Night and the City

Night and the City

DVD - 2005
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Two-bit hustler Harry Fabian aches for a life of ease and plenty. Trailed by an inglorious history of go-nowhere schemes, he stumbles upon a chance of a lifetime in the form of legendary wrestler Gregorius the Great. But there is no easy money in this underworld of shifting alliances, bottomless graft, and pummeled flesh, and soon Fabian learns the horrible price of his ambition.
Publisher: Irvington, NY : Criterion Collection ; Chicago, IL : Distributed by Home Vision Entertainment, [2005]
ISBN: 9781559409551
Branch Call Number: DVD NIG
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (96 min.) : sd., b&w ; 4 3/4 in


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Nov 18, 2019

Richard Widmark is magnificent in Jules Dassin’s sad noir about a two-bit grifter whose lofty dreams of fame and fortune have turned him into a tragic laughingstock—until a big break promises to catapult him into the spotlight at last. Betrayals and hidden agendas abound while the swirling fog of a perpetually twilit London, almost a character unto itself, maintains an oppressive atmosphere of gloom and doom. All the elements of Film Noir are here—the razor-sharp shadows, theatrical staging, air of moral indecency—yet the film’s sting lies more in heartbreak than felony as love decays and pipe dreams turn to dust. In Fabian, Widmark provides a searing character study of an impotent Everyman hellbent on overcoming a life defined by poverty who is incapable of seeing the hole he’s constantly digging for himself and, even more frustrating, unable to recognize the single lifeline being offered by the only person who cares about him. Bookended, appropriately enough, by two frantic pursuits—one aimed at escaping destiny, one rushing headlong to embrace it.

Jan 31, 2019

Containing shades of "film noir" in its gritty, little story of crime and corruption - 1950's "Night and the City" tells the tale of the cheap grifter, Harry Fabian who's cooking up yet another "get-rich-quick" scheme that's sure to put him on "Easy Street".

Set in the underbelly of a decidedly sleazy London - "Night and the City" features lots of "mean'n'ugly" characters who think nothing of double-crossing each other in order to make a buck in the world of amateur wrestling.

Jun 09, 2018

1950's "Night and the City" is certainly a bleak and equally grim tale about a very little man with some very big ideas.

And, with actor, Richard Widmark playing this very character - You can be sure that his portrayal of this slimy, little scumball is delivered with absolute perfection. (You know, I seriously think that Widmark was born to play these parts)

Set on the decidedly seedy side of the city of London (England) - This b&w crime-drama (with a nice slice of "noir" thrown into the mix for good measure) deals (with dead seriousness) with such topics as corruption, betrayal, gangsterism, and wrestling.

IMO - This film's only glaring flaw was the unfortunate miscasting of the pretty, but utterly vacant, Gene Tierney in a pivotal role.

*Note* - This would be the last Hollywood film that Jules Dassin would ever direct. In 1951 he was blacklisted as a "Commie" and that inevitably ruined his career for good in the USA.

Aug 26, 2017

While the Criterion Transfer is superb, and the movie looks glorious, these discs are full of commentary and extras. Not that I mind extras, but they don't include subtitles, and I like to have them, especially when I miss lines.

Furthermore, the music is too loud and the dialogue is too soft. There doesn't seem to be any happy medium in the sound department.

Still, this is a terrific movie!

ChampionMDR Mar 01, 2015

Tour de force for Richard Widmark. Film score by Franz Waxman is excellent. Story line plays well and supporting cast is high caliber. Top film noir.

Jul 08, 2014

A bleak, difficult film. Should be seen, even if unlikable. Compare Jeanne Moreau's EVA.

Oct 31, 2013

Harry Fabian is fatally self-confident, and this will cost him dearly. A great film noir, Widmark, Googie Withers and Gene Tierney are all splendid. The camerawork is often gorgeous.

Apr 14, 2013

London, 1950, the war is ended but not for people struggling to make a living. Some people survive because they just won a bet, but only for today, tomorrow has yet to be earned. Harry Fabian is hustler who will make others pay the price for his latest scheme but now he will have to pay up with his own life. His woman loves him. She has made so many painful sacrifices to prop him up, but now her love won't be able to purchase him even a third class ticket on the train leading to dawn tomorrow. What makes her stick around for more pain from Harry? Tragically Harry is not the kind of man who thinks of anyone but himself; all will be let down. I first saw this film when I was just a boy. It is terrific.

aaa5756 Aug 09, 2012

This movie was entertaining and interesting but not one of my favorite for this year. “Not too bad---good performance”. "I fast forwarded a lot but not all the way.”

Apr 19, 2012

Harry Fabian's a talented b.s. artist, but a web of lies will always catch up with you eventually. Certainly not "a life of ease and plenty"... You get what you pay for. Great performance by Richard Widmark, not much of a part for Gene Tierney. Excellent, shadowy noir, with a dramatic musical score and sinister camera angles. It's even got Herbert Lom, (Commissioner Dreyfus - Inspector Clouseau's boss) as the evil Kristo, for crying out loud! ...I may check out the '92 remake with Robert De Niro and Jessica Lange... it won't/can't come close to this though, naturally. FIVE STARS.

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Apr 19, 2012

Adam Dunn: "Harry's an artist without an art." Mary Bristol: "What does that mean?" Adam Dunn: "Well, that's something that could make a man very unhappy, Mary. Groping for the right lever, the means with which to express himself." Mary Bristol: "Yes, he is that, isn't he. I like that, Adam. It's a very nice thought." Adam Dunn: "Yes, but it can be dangerous."

Apr 19, 2012

Harry Fabian (to Anna O'Leary, the boat lady): "...All my life, I've been running... from welfare officers... from thugs... from my father... See... there they are - there, on the bridge... I'm a dead man... Nosseross told me that... He told me that, he said: "You've got it all, but you're a dead man, Harry Fabian...". Mary said it, too. She said it, she said: "You're killing me and you're killing yourself." Oh Anna, the things I DID... the things I DID... She loved me... she's such a nice kid... She loved me... Oh, the things I DID..."


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