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Night and the City (1950)

 -  Crime | Film-Noir | Mystery  -  April 1950 (UK)
8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 6,490 users  
Reviews: 69 user | 57 critic

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.

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(screenplay), (novel), 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Francis L. Sullivan ...
...
Stanislaus Zbyszko ...
...
Charles Farrell ...
Ada Reeve ...
Ken Richmond ...
Nikolas of Athens (as Ken. Richmond)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Adelaide Hall ...
Singer (scenes deleted)
Eliot Makeham ...
Pinkney (scenes deleted)
Betty Marsden ...
Undetermined Role (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

Harry Fabian is a London hustler with ambitious plans that never work out. One day, when he encounters the most famous Greco-Roman wrestler in the world, Gregorius, at a London wrestling arena run by his son Kristo, he dreams up a scheme that he thinks will finally be his ticket to financial independence. As Fabian attempts to con everyone around him to get his scheme to work, he of course only ends up conning himself. This is an interesting tale of blind ambition, self-deception, broken dreams, and how a man who always thinks he's ahead of the game ends up tripping himself very badly. Written by Alan Katz <katz@panther.middlebury.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

April 1950 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Die Ratte von Soho  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jules Dassin has stated that he did not read the novel "Night and the City" until after the film was completed. See more »

Goofs

Harry's hair changes between shots when he is caught by Mary going through her handbag. See more »

Quotes

Adam Dunne: Harry is an artist without an art.
Mary Bristol: What does that mean?
Adam Dunne: Well, that is something that could make a man very unhappy, Mary, groping for the right level, the means with which to express himself.
Mary Bristol: Yes, he is that. Is not he? I like that, Adam. It is a very nice thought.
Adam Dunne: Yes, but it can be dangerous.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Pretty Little Liars: Stolen Kisses (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm Looking Over a Four-Leaf Clover
(uncredited)
Music by Harry M. Woods
Played when Harry steers the Americans to the Silver Fox
(US version)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Widmark Tops Out
20 February 2005 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

My favorite Richard Widmark performance on the screen and probably his best work is Night and the City. This was director Jules Dassin's last film before settling in Europe in the wake of the blacklist and it has a first rate cast tuned to a fine pitch, like an orchestra without a bad note in it.

Harry Fabian is this smalltime American hustler/conman who's settled in London and always working that middle ground netherworld between the law and outright gangsterism. He really isn't a very likable man and the trick is to keep the audience care what's happening to him. This is the test of a great actor and Widmark is fully up to the challenge.

Fabian while working one of his cons overhears a piece of information about the father/son relationship between champion Graeco-Roman wrestler Gregorius the Great and gangster/promoter Cristo who is the London version of Vince McMahon. He cons Gregorius into thinking he wants to promote old style wrestling like Gregorius used to do. That con game sets in motion the events of the film that ultimately end in tragedy.

The cast is uniformly fine, but one performance really stands out, that of Stanislaus Zbyzsko as Gregorius. He was a real professional wrestling champion back in the day when it was real. Zbyzsko invests so much of his own life and reality as Gregorius that he's really something special. His scenes with Herbert Lom as his son are so good they go far beyond the plane of mere acting. It's some of the best work Lom has ever done as well.

How there weren't a few Oscar nominations from this is a mystery for me. For those who like film noir, this should be required viewing. Especially for you Richard Widmark fans.


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