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Nocturne (1946)

6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 595 users  
Reviews: 29 user | 6 critic

Police detective Joe Warner investigates the shooting of womanizing composer Keith Vincent. Evidence points to suicide and that is the official verdict, but Joe doesn't buy it and ... See full summary »

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Title: Nocturne (1946)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Lynn Bari ...
Frances Ransom
Virginia Huston ...
Carol Page
Joseph Pevney ...
Fingers
Myrna Dell ...
Susan
Edward Ashley ...
Vincent
Walter Sande ...
Halberson
Mabel Paige ...
Mrs. Warne
Bern Hoffman ...
Torp (as Bernard Hoffman)
Queenie Smith ...
Queenie
...
Gratz (as Mack Grey)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Lilian Bond ...
Mrs. Billings (scenes deleted)
Broderick O'Farrell ...
Billings' Butler (scenes deleted)
William Wright ...
Mr. Billings (scenes deleted)
Edit

Storyline

Police detective Joe Warner investigates the shooting of womanizing composer Keith Vincent. Evidence points to suicide and that is the official verdict, but Joe doesn't buy it and obsessively keeps looking, tracking down one discarded love after another, despite being ordered off the case. Written by Ken Yousten <kyousten@bev.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 November 1946 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Nocturno  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Virginia Huston's singing voice was provided by Martha Mears. See more »

Goofs

Fingers is playing a spinet piano, but the sound is that of a grand piano. See more »

Quotes

Susan: He was a ladykiller. But don't get any ideas. I ain't no lady.
See more »

Connections

Features Sinbad, the Sailor (1947) See more »

Soundtracks

A Little Bit is Better than None
Music and Lyrics by Eleanor Rudolph
Sung by Virginia Huston (dubbed by Martha Mears) (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

If Only George Raft Could Act...
18 January 2004 | by (Pittsburgh, PA) – See all my reviews

This would have been a better film. It opens with that stunning shot of L.A. then slowly zooms in on the composer in his hilltop home for a mesmerizing beginning, but spends the rest of its running time spinning its wheels. Part of the problem is the confused script which lacks urgency and never brings the story into any kind of focus. There's the occasional flash of excitement or an injection of atmosphere, but then it drifts. It's a film with a very short attention span; it doesn't seem to care much about its own story and seems to be in search of anything it can find to distract it.

And then there's Raft. He was adequate in the similarly well-shot 1945 noir Johnny Angel, also directed by Marin, because in that film he's motivated by a thirst for revenge against the man who killed his father, a simple and rather easy emotion to play. But here he's a detective who's supposed to be obsessed with finding the murderer of the playboy composer, who is killed in the middle of writing one of his songs (a nifty little premise) though the police believe it's a suicide. This is a trickier set of emotions to play and Raft can't pull it off. Why does he care so much? Is he a frustrated musician? It's never explained. There are no layers to Raft, no sense of vulnerability, no dimension or mystery - he's about as wooden as they come. He's only effective when he's acting tough - pushing a guy into a pool or taking on some thug twice his size. When he's asked to do more than that he's not so much lost as he is simply unwilling or constitutionally incapable. He just doesn't have it in him.

One of the pleasures of noir is watching a tough guy getting in over his head and discovering to his horror that there are some foes he can't lick, or allowing his commitment and dedication turn into obsession. A Bogart or a Dick Powell or a Ralph Meeker or a John Payne or a Dan Duryea or even a Mark Stevens could've supplied the necessary psychological complexity to make the detective in Nocturne a memorable and tragic figure. Raft, unfortunately, isn't in their league.

One last thing: the most interesting presence in the film is piano player Joseph Pevney, who later went on to become a very busy TV and movie director. He's only in two or three scenes, but he makes the most of them.


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