A teenager comes of age while seeking revenge on the man who beat up his father.

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(novel), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
George La Main (as John Barrymore Jr.)
...
Andy La Main
...
Marion Rostina
Howard St. John ...
Al Judge
...
Julie Rostina
Philip Bourneuf ...
Dr. Lloyd Cooper
Howland Chamberlain ...
Flanagan (as Howland Chamberlin)
...
Kennealy
...
Peckinpaugh (as Emil Meyer)
Mauri Lynn ...
Terry Angelus
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Storyline

George La Main, just turned 17, suffers growing pains and is anxious to prove his manhood. That night, George's adored father Andy is savagely beaten by sportswriter Al Judge. Traumatized and unable to learn why it happened, George goes gunning for Judge. His mission becomes an odyssey through the town's seamy side, and his coming of age is more of a trial by fire than he bargained for. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

GRIPPING! Under cover of darkness a kid learns about life!


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Details

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Release Date:

7 December 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die Nacht der Wahrheit  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Final film of Dorothy Comingore. See more »

Goofs

George blows out all but one of his birthday candles. When the view changes from over George's shoulder to a position over his father's shoulder, all the candles are out, but when it changes back, the one candle is again lit. See more »

Quotes

Peckinpaugh: Next time you see somebody drop money, don't think about it so long before you decide to give it back.
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Soundtracks

Am I Too Young
Music by Lyn Murray
Lyrics by Sid Kuller
Sung by Mauri Lynn
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User Reviews

Too stage bound!
29 August 2008 | by (Hollywood, CA) – See all my reviews

As someone who knew John Barrymore Jr. 25 years ago, I was heartbroken to see him early in his aborted film career. Though not as charismatic as James Dean would be just a couple of years later, he was certainly Dean's prototype in The Big Night. Perhaps with a better film and a less disturbed personality, Barrymore might have been a working Hollywood actor for many years to come. Anyway, what director Joseph Losey lacked here was the Los Angeles cityscape he used to full effect that same year in his retelling of Fritz Lang's M. The Big Night was screaming for a location project on downtown L.A.'s seedy, beaten down Bunker Hill, a neighborhood of crumbling Victorian mansions and apartment buildings with vertiginous stairways that provided so much atmosphere to other films, such as Kiss Me Deadly, Criss-Cross, The Exiles and, yes, M. Instead, the movie is stage bound and hemmed in by sets that never look convincing. With its rambling "a night in the life" plot line, The Big Night needed another character: a dark city of real streets, background lights, rambling old house, and dingy clubs and bars. In other words, the kind of verisimilitude that transports the viewer into the protagonist's world. The back lot, unfortunately, was a poor stand-in.


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