends. When Gregorius is accidentally killed by his protege's upcoming opponent, Strangler (Mike Mazurki), and Phil realizes that Helen is leaving him for Harry, the scheme quickly unravels. Truly a glimpse of hell, Night and the City's distorted visuals and dark symbolism depict an underworld from which there is no escape and in which redemption comes at a very high price. ~ Steve Press, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Dassin's Best? by talltale January 15, 2006 - 8:39 AM PST
3 out of 3 members found this review helpful
Another Jules Dassin knockout, NIGHT & THE CITY gives Richard Widmark one his best roles (among so many), doesn't give Gene Tierney that much screen time (watch the Dassin interview to learn why) but she's as good as she's ever been, and brings together post-WWII London, pro wrestling, after-hours clubs, a guy who tries hard to succeed but can't help being a grifter and a supporting cast of fascinating characters--each written and acted to the hilt. Only the sometimes heavy-handed musical score interferes with total success (but, hey, that was the 50s).

The movie is funny, bleak, poignant, exciting, and one of Dassin's--maybe his single--best. As usual, along with all else, it deals with the workplace and the interesting ways in which people earn their living. The Criterion transfer--of a film made fast and on a shoestring--is quite good, with only a few grainy sections. The first-class interview with Dassin on the DVD looks to have been taken from one long session which was split up into sections, each given over to a specific film. What a talent this fellow is--and what a guy!

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 7.78)
82 Votes
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Noir Themes & Sinister Schemes
Dark themed films of murder, scams, cons, gangsters, femme fatales and nefarious deeds.
Don't read the entire synopsis
Dark provocative movies that suffer and become almost unwatchable due to the excessive or misleading information provided in the movie description!

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