34 user 12 critic

The Long Night (1947)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 28 May 1947 (USA)
Police surround the apartment of apparent murderer Joe Adams, who refuses to surrender although escape appears impossible. During the siege, Joe reflects on the circumstances that led him to this situation.



(earlier script),
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Complete credited cast:
Jo Ann
Maximilian the Great
Sheriff Ned Meade
Chief of Police Bob McManus
Frank Dunlap
Queenie Smith ...
Mrs. Tully
Bill Pulanski
Policeman Stevens
Freddie (as Robert A. Davis)


The credits fade onto a blind man tapping his way down the sidewalk,he enters a dingy boarding house and hears a shot fired in one of the upstairs bedrooms. A door opens from audience POV. A man tumbles out of the door and falls, slides and slithers down two flights of stairs and is dead when he hits the bottom. Then follows nearly 100 minutes of flashback and flashbacks-within-flashbacks about a veteran returing from the war, tired and disillusioned, only to find that he girl he loves has lied to him about her relationship with another man, and that man is sadistic, boastful and tauntful. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Barbara Bel Geddes IN HER SCREEN DEBUT See more »


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

28 May 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Time to Kill  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Jo Ann holds up a program pamphlet during the concert in Cleveland and the ad on the back cover is shown. It's an ad for "Pike's Pale: The Ale that Won for Yale!" This is a reference to Henry Fonda's character's family business in "The Lady Eve." See more »


Maximilian: In a strange way I'm honest... even about my lies.
See more »


Remake of Le Jour se Leve (1939) See more »


Come Out Come Out Wherever You Are
Music by Jule Styne
Lyrics by Sammy Cahn
See more »

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User Reviews

An amazing performance by Henry Fonda in a neglected near-masterpiece.
4 August 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I can't believe I've been digging into movies for 45 years without ever finding this gem. It's about as noir as it gets, in my book (taking the great definition from one of the guys over at Rara-Avis that hardboiled = tough, while noir = screwed). Henry Fonda is quite astonishing in a role that takes him from average Joe to suicidal killer. I think it's one of his very best performances, and I'm a GREAT admirer of his other performances. Barbara Bel Geddes is mousy but real as the naïve young woman Fonda falls for. The only problem I had with the movie was Vincent Price's performance of an overwritten role. On one hand, it's exactly the kind of role Price normally excels in, but it's far too florid and phony for this kind of film. Watching his scenes with Fonda, it's like watching two movies at the same time--when the camera's on Price, it's "Forever Amber." When the camera's on Fonda, it's "Out of the Past." For the perfect version of this kind of pseudo-über-sophisticate in a noir setting, one need only look to Clifton Webb in "Laura." Webb made that character live and breath. Price orates. With his fey ways and foppish hairdo, he grated on my nerves. The character should very well do so in this film, but to me it was Price and the scripting of his character that were grating. But that's a mere cavil. This is a splendid film, digging as sort of an ancestor to "Blue Velvet" into the rot beneath the seemingly every day--the difference being that most of the people who populate the edges of this movie seem to be very decent and honorable. Anatole Litvak's direction and Sol Polito's brilliant photography surprised me in scene after scene with their classic yet innovative dark style. And crowning it all is Henry Fonda in yet another performance of a lifetime.

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