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Clash by Night (1952)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Film-Noir  |  4 August 1952 (Sweden)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 3,642 users  
Reviews: 73 user | 26 critic

Mae Doyle comes back to her hometown a cynical woman. Her brother Joe fears that his love, fish cannery worker Peggy, may wind up like Mae. Mae marries Jerry and has a baby; she is happy but restless, drawn to Jerry's friend Earl.

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Title: Clash by Night (1952)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Jerry D'Amato
...
...
J. Carrol Naish ...
Uncle Vince
Silvio Minciotti ...
Papa D'Amato
Keith Andes ...
Joe Doyle
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Storyline

The bitter and cynical Mae Doyle returns to the fishing village where she was raised after deceptive loves and life in New York. She meets her brother, the fisherman Joe Doyle, and he lodges her in his home. Mae is courted by Jerry D'Amato, a good and naive man that owns the boat where Joe works, and he introduces his brutal friend Earl Pfeiffer, who works as theater's projectionist and is cheated by his wife. She does not like Earl and his jokes, but Jerry considers him his friend and they frequently see each other. Mae decides to accept the proposal of Jerry and they get married and one year later they have a baby girl. When the wife of Earl leaves him, he becomes depressed and Mae, who is bored with her loveless marriage, has an affair with him. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Livin' in my house! Lovin' another man! Is that what you call bein' honest? That's just givin' it a nice name!

Genres:

Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

4 August 1952 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Le démon s'éveille la nuit  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was Barbara Stanwyck's first movie as a single woman, which also featured the rising young star Marilyn Monroe. Barbara gave a good performance in one of her most memorable films. Despite her emotional devastation, the crew noted Barbara's lack of a diva tantrum, Fritz Lang later said, "She's fantastic, unbelievable, and I liked her tremendously. When Marilyn missed her lines---which she did constantly---Barbara never said a word." See more »

Goofs

At the ~13 minute mark, after Mae walks past Joe in the Doyle house (Joe: "It's your life." Mae: "Yes, that's what's so funny. It's really mine."), you can see the moving shadow of one of the crew at the bottom left of the screen, on the floor. See more »

Quotes

Joe Doyle: Why didn't you come home before?
Mae Doyle D'Amato: Why didn't I go to China? Some things you do, some things you don't.
See more »

Crazy Credits

and introducing Keith Andes See more »

Connections

Featured in Marilyn Monroe: Beyond the Legend (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

Don't Cry
Music by Sunny Skylar (uncredited)
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User Reviews

 
A Late Gem From Lang By Way Of Odets
23 April 2001 | by (brighton, ma) – See all my reviews

Fritz Lang vastly improves on Clifford Odets' play by giving it legs; also surf, sand, sky and gulls. Barbara Stanwyck returns to the fishing village that hatched her now middle-aged and aimless. Her walk down the street early in the film is of the caliber of Gary Cooper. This is a woman who has lived and breathed pain and frustration all her life, and it shows in everything she does. Stanwyck has never better than she is here, and she dominates the film, vanquishing such heavyweight co-stars as Paul Douglas, Robert Ryan, J. Carroll Naish and Marilyn Monroe. Miss Stanwyck does not so much chew the scenery as stroke it; she is magnificent in this movie, which seems almost to flow from her. As her simple, trusting husband Paul Douglas is almost as good; and Robert Ryan nearly steals the show as a sadistic loser who is somehow magnetic, pathetic and yet highly observant, all at the same time. Odets' duologue is pungent and awfully good to hear. He was better than the Barton Fink caricature of several years ago. His lines ooze well thought-out ideas of cruelty and defeat, and his characters live in real, not stage or movie time. The settings are beautifully realized and explored by a very able and mobile cameraman, as for once a house in a movie actually feels lived in, frayed at the edges as real things are. Ryan's drunk scene on the screened porch benefits greatly from the credibility of the setting. Notable too is the seaside bar, which also has a porch, where a long and crucial scene takes place. It is something to see. People are always going up and down stairs in the film, which has an at times forbidding and an at other times engaging sense of the vertical. We get a taste throughout the picture of the lives of working people in the pre-Eisenhower fifties, when television was not yet ubiquitous and women collected their laundry in wicker baskets. Lang and the entire RKO team behind him deserve special praise for their efforts in this film, which frequently has the feel of Edward Hopper without ever actually suggesting the painter's work. Clash By Night offers us one direction the movies might have gone in the postwar period, and didn't. CinemaScope and 3D would sweep the nation the next year, and color was becoming more common. Soon, a specialized arty operation like RKO, which had retained at least some of its talent in the years after Howard Hughes bought the studio, would go the way of the dodo. Not until the seventies, with Scorsese and Mean Streets, would a stylized, individualized view of the real world begin to creep once more into the American film, albeit in a much different key.


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