City After Dark (1980)

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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 94 users  
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The hidden nightlife of ordinary people living in Manila unveils. Lovers and families' conflicts are radically pitted against each other as they live in the night streets rampant with drugs... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Charito Solis ...
Alma Moreno ...
Lorna Tolentino ...
Rio Locsin ...
Cherie Gil ...
Gina Alajar ...
Orestes Ojeda ...
William Martinez ...
Manay Sharon
Johnny Wilson ...
Virgir's Husband
Jojo Santiago ...
Greggy Williams
Sharon Manabat ...
Mitch Valdez ...
Marichu (as Maya Valdes)
Rolly Lapid
Rey Tomenes


The hidden nightlife of ordinary people living in Manila unveils. Lovers and families' conflicts are radically pitted against each other as they live in the night streets rampant with drugs and prostitution. The outstanding narrative explicitly unravels the various characters and episodes. This landmark film of Ishmael Bernal depicts the darkness of city life so vividly that it was once prohibited to use the word 'Manila' on its title. Written by Pusan International Film Festival

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Release Date:

28 November 1980 (Philippines)  »

Also Known As:

Manila by Night  »

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Did You Know?


The fake nurse device of Alma Moreno's prostitute-in-nurse attire was taken from a real-life motel slaying case a year before the production of the movie. See more »


Referenced in Taksikab (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

Still relevant after almost 30 years
25 February 2012 | by (Philippines) – See all my reviews

City After Dark brilliantly intertwined different personalities living in the reality of poor living conditions. Orestes Ojeda is a playboy who flirts with Lorna Tolentino, a waitress; Alma Moreno, a nurse and Bernardo Bernardo, a gay shop owner. Bernardo, on the other hand, has a thing going with William Martinez, who in turn has a college girlfriend, Gina Alajar and a sauna attendant, the blind Rio Locsin. Locsin is the lover of drug pusher Cherie Gil, to whom William's gang gets their drug. Chariot Solis is William's mom who unknowingly supports her son's drug use.

Ishmael Bernal masterfully brought different colorful characters, giving them equal exposure, developing their stories and even adding some side stories like the restaurant owner, Maya Valdez and Rio's boyfriend who was cheated by his recruiter. Harsh realities all.

The only minus I could see here is that the dubbed voices are not their own (William, some of Cherie and some of Gina). Otherwise, it's still entertaining to watch and even 30 years after, it's still relevant.

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