MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 32,379 this week

Nightmare Alley (1947)

7.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.8/10 from 4,289 users  
Reviews: 89 user | 60 critic

The ambitious Stanton "Stan" Carlisle works in a sideshow as carny and assistant of the mentalist Zeena Krumbein, who is married with the alcoholic Pete. The couple had developed a secret ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 30 titles
created 21 Dec 2011
 
a list of 30 titles
created 19 Feb 2012
 
a list of 23 titles
created 18 Oct 2012
 
a list of 30 titles
created 7 months ago
 
a list of 32 titles
created 6 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Nightmare Alley" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Nightmare Alley (1947)

Nightmare Alley (1947) on IMDb 7.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Nightmare Alley.

User Polls

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Moonrise (1948)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Danny is being despised by his schoolmates because his father was accused to have killed another man and is condemned to the death penalty.

Director: Frank Borzage
Stars: Dane Clark, Gail Russell, Ethel Barrymore
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

When a man in mid-life crisis befriends a young woman, her venal fiancé persuades her to con him out of some of the fortune she thinks he has.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett, Dan Duryea
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A ruthless, domineering woman is married to an alcoholic D.A., her childhood companion who is the only living witness to her murder of her rich aunt seventeen years earlier.

Director: Lewis Milestone
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Van Heflin, Lizabeth Scott
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Powerful but unethical Broadway columnist J.J. Hunsecker coerces unscrupulous press agent Sidney Falco into breaking up his sister's romance with a jazz musician.

Director: Alexander Mackendrick
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis, Susan Harrison
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

After discovering the dead body of her teenage daughter's lover, a housewife takes desperate measures to protect her family from scandal.

Director: Max Ophüls
Stars: James Mason, Joan Bennett, Geraldine Brooks
No Way Out (1950)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A black doctor is assigned to treat two racist White, robbery suspects who are brothers, and when one dies, it causes tension that could start a race riot.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Stars: Richard Widmark, Linda Darnell, Stephen McNally
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A frustrated former big-city journalist now stuck working for an Albuquerque newspaper exploits a story about a man trapped in a cave to re-jump start his career, but the situation quickly escalates into an out-of-control circus.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Jan Sterling, Robert Arthur
Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A war-veteran-turned-truck driver attempts to avenge the crippling and robbing of his father at the hands of an amoral produce scofflaw.

Director: Jules Dassin
Stars: Richard Conte, Valentina Cortese, Lee J. Cobb
Criss Cross (1949)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An armored truck driver and his lovely ex-wife conspire with a gang to have his own truck robbed on the route.

Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Yvonne De Carlo, Dan Duryea
Crime | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A small-time grifter and nightclub tout takes advantage of some fortuitous circumstances and tries to become a big-time player as a wrestling promoter.

Director: Jules Dassin
Stars: Richard Widmark, Gene Tierney, Googie Withers
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

When an heiress finds out that the friendly young man she's met at Sun Valley is really an investigative reporter, she ruins his career by falsely claiming they're married.

Director: Robert B. Sinclair
Stars: Tyrone Power, Gene Tierney, Reginald Gardiner
Kiss of Death (1947)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

With his law-breaking lifestyle in the past, an ex-con, along with his family, attempt to start a new life, knowing a betrayed someone from the past is bound to see otherwise.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: Victor Mature, Brian Donlevy, Coleen Gray
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Stanton 'Stan' Carlisle
...
Zeena Krumbein
...
Molly
Helen Walker ...
Lilith Ritter
Taylor Holmes ...
Ezra Grindle
...
Bruno
Ian Keith ...
Pete Krumbein
Edit

Storyline

The ambitious Stanton "Stan" Carlisle works in a sideshow as carny and assistant of the mentalist Zeena Krumbein, who is married with the alcoholic Pete. The couple had developed a secret code to pretend to read minds and was successful in the show business before Pete starts drinking. Stan stays with them expecting to learn their code and leave the carnival to be a successful mentalist. Stan also flirts with the gorgeous Molly that lives in the carnival with the strong Bruno. Zeena and The Savage, an alcoholic man that eats live chickens that the audiences believe that is a savage, are the greatest attractions of the sideshow. When Stan gives booze to Pete and he dies, Stan finds that Pete had drunk methyl alcohol and not his booze, but he feels guilty for the death of him. Zeena teaches the code to him and Molly helps Stan to learn them. After an incident, Stan is forced to marry Molly and he decides to move to Chicago with her to become a sensation in a night club. One day, he ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He was all things to all men ... but only one thing to all women!

Genres:

Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 October 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Scharlatan  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The telephone numbers of the Helen Walker character, Consulting Psychologist Lilith Ritter, are STAte 9862 (for her Office in the Lakeshore Building) and ROGrs Pk 8685 (for her Residence in the Belmont Apartments), both adjacent to the Lake Michigan waterfront on the near north side of Chicago. See more »

Goofs

During Powers's cab ride away from Walker's apartment, the Chicago Theater is visible in the rear-projection behind the car. After several more minutes of driving, the cab turns around in front of the same theater. See more »

Quotes

Carny #1: How can a guy sink so low?
Carny #2: He reached too high...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Across the Hall (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

The Boston Burglar
(uncredited)
Traditional
Sung by George Beranger
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Among the Greatest of Films Noirs
12 March 2002 | by (Out there in the dark) – See all my reviews

NIGHTMARE ALLEY works like a gigantic fate-driven machine. We see the main character, Stanton Carlyle (memorably enacted by Tyrone Power whose physical beauty underlines his tragic persona) become caught up in the cogs of this machine early on, when he gets the idea of taking over the mind-reading act. Henceforward, it's a dark, descending spiral. A fascinating spiral, since it appears to be going upward at first. Power and the beautiful Colleen Gray enter in to the venues of the ultra-rich with their glorified carnival act. Then Gray and and earlier amanuensis Joan Blondell are supplanted by the controlled, mysterious Helen Walker (in a knockout performance). What is so intriguing now, is how Carlyle begins to believe in his own manufactured powers. Thinking himself in control of the cynical ploy concocted by himself and Walker, Carlyle is tossed into a pit of dejection and humiliation, when Gray foils the scheme. Back on the carnival skids--but this time far lower than he was before--Carlyle can find only the possibility of redemption in Gray's embrace.

It is tempting to wish the film would end with Gray turning away from the horrific spectacle of the new geek. For this would be the darkest of noir conclusions. I seem to remember the studio (Fox) insisting on the glimmer of hope on Power's face.

Its conclusion aside, the film impresses in its use of expressionistic lighting, set design and music to create a feeling of inescapable, malevolent force driving Stanton Carlyle to ultimate degradation. This is a film in which no production element seems wasted. It's almost too good be be true, an ideal 'dark film', grotesque, yet hauntingly beautiful.


52 of 57 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Deleted scene. Why? Texian04
Line about geek only used once? mlraymond
Ambiguity of the movie and its characters mlraymond
Gresham's novel Nightmare Alley sticks114
the geek movie fuhgeduhbawdit
The Ending directoralansmithee
Discuss Nightmare Alley (1947) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?