Night and the City

1950

Action / Crime / Film-Noir / Mystery / Sport / Thriller

20
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 79%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 90%
IMDb Rating 7.9 10 11773

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: OTTO

Director

Cast

Gene Tierney as Mary Bristol
Richard Widmark as Harry Fabian
Mike Mazurki as The Strangler
Herbert Lom as Kristo
1080p.BLU
1.45 GB
1920*1080
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 41 min
P/S 4 / 37

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by harryfableson 10 / 10

My favourite film.

Imagine Charles Dickens had to make a bit of extra money by writing B-movies in Hollywood and you might get close to imagining this haunting, wonderful film. It fuses the best traditions of film noir with a very British atmosphere: a cast of character actors playing vividly drawn and desperate people.

There's a mournful tone to the whole film, like a boat's siren drifting across a foggy Thames. All the characters seem to be reaching for their hearts desire, wanting to believe in a dream of a better tomorrow, in something that's real and true for them. But they rip into each other trying to get there. That gives the film a poignant, tragic trajectory.

A compelling central performance by Richard Widmark as Harry Fabian, a man with flair and drive and an infectious hope, but a man who lacks something like the moral fibre to be honest. A man always looking for a shortcut. A nearly-great man, an almost classically tragic figure. Googie Withers is a revelation as Helen, a woman who seems cynical but has hopes and dreams just like Fabian (just like all our characters).

So much I haven't even mentioned, the sweaty muscular wrestling scenes are are action scenes of the best kind, in that they drive and skew the plot as well as holding our attention. So many good performances. And a film that speaks to our hopes and our flaws and the tragic spaces between the two.

Any Londoner or person who loves the atmosphere of that city should check it out too, some lovely old footage of Trafalgar Square and Picadilly.

Reviewed by crystallogic 9 / 10

Seriously awesome film

Well, this is for sure one of the coolest films I discovered in 2017. I was also discovering Gerald Kersh's writing at this time, and I read that there was a film based on his novel of the same name (which I still haven't read, incidentally), that some people considered a classic of noir. I expected good things, but the film in fact surpassed my expectations.

Harry Fabian. Wow, you could talk quite a bit about a guy like this, and you probably know someone a bit like him. He's really bad news, yet somehow manages to be strangely, almost, likable despite himself. Maybe much of this is down to Richard Widmark's portrayal, which is manic and infectious, like that of an intense and earnest salesman, one who might surprise you sometimes by bursting into a silly song and hopping around with completely un-self-conscious glee. Apparently the book harry is nastier, but the thing is, when you get to the bottom of Widmark-Harry's schemes, he is really a rotten bastard and you know you should hate him for being such a user of people and an abuser of trust. Yet somehow, I think, you can't quite bring yourself to despise him as much as he obviously deserves, and I think that's interesting. Harry is always looking for the "next big thing", so he can get "in on the deal". He's full of big ideas. Most of them are total bullshit, but a guy like harry might just be able to string people along for long enough to get away with it, right under their noses, so to speak. You have to think, too, that the guy is probably kind of insane. There's that scene where Harry comes breathlessly into Mr. Nosseros's place, saying, "I'll control wrestling!", and Nosseros finds this so deleeriously crazy and amusing that he explodes with laughter right in Harry's face, and can't stop. Harry though -- he just keeps on talking, raising his voice to combat being laughed at, until he's shrieking! It's wild.

So Harry is at the centre of all this, but there are actually a whole load of great, memorable characters in this thing. The fat, jovial and fiendish Mr. nosseros, for instance; his scheming, frustrated wife Helen; and, of course, the unforgettable Gregorius, played by real-life wrestling champion Stanislaus Zbyszko. Now, I like to imagine kersh was pleased with this movie (even though they apparently have changed quite a few things), and one of the reasons is Zbyszko's involvement. I like to think, as a fan of wrestling himself, he would have been chuffed that the old guy ended up in one of his stories. Well, Stanislaus Zbyszko supposedly never acted before, but he nailed this, utterly. His character is both tragic and extremely sympathetic; his death absolutely one of the most poignant things about this film, and the moment that marks Harry's going over the line and beyond redemption.

Speaking of wrestling ... The Scene. If this kind of film isn't really your thing, I guess this one scene of Gregorius and "The Strangler" having it out is going to be the thing that'll stick in your mind. It's a hell of a scene, really, and goes on for several minutes. It's all done completely without music, and you can hear every grunt and smash, see every detail and almost *feel* the power of the struggle. It's incredibly visceral, I think, for an English/American film of 1950.

Another interesting facet of this classic is that there are two versions. The American cut seems better in most respects, but i think the British one has superior music, and it also includes a great early domestic scene between Widmark and Gene Tierney that is rendered a perfunctory nothing in the American cut (actually it's a completely different scene). There's an informative documentary that comes on the DVD which explains a lot of detail about the two versions and how they differ. I'm a sucker for this kind of stuff, for some reason.

The casting is of course great, and I haven't even mentioned some of the highlights of that aspect of the film. Only trouble is, a few of these people are dreadfully underused. I personally wouldn't have minded if the film were half an hour longer, but that's probably because I appreciate the world and characters of its creation so much. Besides, I can't really think the film would have been drastically improved by giving Gene more to do, for instance. Another thing I have to note is that there are probably a few too many Americans in the cast. Nothing's really wrong with that, of course, but the film is supposed to take place in (and indeed was shot in) England, and the juxtaposition of notable English performers with less-experienced American ones putting on an accent is a bit obvious. Don't worry though; Widmark just talks like Widmark and doesn't try to sound like a Brit.

Reviewed by martijn-56 8 / 10

Good movie but storywise a missed opportunity of greatness

Wonderful movie; good acting, meaningful plot, and film noir ending, but still storywise a missed opportunity of greatness.

Spoilers ahead:

Why did the scriptwriters not opt for the following: letting the main character get it all: the ultimate wrestling match, only to witness the death of the old master wrestler Gergorius (Stanislaus Zbyszko) afterwards? The character Harry Fabian (Richard Widmark) would really have had it all: fame, fortune but also the ultimate bad luck. Gregorius' son would want to revenge him, as in the movie but only later. In this scenario Fabian could have offered something in his sacrifice, namely his fortune to his girlfriend before dying at the hands of gangsters hired by the son of Gergorius (Herbert Lom). That would have been a powerful ending, also showing how fickle fame and fortune is, how the tide can change even after you think all is settled. It could still have given the subplot to make Fabian fight for the money with Philip Nosseross to get the match, but it could have been a smaller part of the movie. Instead, the movie chose to let Gergorius die early in a fistfight without public, making clear there would never be a fight, and putting too much emphasis on a manhunt of Harry Fabian. It basically prematurely killed the movie and the ending, since the girl got nothing in the end. Or maybe it just was not my taste, since after all this was the ultimate noir ending, with no happy endings for anyone.

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