6.7/10
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The Long Night (1947)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 28 May 1947 (USA)
Police surround the apartment of apparent murderer Joe Adams, who refuses to surrender although escape appears impossible. During the siege, Joe reflects on the circumstances that led him to this situation.

Director:

Anatole Litvak

Writers:

Jacques Viot (earlier script), John Wexley
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Henry Fonda ... Joe Adams
Barbara Bel Geddes ... Jo Ann
Vincent Price ... Maximilian the Great
Ann Dvorak ... Charlene
Howard Freeman ... Sheriff Ned Meade
Moroni Olsen ... Chief of Police Bob McManus
Elisha Cook Jr. ... Frank Dunlap
Queenie Smith ... Mrs. Tully
David Clarke ... Bill Pulanski
Charles McGraw ... Stevens - Policeman
Melinda Byron ... Peggy
Davis Roberts ... Freddie (as Robert A. Davis)
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Storyline

The credits fade onto a blind man tapping his way down the sidewalk,he enters a dingy boarding house and hears a shot fired in one of the upstairs bedrooms. A door opens from audience POV. A man tumbles out of the door and falls, slides and slithers down two flights of stairs and is dead when he hits the bottom. Then follows nearly 100 minutes of flashback and flashbacks-within-flashbacks about a veteran returing from the war, tired and disillusioned, only to find that he girl he loves has lied to him about her relationship with another man, and that man is sadistic, boastful and tauntful. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

COMING AT YOU ... in a blast of terrific drama! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 May 1947 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Time to Kill See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jo Ann holds up a program pamphlet during the concert in Cleveland and the ad on the back cover is shown. It's an ad for "Pike's Pale: The Ale that Won for Yale!" This is a reference to Henry Fonda's character's family business in "The Lady Eve." See more »

Goofs

When Joe Adams fires shots through the door of his room which sheriff Meade is standing in front of only two shots are fired. Prior to the first shot the location of the bullet hole can clearly be seen to the left of the center stile of the door. After both shots have been fired through the door and when Joe exits the room there are now three bullet holes in the door instead of two. See more »

Quotes

Maximilian: You know, it's not too easy to kill a man. I ought to know.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening card: ...the night is long That never finds the day... William Shakespeare, Macbeth,Act iv, scene iii See more »

Connections

References Badman's Territory (1946) See more »

Soundtracks

Over the Waves
(uncredited)
Music by Juventino Rosas
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User Reviews

 
sentimental film-noir with a superb cast
25 July 2008 | by MisterWhiplashSee all my reviews

I wouldn't say The Long Night is a great film, and if anything it only peaks my interest more to see how much more classic the film it's based on is- Marcel Carne's La Jour se Leve. But for the time it ran, I was mostly glued to the screen, and got wrapped up in the plight of Henry Fonda's character Joe, and his predicament of his downfall from normalcy. It probably isn't very original, taking aside its connection with the French source; it's about a factory worker, very nice guy, who falls in love with a woman whom, he finds out, was an orphan just like him. But one night he follows her to a bar, sees her cavorting sort of with a sleazy magician (Vincent Price), and his perfect image of her is shattered, and grows only darker after he meets him (he first tells Joe he's her father, which is a truly great scene between two huge stars of classic film), and when she tells him about her history with him.

While I could never take my eyes off the screen, it should be said that for all of the strong craftsmanship with the picture (it's one of the finest photographed 'noirs' of the late 40s, especially for those stark scenes of Joe alone in his room with the whole town on the street calling for him) and for all of the tremendous talent in front of the camera- besides Fonda and Price, who the former it's a splendid and rewarding if not best-ever performance and for the latter a triumph of playing sneaky and villainous, the girl playing Jo Ann (Barbara Bel Geddes) is very good- it only works up to a point. I was engrossed the most in the last twenty minutes or so, as the film revved up its pace and tempo to the "will Joe or won't Joe" beat. Before that, it's many scenes that mostly rely on the presence of the actors to uplift the material past the breezy and conventional air of the dialog. There's nothing especially "wrong" with the material, but it doesn't go anywhere aside from hitting its main points.

The Long Night is something of a minor lost marvel- only recently did it come out on DVD in an OK print- and for Fonda and Price fans its a can't-miss kind of picture. Just don't go expecting anything that will change your perception of what film-noirs can go that don't go for the easy routes.


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