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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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
Robert Ryan also worked in the original 1941 Broadway production, which ran for 49 performances at the Belasco Theatre. He played Joe Doyle's character, played in the movie by Keith Andes. See more »
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 »
Far from vintage Fritz Lang, but still enjoyable in its high-strung melodramatic antics, accentuated in a needlessly symbolic way by the raging of the sea and the clouding over of the sky.
Tough girl Barbara Stanwyck returns to her hometown after ten years of being the mistress of a married man. "Home is where you come, when you run out of places", she says, characteristically". She meets and marries simple, goodhearted fisherman Paul Douglas, but is bored by ordinary married life: "Every day you get a little older, lonelier, stupider", and soon succumbs to her attraction to cynical, boozy movie projectionist Robert Ryan.
The power of 'Clash by Night' lies not in its trite plot or in its overblown imagery, but in the no-nonsense acting of Stanwyck and Ryan, tough as nails but raw at the core. They have an animal eroticism together between them that sparkles like fireworks, but they are also, alas, quite self-pitying.
Many of the bit parts are surprisingly unsavory, but then we also get the young Marilyn Monroe as the naive young girl who hopes to marry Stanwyck's hunky brother, played by Keith Andes, more often than not strutting his naked torso.
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